Offices charged with ferreting out corruption among U.S. border and immigration employees are in a turf battle that has delayed some investigations and threatens to undermine a host of enforcement actions, reports the Center for Investigative Reporting in the Washington Post. The conflict pits the inspector general’s office in the Department of Homeland Security against the agency’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) division and the FBI.
The turf battle came to a head about a week before the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack aboard an airliner, when Assistant Inspector General Thomas Frost ordered the top internal affairs official at CBP to drop any investigations underway outside the inspector general’s supervision. When the memo was issued, CBP’s internal affairs office was involved in about 100 criminal corruption inquiries, including joint investigations with the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The cases cover allegations including taking bribes from drug traffickers and improper searches of law enforcement databases.