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Old 02-21-2020, 08:04 AM   #139
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Default So Who Ends Up in Charge?

As far as I can determine, there are three law enforcement agencies with the most realistic claim to the role of lead agency in an investigation that covers both the ambush of law enforcement officers transporting 'Gwen Delvano' and the incident aboard the container vessel Aqueronte, as well as any criminal conspiracies that might lie behind these acts of violence. So far, the evidence strongly supports a human trafficking operation and money laundering that might be linked to other criminal activity, but anything else is conjecture.

The three agencies with the most realistic claim to being the primary agency and receiving command of any joint task force are: the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (under ICE) and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

ATF, CBT, the Secret Service, USCG, Houston PD, Galveston PD, Dallas PD and several nearby Sheriff's Offices will intimately involved, but none of them had a realistic claim (or ability, in the case of the smaller Sheriff's Offices or PDs) to being the lead agency.

Due to the involvement of Deputy US Marshal Natalie Garza and the status of the Marshals Service-led Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force (GCVOFTF) as the entity responsible for serving the warrant aboard Aqueronte, the US Marshals actually have a very strong claim. I also rolled a critical success for their unnamed senior bureaucrat back in Washington. This means that the US Marshals could actually make a case that the GCVOFTF should continue to be the primary unit concerned with the case, led by a Supervisory Deputy US Marshal.

However, that isn't what they really want, as they don't really have the investigative manpower to handle an investigation of this magnitude. Instead, a heavy dose of any credit will be given to the GCVOFTF and the US Marshals, not to mention that the task force, under US Marshal leadership, will continue to serve warrants based on the results of the ongoing investigation.

To that end, the US Marshals Service are sending detachments from their Special Operations Group (SOG) to the Dallas and Houston areas, as well as calling up all DUSMs belonging to Special Response Teams in any nearby office.

The logistics people for the mysterious Consortium in Dallas and Houston will have warrants out on them as soon as the lawyers can transcribe what Raul Sandoval shared with the PCs and the US Marshals will lead that manhunt, but won't really be concerned with investigating the crime scene or doing field interviews, forensics accounting or all the other vital tasks that the US Marshals don't have enough personnel for.

As for the investigation itself, there will be a massive joint task force incorporating federal, state and local law enforcement. And I rolled for who would end up commanding it...

Texas Department of Public Safety won.
FBI had a margin of only 1 less on the QC.
Then after that, the Homeland Security Investigations only had 1 less on their QC margin.

These results are close enough so that the PCs' preferences can actually change who ends up in charge, especially given that Lucien Lacoste has dealt extremely competently with the initial response aboard Aqueronte, deflecting any anger and accusation and getting ASAC Ed Michel (in charge of the FBI contingent until someone more senior is sent) decisively on his side.

Hmm... I think I will have Lacoste roll a default Politics check to determine if he realizes that his optimal course of action is accepting that the FBI will appoint the deputy commander of the task force if they don't get the command and he should direct all his energies to ensuring that this person is ASAC Ed Michel and not someone more senior.

If Lacoste can make Michel look indispensable enough in the hours until Washington gets around to deciding on a new special joint task force, as well as showing Michel managing relations with local police well enough, it would be very hard for The Powers That Be in Washington to sideline him from the investigation.

We'll call that an application of Politics that can default from Savoir-Faire (Police) instead of IQ, at the normal -5, so Lacoste succeeds on his skill check.

So, I'll need a Texan law enforcement officer to put in charge of the task force that will handle the investigation. This will be someone friendly to Kessler and his people, because the PCs' roll against Patron succeeded.

It shall be Regional Director Jason Taylor, recently promoted to command all TxDPS assets in Region 2, which includes Houston and Galveston, and before that a long-time Texas Ranger and the Major of Company A in Houston, responsible for the area which, again, includes Galveston.

Jason Taylor is actually someone who can be reasoned with when it comes to resolving an investigation involving the supernatural, because while he doesn't quite understand everything about it, he's been convinced by some of his best investigators that many murders and other serious crimes involve aspects which can't really be written about in reports, because nobody would believe them. So, stroke of luck there.

I'll also need a senior Homeland Security Investigation figure. This one will be resentful that they are not the lead agency on something that is clearly a human trafficking case, which is their core competency. They'll also dislike Lacoste specifically, because he's reckless and clearly should have shared his information with ICE before boarding the Aqueronte.*

Edit: I'm considering having her be a fictional Special Agent in Charge dispatched from headquarters, by the name of Valeria Sanders (b. August 16, 1974; Chugwater, Wyoming).

*And because I rolled a very low Reaction roll for them.
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 02-21-2020 at 11:13 AM.
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