A Federal Bureau of Investigation regional office has located in Ripon adding to the presence of the State of California Crime Lab.
Both are located behind the Ripon City Hall and police department. The FBI office is actually the consolidation of two separate FBI offices
Supervisory Special Agent from the Sacramento Division and the Ripon Resident Agent, Justin K. Badger were the guest speakers at Wednesday’s noon meeting of the Ripon Rotary Club at Spring Creek Country Club.
Badger noted there are 35 FBI personnel at the North Wilma Avenue office complex serving the region that includes Amador, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties.
He said his agents wear two hats – law enforcement and intelligence – with their mission to protect the citizens and secondly to support the Constitution.
“The guys who work terrorism are the unsung heroes,” he said. “You just don’t hear about them.”
He added that his agents follow up every lead, saying, “We can’t let 911 happen again.”
Badger said contrary to what is seen on television, months and months of work is required plus a judge’s signature on the order before a wire tap can be initiated on a suspect’s phone line. He further explained that agents keep track of populations that self-radicalize as they move from one area to another. He also noted that human trafficking task force is also active in the five counties.
The agent served in Counter Intelligence in the Army and used the GI Bill for college. He recently finished his doctorate in “Interdisciplinary leadership.” He was offered a position by both the Central Intelligence Agency and the FBI. He accepted the FBI’s offer as he said it provided a better chance to remain in the states with his family.
The average applicant to the FBI comes with eight to 10 years of advanced education with a median age of 32 entering the Academy. Time served in the military and knowing a second language also is helpful, he said.
He touched on the wide variety of tasks FBI agents tackle including embezzlement.
An embezzlement case often goes through the FBI channels when the suspect uses electronic transfers – mail fraud or wire fraud – that leave the state of California and can be traced state to state. That makes it a federal offense that often results in a greater penalty than an embezzlement conviction.
Badger said they were welcomed into the community by Ripon Police Chief Ed Ormonde and Lt. Steve Merchant, saying having more law enforcement in the community is always a good thing.
The Wilma Avenue office is not open to the public but residents may contact the office by calling (916) 746-7400 to share tips and set up appointments. Tips may also be sent to the office through tips.fbi.com.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.