Often considered the last wild state of the union, ATF Agents in Alaska based out of their Anchorage field office are there to intervene when criminals breach federal gun laws. There is no better example of what ATF operations in Alaska are all about than the recent case involving trafficking of several fully automatic machine guns – one of which had a silencer – along with the illegal sale of polar bear hides and walrus tusks, which in themselves fetched a price of nearly $25,000.
There are no dull days for the ATF in Alaska, as agents find themselves more often investigating violent drug cartels that commit crimes with illegal firearms than wildlife trafficking violations.
Requirements and Qualifications for ATF Jobs
The requirements for ATF careers in Alaska are the same for prospective ATF Agents across the country. Candidates with good grades and a bachelor’s degree in the following subjects will be well prepared:
- Criminal Justice
- Law Enforcement
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Political Science
Substituting three years of experience in the fields of law enforcement and criminal investigations can be acceptable in lieu of a bachelor’s degree, however an agent’s salary and rank will be diminished without post secondary education.
Applicants also need to meet some other basic requirements to apply for ATF jobs as they become available in Alaska:
- Have the ability to obtain a top secret security clearance
- Be between the ages of 21-36 with some exceptions for veterans and federal law enforcement
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Be a US citizen
Advanced ATF Agent Training
After being hired, new agents will have the opportunity to complete advanced training for their new ATF careers. This begins with three months spent at the Criminal Investigators Training Program where agents will learn:
- Crime scene management
- Federal court procedures
- Advanced driving techniques
- Witness and suspect interviewing
Next comes 15 weeks in Special Agent Basic Training which includes instruction in:
- Ammunition and firearms identification
- Field operations and undercover techniques
- Close quarter defensive and offensive measures
- Strategies in detecting firearm trafficking
Working as an ATF Agent in Alaska
Prospective agents can get a sense of what ATF jobs in Alaska are like by looking at some of the Bureau’s recent busts.
Agents recently busted several Fairbanks residents on charges relating to a murder-for-hire plot targeting federal officials including a judge. Those arrested are part of the deceptively named Alaska Peacemakers Militia, which ATF Agents were able to infiltrate with an informant. Agents gathered enough evidence to secure multi-year convictions against four of the conspirators, including some related to the possession of a fully automatic machine gun.
In a separate case, ATF Agents arrested six individuals on charges relating to their involvement with armed drug trafficking. Powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and oxycodone pills were among the drugs the gang distributed on nearly 30 occasions throughout Fairbanks. Unique to this operation was the fact that those accused attempted to make their drug profits appear to be legitimate by posing as musicians and agents involved with a record label for local artists, which they had also created as part of their scheme.