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Criminal Law/Follow up FBI Liaison procedures


QUESTION: Mr. Tamez,

Thank you once again for your replies to my previous questions regarding FBI procedures for my novel. If I may I would like to ask some procedural questions regarding FBI Liaisons, their duties and possibly some ethical questions.

1)Using a hypothetical scenario, a US citizen is murdered in a foreign country in which the United States has diplomatic ties, thus FBI Legats has jurisdiction in the investigation. If a suspect is deemed by the host country (for this example I'll use France) to also be a US citizen, is the FBI required to arrest that suspect regardless of any evidence provided by the host country? In other words, if the FBI doesn't believe that the suspect could have committed the crime, are they still required to arrest and transfer custody of the suspect to the host country?

2)If the suspect had returned to France on their own and entered the country illegally, can the US remove the suspect from France? I mention the illegal entry since I assume that entering a country legally or not is more "cut and dry" than a murder investigation and I assume that if the suspect did in fact enter the country illegally, the host country could easily place charges on the suspect for illegal immigration. Also I imagine one could not "leave" a country legally if you never "entered" legally thus going through immigration/customs impossible.

Thank you again for your assistance.

Steven B. Raymond

ANSWER: Steven-

First, FBI Legal Attaches (LegAt) are principally legal advisors to the U.S. Ambassador and do not have the authority to unilaterally arrest a U.S. citizen in a foreign country for an offense that occurred in a foreign country.

If the victim is a U.S. citizen, the FBI and assist in an investigation in a foreign country and gather enough evidence to Indict the suspect in a U.S. Federal Court. They will then avail themselves of available treaties to request that host country law enforcement officials arrest the suspect on that Indictment and then extradite him/her to the United States.

The latter half of your question is confusing. If the FBI doesn't believe that the suspect committed the crime, they simply wouldn't pursue a Grand Jury Indictment in the U.S. for the suspect.

Illegal entry into another country is a "local" crime and not under the purview of U.S. law enforcement authorities. Again, that type of offense would be handled by the host nationals, but such an offense would usually allow them to immediately "deport" the subject.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Mr. Tamez,

Thank you again for your response. As a follow up question I would like to clarify the statement in the second paragraph of your reply;

"They will then avail themselves of available treaties to request that host country law enforcement officials arrest the suspect on that Indictment and then extradite him/her to the United States."

As I am understanding, the extradition process is a request, and is not necessarily granted by the host country?

Thank you very much

Steven B. Raymond


Notwithstanding certain treaties, a foreign country can refuse to extradite a person to the United States for any number of reasons.

For example, Extradition Treaty signers Mexico and France will not extradite a person to the United States if he faces the Death Penalty for the crime sought. Others will refuse to extradite a person to the U.S. if the crime charged is not a crime in their country - for example, Canada refusing to send back 'Draft Dodgers' during the Vietnam era.

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Kevin M. Tamez


Kevin M. Tamez serves as one of the most senior and experienced consultants at The MPM Group, Inc. During more than 27 years of both state and federal law enforcement experience, Mr. Tamez held supervisory roles with state law enforcement as well as senior management positions with the U.S. Department of Justice - serving in both domestic as well as foreign posts. In addition to his extensive foreign operational experience, Mr. Tamez is a court adjudicated expert in most Title 18 and Title 21 complex criminal, undercover, and electronic (Title III) intercept investigations. As a senior manager, he is also an authority in most government administrative matters to include Human Resource and Workers’ Compensation issues. Mr. Tamez has broadened his already considerable expertise by authoring various legal reference and inmate advocacy manuals. Mr. Tamez is frequently sought after for his expertise in counseling and preparing convicted law enforcement personnel, politicians, and other “celebrities” for reporting to a federal penal facility.


More than 27-years of both state and federal law enforcement. Uniform patrol, Tactical Operations, SWAT, Detective Bureau (Narcotics), and Uniform Supervision. U.S. Federal Agent (Series-1811), all facets of complex domestic investigations, Special Operations, Paramilitary operations overseas, senior management, strategic planning, etc.

Mr. Tamez has authored several formal "Position Papers" as well as several legal reference manuals to include “The Pre-Release/Post-Release Process for Federal Inmates," “Medical Issues for Federal Inmates,” and “The Administrative Remedy Process for Federal Inmates,” thereby establishing himself as one of this industry’s foremost authorities in BOP procedural and administrative matters as well. In addition to his recent legal reference manuals and other professional publications, Mr. Tamez recently authored the critically acclaimed “The BOP’s Failure to Properly Implement the 2nd Chance Act of 2007” as well as the educational website

Mr. Tamez holds a Bachelor's of Arts Degree and has done graduate work at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Mr. Tamez is a graduate of the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy and both the Basic & Advanced Special Agent courses in Quantico Virginia.

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