Welcome to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) San Francisco Field Division. Representing one of the twenty-five ATF Field Divisions in the United States, our geographic area of responsibility encompasses Northern California, from the Oregon border to Bakersfield, and the State of Nevada. Our dedicated workforce is comprised of special agents, investigators, forensic auditors, technicians, support staff and contract workers.
ATF is a Federal law enforcement agency within the Department of Justice that is committed to reducing violent crime in our communities. Our close relationships with our State and local law partners include collaborative efforts with police, sheriff and fire investigators, homicide investigators and local and regional bomb squads. These partnerships have created a force multiplier that has proven to be highly successful in reducing violent crime. We protect our neighborhoods from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products.
Explosives and arson enforcement is an integral part of ATF’s overall violent crime reduction strategy. ATF special agents, certified explosives specialists, explosives enforcement officers, certified fire investigators, and forensic specialists are prepared to respond to any explosive or fire scene and routinely work with the local first responders to process the scene, recover, examine and analyze evidence, conduct follow up investigation, and provide expert testimony in court. ATF is charged with the duty of regulating the firearms and explosives industries. We are committed to the goal of ensuring all firearms and explosives are stored, handled, and sold in a safe manner according to law.
One of ATF’s four forensic science laboratories and one of ATF’s three regional Explosives Technology Branch offices are located within the geographic area of the San Francisco Field Division. ATF’s forensic laboratories were the first Federal laboratories to achieve accreditation in 1984 by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). Achieving ASCLD/LAB (ISO) accreditation is a rigorous process for forensic laboratories, requiring extensive review of laboratory examination and documentation procedures used in the examination of evidence.
The men and women of ATF are proud to serve you and our goal of reducing violent crime and protecting our Nation is ever present. If you have a question or have information that may assist us in our mission, please contact us at (925) 557-2800.
Joseph M. Riehl
Joseph M. Riehl
Special Agent in Charge
San Francisco Field Division
Joseph M. Riehl assumed responsibility as the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the San Francisco Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on July 29, 2012. He directs ATF’s operations in both Northern California and the State of Nevada.
ATF is a key law enforcement agency within the U. S. Department of Justice that protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products. The men and women of ATF perform the dual responsibilities of enforcing Federal criminal laws and regulating the firearms and explosives industries to protect against crime, violence, and other threats to public safety.
Prior to this appointment, SAC Riehl served as the Deputy Director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), Quantico, Virginia from April 2011 to July 2012. In this capacity, he was responsible for the oversight of the exploitation of improvised explosive devices as well as the dissemination of the intelligence developed from these devices received from both theaters of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and devices submitted from other countries around the world.
He has served in numerous positions in ATF National Headquarters and in the field including Chief, Arson and Explosives Programs Division, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Baltimore Field Division, Resident Agent in Charge, Providence Field Office, Boston Field Division and a Project Officer in the Firearms Enforcement Division and Explosives Training Manager in the Office of Training and Professional Development.
He began his ATF career in the Miami Field Division’s Jacksonville Field Office, as a criminal investigator. Before joining ATF, SAC Riehl taught for three years in the Broward County School System in South Florida.
SAC Riehl has been involved in several significant investigations during his career. These include his role as an incident commander in the Washington, DC, Region Sniper and the Maryland/Washington, DC, serial arsonist investigations. For his efforts in these cases, as well as other high-profile cases, he has received numerous awards and commendations throughout his career, including the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement for his leadership role in a serial arson investigation that resulted in the arrest of an individual who was responsible for over 300 fires, two of which resulted in fatalities.
In June 2005, SAC Riehl obtained a Master of Science degree in National Security Resourcing at the Department of Defense, National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He is a graduate of Millersville University of Pennsylvania and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, which he earned in 1984. He is a native of Pennsylvania.