Oklahoma has two Secret Service field offices, one in the capital city of Oklahoma City, and the other in Tulsa, the state’s second largest city. In Oklahoma, the Secret Service is responsible for protecting visiting heads of state and also serves in a law enforcement capacity, investing federal crimes such as counterfeiting.
Counterfeiting is often associated with drug dealing and when Oklahoma City police officers discover evidence of counterfeiting during a drug raid they call in the Secret Service to investigate. That was the case on May 13, 2012 when police arrested two individuals on drug charges but also discovered almost a thousand financial documents such as signed and blank corporate checks. Again on November 12, 2012, police found a large number of counterfeit $5 and $10 bills during a drug raid. A Secret Service spokesperson said their agency investigates about a dozen of these cases every year.
Counterfeiting is not always connected with drug dealing. In July of 2011 the Secret Service cracked a counterfeit check cashing ring that was working out of a hotel near Oklahoma City’s famed National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Six persons were arrested. Court records indicated that the operation cost Oklahoma businesses over $2.2 million.
In September of 2013 Tulsa Secret Service agents collected over a dozen fake
$100 bills. The reason so many of these counterfeit bills are being accepted by businesses is because they were made from genuine $1 bills; therefore, the pens clerks use to reveal fake bills do not work. Agents are working hard to catch the culprits.
Requirements for Becoming a Secret Service Agent in Oklahoma
The US Secret Service only accepts applicants who have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university. Oklahoma has at least a dozen state universities, another dozen state colleges, 18 private and faith-oriented schools and four tribal colleges. In addition to a college degree, applicants are required to have about three years experience in criminal investigations, law enforcement or the military. Other requirements for the job of Secret Service agent include:
- United States citizen
- Between 21 and 37 years of age
- Excellent health and physical condition
- Good character
- Able to qualify for a top secret clearance
Detailed hiring information and online applications are available at the Secret Service employment website. For information about job opportunities in Oklahoma, call either the Oklahoma City (405-272-0630) or the Tulsa (918-581-7272) field office.
A Dark Day in the History of Oklahoma City
On August 19, 1995, homegrown terrorist Timothy McVeigh planted a bomb that destroyed about half of the Alfred P. Murdoch Federal Building, killing 168 people, including 19 young children who attended a day care center on the second floor. The building housed many federal agencies and four Secret Service agents were among the dead, the largest loss in the agency’s history. However, the Secret Service’s Oklahoma City operations center recouped and became even stronger and more dedicated.
Oklahoma City Electronic Crimes Task Force
Oklahoma City is home to one of the 135 electronic crimes task forces that the US Secret Service has established across the country. The multi-agency task force led by the Secret Service includes members of other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as representatives from financial institutions, academia and the private sector. The unit investigates and combats the following offenses:
- Cyber crime
- Computer crime
- Network intrusions
- Online enticements
- Hacking cases
- Website defacements
Cell Phone Forensic Facility at the University of Tulsa
The increase in electronic crimes and the fact that cell phones and other mobile devices have become important containers of valuable evidence prompted the Secret Service to establish a Cell Phone Forensic Facility in cooperation with the University of Tulsa. The lab not only provides forensic examinations of cell phones but is also a research and training resource. The facility’s tools and techniques support the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Special Agent Program as well as the larger law enforcement community. It is considered one of the best places in the world for the retrieval of evidence from cell phones, credit card scanners and GPS units. In 2011, the US Secret Service director and deputy director personally visited the facility and met with students enrolled in the University of Tulsa’s Cyber Corps program.