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FBI Buffalo Field Office

The exterior of the FBI Buffalo Field Office building

The FBI Buffalo Field Office is the Federal Bureau of Investigation field office in Buffalo, New York, one of 56 field offices in the United States.

The Buffalo Field Office is responsible for the Western New York region. Its jurisdiction is the same as that of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York: the 17 New York counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates.[1]

FBI Buffalo Field Office patch


  • History 1
  • Task forces 2
  • Wanted 3
  • Office of Public Affairs 4
  • Investigative programs 5
  • Specialty programs 6
  • Rochester Resident Agency 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


M.F. Blackmon
James H. Robertson

The FBI Buffalo Field Office was opened prior to 1925 to handle investigations that took place in western New York.[2] The first special agent in charge of the Field Office was M.F. Blackmon. The division was closed in 1929, but the FBI maintained a presence in Buffalo through a resident agency out of FBI New York (similarity as to what FBI Buffalo currently does in Rochester).[2] The Field Office was re-opened in 1934 and has been in operation ever since.[2] The current Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office is James H. Robertson who has served in the capacity since August 2009.[3]

Task forces

FBI Buffalo Field Office's area of responsibility

The Buffalo Field Office maintains three task forces.[4]


The Buffalo Field Office has two specific suspects wanted:

  • Buffalo Six" al-Qaeda cell. Elbaneh was captured in Yemen on May 20, 2007, but he is still listed as wanted by the FBI.[6]
  • An unknown bank robber: An unknown man is wanted in connection with an August 12, 2003 robbery of the Xerox Federal Credit Union in Webster, New York. The man is also charged with murder because during the robbery he shot two people, one of whom died.[7]

Office of Public Affairs

The Office of Public Affairs (OPA) is the public relations office of the Buffalo Field Office. It is charged with "[e]nhancing and maintaining public trust and confidence in the Federal Bureau of Investigation by widely sharing information externally about the FBI's mission, accomplishments, operations and values." The Office uses speeches, reports, public tours, correspondence, the Internet, and community outreach activities in its work. It also works with authors, television and film producers and other interested parties who seek to depict the FBI in their productions.[8]

Investigative programs

The Buffalo FBI Field Office currently runs 15 different programs, all with different tasks and mandates.[9]

