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Criminal investigation division continues to support Kosovo.

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For the last seven years, Criminal Investigation Division (CID) agents have provided criminal investigation support to Operation Joint Guardian. The 5th Military Police Battalion, Germany, continues to deploy its agents to Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, making up the 515th Military Police Detachment (CID).

The U.S. military presence in Kosovo has slowly declined from the onset of the mission in 1999 when approximately 15 CID agents made up the detachment. Recently, foreign militaries have closed their camps within Kosovo and moved to Camp Bondsteel. As the Kosovo peace talks conclude, it is anticipated that the U.S. presence will decline even further over the next few rotations, eventually resembling the Bosnia mission in size.

The 515th Military Police Detachment continues to adapt to the challenges of conducting investigations throughout Kosovo. Recently, the Kosovo Police Service (KPS) transitioned into conducting all off-post investigations with oversight from the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Police. Off-post investigations involving Kosovo Forces (KFOR) personnel are challenging since the KPS retains investigative authority over the crime scenes. Through joint CID and KPS investigations, Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act prosecutions of Department of Defense (DOD) personnel who commit off-post felonies are being accomplished. This process can be difficult since KPS crime scene technicians collect and analyze evidence. Together with local national victims and witnesses, the technicians may be called to testify in U.S. courts.

Due to the diligence of several rotations of agents from the 515th Military Police Detachment and the European Special Investigations and Fraud Field Unit, numerous local national and American contractors have been implicated in the theft of over one million gallons of U.S. government fuel. Special agents conducted numerous hours of off-post surveillance with the assistance of military police Soldiers, infantry personnel, and other military assets. Through their coordinated efforts, they were able to videotape the transfer of the fuel from military vehicles to civilian trucks so that it could be sold on the local black market. The American suspects are currently being prosecuted in the U.S. court system. The local nationals of Kosovo appreciate the investigative efforts and subsequent prosecutions of DOD personnel, since it shows that even though the DOD personnel are immune from local prosecution, there are consequences for committing crimes while working in Kosovo.

Accomplishing the mission in Kosovo can be challenging. However, according to the special agent in charge, the CID in Kosovo has a "secret weapon"--a local national detailed from the translator's pool in Camp Bondsteel since 1999. This person works directly for the CID office, is fluent in numerous languages, and has many regional contacts. He is frequently recognized while traveling throughout Kosovo and has been instrumental in recovering numerous stolen items throughout Kosovo over the years. He also guides agents in their dealings with the various cultural differences they face while conducting interviews. He was there from the very beginning of the mission and will likely remain associated with CID Soldiers until the mission is complete.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Moss is the special agent in charge of the Friedberg, Germany, CID office and a member of the 5th Military Police Battalion (CID).
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Author:Moss, Eric
Publication:Military Police
Date:Mar 22, 2007
Words:523
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