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Oct 1, 2019

Tester to FBI: Assign Full-Time Agents to Both Human Trafficking and Indian Country in Montana

FBI received more than $161 million in additional funding for detection, investigation, and prosecution in fiscal year 2019

U.S. Senator Jon Tester sent a letter last week to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray expressing deep concern over the FBI’s decision to reassign the only Montana agent focused on human trafficking.

“I write to express my concerns about the reassignment of the only Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent dedicated to investigating and preventing human trafficking in Montana,” Tester said. “While I fully support and advocate for additional resources for Indian Country, I do not believe this move is appropriate. Instead, I urge the FBI to reassign a full-time agent to human trafficking cases and an additional full-time agent to focus on crime in Indian Country in Montana.”

Tester added, “Splitting an agent’s time between two major law enforcement priorities hinders their ability to fully deliver on either.”

The FBI recently reassigned the only Montana agent assigned to investigate human trafficking to split his time between trafficking and cases involving Indian Country, despite a $161 million increase in funding for detection, investigation, and prosecution of crimes in Fiscal Year 2019. This raised concerns among Montanans that the move could hinder attempts to both combat human trafficking and reduce crime in Indian Country.

Tester has been a leader in the fights to combat human trafficking and end the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) crisis. Last year, he helped pass legislation to bring down barriers that kept law enforcement from arresting and prosecuting criminals who promote sex trafficking online. Tester also introduced bipartisan legislation to help Tribes, law enforcement, and the federal government better collaborate on preventing violence against women in Indian Country.

As a former Chairman and senior member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Tester has taken a three-pronged approach to combating the MMIW crisis by raising awareness, empowering tribes and finding solutions.

The full text of Tester’s letter can be found HERE.

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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