White Springs, Florida
Bureau of Investigative Services
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is primarily a Regulatory Agency with over sight of a variety of Professions, Occupations, Trades and Programs. The Department is comprised of several Divisions with each Division having program specific regulatory responsibility. The primary objective of the Department is to seek voluntary compliance of appropriate laws governing the activity the individual or business wishes to engage in. When a Division has an issue concerning non compliance or suspect illegal activity they may request the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement to conduct further investigation.
The Bureau of Investigative Services (BIS) is one of two designated bureaus in the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement and is responsible for the investigation of matters over which the Department has jurisdiction or that occur on property owned, managed or controlled by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
In support of other Divisions duties and responsibilities, our mission is to:
- Ensure compliance of applicable rules and laws governing regulated entities;
- Protect consumers against unfair and deceptive trade practices;
- Protect the state’s diverse agricultural industry from theft and other related crimes;
- Preserve and safeguard the wholesomeness of food and other consumer products.
The Bureau is divided into two operational sections: The Regulatory Investigative Section (RIS) and the Criminal Investigative Section (CIS).
The Regulatory Investigative Section is comprised of non-sworn personnel. RIS is responsible for the enforcement of administrative and civil laws governing businesses and occupations regulated by the Division of Consumer Services. Enforcement activity includes Administrative Actions that range from bringing a violator into voluntary compliance, to issuance of Administrative Fines and Cease and Desist Orders. When in the course of investigation there appears to be criminal violations involved, the case is referred to the Criminal Investigative Section.
The Criminal Investigative Section is comprised of sworn investigators who provided investigative support for all the Divisions of the Department in civil, criminal, and regulatory matters over which the Department has jurisdiction.
The Bureau responsibilities include the enforcement of criminal and civil violations occurring on Department properties, or any crimes involving agriculture such as farms or farm equipment, animals, livestock, poultry, and any crimes involving horticulture, aquaculture, or citrus products.
The Bureau is responsible for enforcement of laws governing consumer issues including illegal Telemarketing operations, Sale of Business Opportunities, Solicitations of Contributions, Sellers of Travel, Motor Vehicle Repair Fraud, Health studios, Dance studios, Pawnshops, and Moving & storage companies.
In addition to these duties, we are engaged in a cooperative partnership with all federal, state, and local agencies in all 67 counties, providing investigative support in all matters over which the Department has jurisdiction. The Bureau is also actively involved in issues relating to Domestic Security and actively participates in all seven regional Domestic Security Task Forces statewide.The Bureau continues to conduct threat assessments of regulated entities affiliated with fertilizer, pesticide, food, petroleum production and distribution points, as well as investigating theft, shrinkage and suspicious activities regarding these materials.
Inter-Agency Support: The Bureau provides support services to include assisting in completion of background investigations for perspective employees; Gathering and dissemination of sensitive information; Investigative support for major cases originating at any of the 23 Interdiction Stations operated by the Bureau of Uniform Services, including matters relating to Cargo Theft; trafficking of narcotics, money laundering and undocumented persons; Assists in coordinating and provides personnel in support of the Domestic Marijuana Eradication program.
Departmental Support: Provide logistical and personnel support to other Divisions conducting inspections of regulated entities for compliance of laws; Liaison for other law enforcement agencies working with the Department; Provide personal protection and armed security services for special events or issues where information suggests hostile environment or aggressive behavior may occur.
Intra-Agency Support: Investigative Services provides support services to other local, state, and federal agencies upon request, or as needed. Support services in this area include staffing for special events such as the Super Bowl; Investigative and technical support; Issues relating to Homeland Security; Actively participation in all seven regional Domestic Security Task Forces.