The Federal Bureau of Investigation is the premier law enforcement agency in the United States. According to the official website, The FBI originated from a force of special agents created in 1908 by Attorney General Charles Bonaparte during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt (Brief, 2011). In the early days there were a few federal crimes. The bureau had primarily investigated violations of law that involved national banking, bankruptcy, naturalization, antitrust, peonage, and land fraud.
The first major expansion in Bureau jurisdiction came in June 1910 when the Mann ("White Slave") Act was passed, making it a crime to transport women over state lines for immoral purposes. It also provided a tool by which the federal government could investigate criminals who evaded state laws but had no other federal violations (Brief, 2011). To this day citizens are still indicted with this act. During the next few years the bureau grew to more than 300 agents and 300 support staff.
The 1920’s brought some peculiar challenges to the bureau. Prohibition was in full blast, and the inexperience of all law enforcement agencies only made it worse. Gangsterism was rampant, and public contempt for prohibition made matters almost unbearable. Characters like Alphonse Capone, Lucky Luciano et al. germinated from this situation. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), dormant since the late 1800s, was resuscitated in part to counteract the economic gains made by African Americans during World War I. The Bureau of Investigation used the Mann Act to bring Louisiana's philandering KKK "Imperial Kleagle" to justice (Brief, 2011).
The Hoover era
In 1917, Twenty six year old J. Edgar Hoover, a law school graduate from George Washington U...
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Federal Bureau of Investigation. (n.d.) Ten most wanted. Retrieved October 6, 2011, from
Ramsland, K. (n.d.). Robert K. Ressler: Taking on the monsters. TruTv. Retrieved October 4,
2011, from http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/criminal_mind/psychology/ressler/3.html
Rolph, B. (2011, October 6). FBI claims J. Edgar Hoover wasn’t gay. Instinct Magazine.
Retrieved October 6, 2011, from http://instinctmagazine.com/blogs/blog/fbi-claims-j-edgar-
Theoharis, A. G., Rosenfeld, S., Poveda, T. G., Powers, R. G. (2000). The FBI a comprehensive
reference guide: From J. Edgar Hoover to the X-files. New York: The Oryx Press
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