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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
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About Seattle Field Division

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Welcome to Seattle Field Division, ATF’s largest geographic division in the country. We cover Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii and Guam. Our dedicated work force is comprised of special agents, investigators, auditors, technicians and support staff.

ATF has the duty to regulate the firearms and explosives industries. Our goal is to ensure that all firearms and explosives are stored, handled and sold in a safe and legal manner. In the Northwest, this includes construction and mining industries who use explosives routinely in their business.

In addition to regulatory functions, the investigative priorities of the Seattle Field Division include firearms trafficking, gang violence, bombings/explosives and tobacco diversion. The modernization of our National Firearms Tracing Center and the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network has contributed to the success of these initiatives. ATF Seattle is committed to reducing violent crime in our neighborhoods and has created a multi-agency Violent Crime Gang Task Force in partnership with state and local law enforcement agencies. Some of our more notable violent crime investigations have involved the Bandidos, East African Posse and Surenos gangs. Seattle is also home to the newest ATF Crime Gun Center.

ATF Seattle proactively investigates violations of federal law pertaining to firearms, arson and explosives. We work jointly with state and local fire departments and police departments in a myriad of complex investigations, to include serial arsons, fatality bombings and domestic/ international firearms trafficking.

We encourage all residents in the Seattle Field Division to be diligent in the fight against crime and to get involved in their communities. For additional resources, information, questions and opportunities - please give us a call. Our phone number is (206) 204-3205.

Douglas R. Dawson


Douglas R. Dawson

Douglas R. Dawson

Special Agent in Charge
Seattle Field Division

Douglas Dawson was appointed Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Seattle Field Division in September 2013. He is responsible for ATF operations in the States of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. Territory of Guam.

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, trafficking of firearms, 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 being named SAC, he served as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) of the Seattle and Denver Field Divisions from June 2004 to August 2013. SAC Dawson has been in law enforcement for over 28 years, including spending 2 years with the Federal Bureau of Prisons before leaving to join ATF. SAC Dawson began his career with ATF in the Los Angeles Field Division in 1987. He has been with ATF for 26 years and has served in various locations and capacities, including as a special agent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as part of both ATF’s Special Response Team and National Response Team, and at ATF National Headquarters as a Project Officer within their Explosives Division, and as a Group Supervisor in St. Louis, Missouri.

SAC Dawson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Political Science from St. Martin’s University in Olympia, WA. Over the course of his career with ATF, he has received numerous Special Act awards for outstanding service.