A Day in the Life: Special Agent in Charge Christopher Robinson

Chris Robinson is the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Miami Field Division. When we interviewed him, he was the Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) but was in an acting capacity as the SAC. We met him early on a Tuesday morning where he was beginning his day at the Miami Field Division office. We followed him as he greeted the staff that where there. Everyone he greeted beamed with a wide smile or chuckled a bit at the jokes. He created such an air of ease and comfort with the staff, it was not hard to see why everyone had nothing but good things to say about him. As we passed a crew of young agents, we asked how he managed to get them to the division office so early dressed in their suits, and one young agent said, wherever he says go, I run there. We eventually sit with him in one of the offices to get to learn a little more about his duties as the head of the Miami Field Division.

Overcoming Challenges

Fulfilling ATF’s mission as well as assisting in other local and federal agencies cases can present a challenge to the Miami Field Division. The type of crimes that occur in the area are unique and require new and fresh ideas to combat them.

Focusing on Objectives

Miami is one of the larger field divisions that ATF has. They cover a vast amount of territory from the mainland to the Caribbean. The Miami office has agents that work every case covering firearms, trafficking, explosives and arson. They partner with other law enforcement agencies and have a strong relationship with High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) which is a cadre of law enforcement agencies focused on areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions.

Combatting Violent Crime

Crime in the Miami area tend to be on the higher side, similar to other cities of that size. There are estimates that violent crime is about 43% higher than the national average. ATF focuses on combatting violent crime and therefore has a strong presence in Miami to help keep those neighborhoods safe. As with other cities that size, crimes vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and the types of crime vary as well.

The Miami Field Division covers both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The types of violent crimes that occur in those areas are different than what is experienced on the mainland. Violent crimes are becoming significant, including those involving fully automatic weapons.

Using Crime Gun Intelligence

ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence Centers (CGICs) serve as intelligence hubs and coordination centers for local, state and federal responses to mass shootings and other major crimes involving firearms. CGICs use cutting-edge forensic science and crime gun evidence to support the investigation and prosecution of violent criminals. CGICs are an interagency collaboration between ATF, law enforcement agencies, forensics labs, academic institutions and prosecutors committed to stopping gun crimes.

Working With Partners

ATF often partners with local law enforcement to carry out our mission of combatting violent crime. Some of our agents will work within local police departments while some of their police or detectives will work within ATF offices.

High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program provides assistance to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States. HIDTA focuses not only on drugs but gang activities, robberies and other long-term cases affecting the Miami area.

ATF also partners with other federal agencies to carry out our mission of combatting violent crime. ATF and FBI have partnered in mass shooting and domestic terrorism events while ATF and DEA have partnered on various drug and firearms trafficking cases. ATF also partners with other federal partners like USMS, HSI and CBP to meet shared goals of reducing violent crime.

Embracing Diversity

Miami is one the most diverse cities in the country. Over 58% of the population was born in a country other than the United States. ATF understands the importance of having a diverse workforce that represents the communities that it serves. This diversity allows ATF to overcome some of the challenges that can be present when dealing with people from diverse backgrounds.

Joining the Team

ATF offers rewarding career paths for people seeking new and exciting opportunities. We recruit talented individuals from a wide range of backgrounds who want to become a part of our strong law enforcement legacy. ATF special agents investigate violations of federal laws and regulations related to the criminal misuse of firearms and explosives, firearms trafficking, acts of arson, and the diversion of alcohol and tobacco products. Working in the Miami Field Division offers a unique opportunity to learn from experienced agents while living in a thriving area with a unique culture.

Last Reviewed July 7, 2023