Agents from ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) investigate major federal crimes in Missouri. They range from large-scale white-collar crimes such as document fraud and the sale of counterfeit goods to drug trafficking and child pornography.
Missouri’s location in the central U.S. along with its extensive highway systems has made it a major transshipment point for drugs moving to and from the West, Midwest, and Eastern parts of the US. Both St. Louis and Kansas City are two of the four primary drug market areas in the Midwest. In addition, Springfield is a distribution center for drugs throughout Missouri.
Both drug trafficking and abuse contribute to high levels of violence in the state, as even street gangs in the larger cities have become intimately involved with the drug trade. The trafficking and abuse of methamphetamine is a particular problem in Missouri and consumes much of the resources of both local and federal law enforcement agencies.
ICE Agent Job Requirements
ICE is highly interested in hiring veterans, who may qualify to be exempt from the requirement that applicants be younger than 37.
Applicants who have law enforcement or experience conducting criminal investigations can use their background to substitute for part of ICE’s rigorous educational requirement.
ICE specifies that special agent candidates complete a high level of education. This can be a year of graduate study or a bachelor’s degree in which the applicant has met one of several standards. This can include one of the following:
- Having a high GPA for the whole period of study or the final two years:
- A B in all courses
- A B+ in courses for the major
- Having been elected to a national honor society
- Ranking in the top third of their class
After having undergone a complete background check, recruits undergo 22 weeks of training in Georgia at the Federal Law Enforcement Center. There, they learn how to become an ICE agent by taking academic courses, becoming highly physically fit, and learning to use firearms.
Residents of Missouri who want more information about careers with ICE should contact the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the state who is located in Chicago. This SAC can be reached at 630-574-4600.
Missouri ICE Activities
Special agents of ICE make a significant dent in the criminal activities that take place in Missouri. Some of their successes from 2013 are shown below.
ICE agents worked with those of other federal agencies and local authorities to disrupt a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy that was operating from Kansas City. In addition to being a drug trafficker, one of the conspirators was also a felon in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to thirty years in federal prison for his role in the conspiracy.
In another case, a restaurant manager from Branson was charged with possessing a large quantity of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it, along with illegally possessing several firearms.
As part of their international efforts to track down child predators, ICE agents in Missouri identified a number of child pornographers and brought them to justice. In one case from August, a man from Stanberry received a 70 year sentence for producing child pornography that was described as unusually vicious. He had also been actively trading images and videos of child pornography.
Along with a number of federal agencies and local authorities, ICE investigated a ring of people for issuing over 3,500 licenses to illegal aliens from the Department of Revenue office in St. Joseph. They provided Social Security cards and birth certificates to illegal documents for a large fee and are thought to have received over $5 million. Three residents of Missouri were sentenced in federal court for their role in this conspiracy.
ICE works jointly with the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agency to stop the sale of counterfeit goods in the U.S. A furniture import company based in Springfield was sentenced for importing thousands of lamps from China that had counterfeit Underwriters Laboratories (UL) labels. Over 5,000 lamps were seized from the company.
In an unrelated case, a man from Springfield pled guilty to a number of charges relating to his efforts to sell counterfeit DVDs imported from Hong Kong. In 2013 alone, he purchased and received over 22,000 of these items.