  • Counter Terrorism: Deals with counterterrorism, including criminal investigations and intelligence on both regarding domestic and international terrorism.[9] All investigations are supported by the Domestic Terrorism Operations Unit at FBI headquarters.[9]
  • Field Intelligence Group (FIG): Aims to "optimally position the FBI to meet current and emerging national security and criminal threats"[9] by "creating and sustaining enterprise-wide intelligence solutions and human and technical capabilities, and providing useful, appropriate, and timely information and analysis to the FBI, homeland security, and law enforcement communities."[9] The FIG also is deployed with the ERT if the situation warrants.[9]
Buffalo Cyber Crime Taskforce logo
  • Buffalo Cyber Crime Taskforce: Deals with cybercrime, including cyber-terrorism, crimes against children, distribution of child pornography,[10][11][12][13]malicious hacking, Internet fraud, theft of trade secrets, copyright infringement (piracy), denial-of-service attacks, and malicious computer programs (viruses, Trojans, worms).[14] Additionally, the task force is charged with supporting investigations of traditional crimes using technical means.[9][14]
  • Criminal Enterprises Squad: Deals with criminal enterprise and [5] In December 2009, the Criminal Enterprises Squad's multi year investigation into drug and gang activity on Buffalo's East Side concluded with the arrests of two dozen individuals, the seizure of seven firearms, four motor vehicles, more than $50,000 in cash and drugs.[9]
  • Organized Crime Program: Deals with both "traditional" and "non-traditional" organized crime organizations, including informants and gathering of evidence through court-authorized electronic surveillance and undercover operations.[9]
  • Drug Program: Aims to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug trafficking organizations operating in Western New York in accordance with the FBI National Drug Strategy.[9] It conducts anti-drug work in unison with the investigative efforts with other federal state and local law enforcement agencies The majority of these investigations are conducted through the FBI's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.[9] The agents assigned to these matters emphasize the use of informants, and the extensive use of court-authorized electronic surveillance. The drug program has also led the investigation into Dr. Anthony Galea, who is accused of allegedly providing elite athletes with performance-enhancing drugs to athletes such as Tiger Woods, Huston Street, and Alex Rodriguez.[15][16] Additionally, many investigations are connected to public corruption, money laundering and white-collar crime activities.[9]
  • Fugitive Arrest Program: The FBI is the primary federal law enforcement agency with statutory authority to investigate fugitive matters where the fugitive is wanted on state charges and has crossed state lines.[9]
  • White Collar Crime Program: The largest program of the Buffalo Field Office and also a top national FBI concern, with over 25% of the FBI operations centered on white-collar crime.[9] Priorities in order are public corruption, corporate fraud, securities and commodity frauds, health care fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, insurance fraud, and other fraud matters,[9] including telemarketing and wire fraud,[17] government program fraud, bankruptcy fraud, environmental crimes and antitrust matters.[9]
  • Public Corruption: According to the FBI, public corruption is the top priority of the bureau and the Buffalo Field Office.[9] Specific public corruption and bribery crimes investigated include contract and procurement fraud and law enforcement corruption, and bribe to avoid filing criminal charges.[9] Because of the sensitivity of public corruption investigations, an investigation can only be opened by authority of the Special Agent in Charge and only after coordination with the U.S. Attorney's Office.[9]
  • Corporate Fraud and Securities and Commodities Fraud: Formed after the Enron scandal to address frauds that affect the United States' financial sector[9] and to prosecute Security and investment fraud matters, also the program is designed to prosecute insider frauds brought by charging executives who used accounting frauds to "cook the books" to meet earnings expectations.[9]
  • Health Care Fraud: Deals with heal care fraud through multi-agency coordination with the IRS, FDA, Postal Inspection Service, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, and Department of Defense, Office of the Inspector General.[9]
  • Financial Institution Fraud: aims to "identify, target, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations and individual operations engaged in fraud schemes which target the United States' financial institutions,"[9] particularly in the area of check fraud, mortgage fraud, and identity theft. Additionally seeks to "identify, undertake and promote prevention measures, where available, to reduce the opportunity for fraud to take place."[9]
  • Money Laundering: deals with money laundering and target subjects who use various schemes to attempt to legitimize the proceeds of unlawful activities.[9]
  • Awareness of National Security Issues and Response (ANSIR): Buffalo, like all FBI field offices,[9] has an ANSIR program, which aims to "provide information to those who are the targets" of "theft of U.S. technology and sensitive economic information by foreign intelligence services and competitors."[9] It gives "unclassified national security threat and warning information to U.S. corporate security directors and executives as well as other law enforcement and government agencies on a regular basis.[9]
  • Other Frauds: Investigates a host of other fraud matters, including insurance frauds, telemarketing, mail and wire fraud, government program fraud, bankruptcy fraud, environmental crimes and antitrust matters.[9]

Specialty programs

Buffalo FBI SWAT officers in a training exercise
Evidence Response Team patch

The Buffalo Field Office maintains two specific Specialty Programs.[18]

  • Sniper, Medical, Communications, and Negotiations.[18] Members of the team are selected from among top officers at the Buffalo Field Office. Each must pass a tryout focusing on physical fitness, firearms skills, decision-making under stressful conditions, and ability to function well in a team environment.[18] New members of the team (termed operatives) are placed on a probationary status until specific criteria are met and they become full members of the team. Weapons used are standard across all FBI SWAT teams and include the MP-5/10 submachine gun, the M4 Carbine assault rifle, the Glock 22 semi-automatic pistol (.40 S&W caliber), and a variety of other weapons.[18]
  • Evidence Response Teams (ERTs): The Buffalo Field Office has three Evidence Response Teams[18] composed of Special Agents and Professional Support Employees. Each of the three teams is made of eight members each member of an ERT team is specially trained in crime scene management and investigation and in evidence collection and processing.[18] Each of team is tasked with conducting crime scene investigations, performing specialized searches of crime scenes, and acting as a liaison between the Buffalo Field Office and the FBI Laboratory.[18] The ERT is generally only deployed for crimes that fall under federal jurisdiction but does assist local law enforcement agencies for state and local crimes when requested.[18]

Rochester Resident Agency

The Rochester Resident Agency is responsible for all FBI investigative programs in the nine easternmost counties of the Field Office's territory (about 5,300 square miles (14,000 km2) with an estimated 1.25 million residents). It is based in

  • Official website
  • Rochester Resident Agency Official Webpage
  • Buffalo Cyber Task Force Website

External links

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See also

The territory covered by the Resident Agency includes 75 miles (121 km) of Lake Ontario shoreline and ranges from industrial areas of downtown Rochester to large agricultural areas in outlying counties. The area is bisected from north to south by the Genesee River and from east to west by the Erie Canal and the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90). Rochester is home to several large companies, including Eastman Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, and Xerox.[19]


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