Criminal Justice News

Thursday, August 02, 2012


 FRANCISCO – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today announced the arrival of Joseph M. Riehl, as the new special agent in charge (SAC) of the San Francisco Field Division. He will direct the investigative activities of the law enforcement agency responsible for enforcing federal laws and regulations involving firearms and explosives within an area encompassing the central and northern portion of California and Nevada. Riehl takes the helm with more than 25 years of expertise and insight as a special agent with ATF.

“Our priority is to focus on impacting violent crime and making our neighborhoods safer by identifying and arresting violent offenders,” said Riehl. “We will renew partnerships and forge new working relationships with law enforcement at all levels of government as well as with community leaders and key stakeholders in California and Nevada.”

Riehl joined ATF as a special agent in 1987 and was assigned to the Miami Field Division, as a criminal investigator, where, he conducted and participated in several prominent cases, including bombing investigations which involved fatalities and a significant serial arsonist investigation that spanned throughout the southeast region. In 1994, he served in ATF headquarters as both a project officer in the Firearms Enforcement Division, and an explosives training manager in the Office of Training and Professional Development.

In 1997, Riehl was promoted to resident agent in charge, in the Providence, Rhode Island Field Office, where he lead and oversaw special agents who conducted criminal investigations of violent gang members, firearms traffickers, and individuals who committed explosive violations. As a first line supervisor he cultivated great working relationships with his local and federal counterparts as well as, federal and county prosecutors. Riehl was promoted in 2004, to Assistant Special Agent in Charge, in the Baltimore Field Division, where he guided and supported operations throughout the states of Maryland and Delaware. He launched multi-agency task forces to combat violent crime in the Baltimore area; and served as one of the ATF’s incident commanders on the high-profile Washington D.C. sniper; and the Maryland and Washington D.C., serial arsonist investigations.

In 2005, Riehl served as the Chief, of the Arson and Explosives Programs Division at the ATF Headquarters. He addressed ATF policy and developed initiatives from a national prospective. Riehl assumed the responsibilities of the deputy director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center at Quantico, Virginia in 2011. He coordinated and managed a national effort of law enforcement, military, and intelligence assets to gather and provide intelligence of improvised explosive devices to mitigate threats against the United States and its citizens.

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