For Immediate Release
ATF’s National Response Team Arrives in Kenosha, Wisconsin to Assist Investigating Arson Cases
Milwaukee, WI. — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Milwaukee Field Office, the Kenosha Police Department, the Kenosha Fire Department, the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin are seeking to speak to persons of interest who could advance the arson investigations of over 20 businesses and approximately 12 government owned vehicles that were set ablaze between August 24 and 25 in Kenosha.
Members of the specialized National Response Team (NRT) of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with Special Agents from the Chicago Field Division of ATF, arrived in Kenosha Tuesday at the request of local authorities to work alongside various local, state and federal law enforcement partners to assist in the investigation of many of the fires set during the recent civil unrest in the Kenosha downtown area.
“We welcome the additional resources of ATF’s National Response Team, as they work in coordination with our officers to review surveillance video and follow leads to identify persons of interest," said Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis. "We now need the public's help to identify and hold these individuals accountable for the victimization of the business owners and members of our community who were affected by these arsons.”
“Partnership is key in investigating these arsons,” said Special Agent in Charge Kristen de Tineo, of the ATF Chicago Field Division, which oversees the Milwaukee Field Office. “The members of ATF’s National Response Team bring specialized talent and resources to assist the local police and fire departments in determining who is responsible for setting these fires. The expertise of the local departments, with assistance not only from the NRT but also the community, will bring resolution to these investigations. We need the public’s assistance in identifying those responsible, so we can bring them to justice.”
The NRT was developed to bring its expertise to local, state and federal investigators in meeting the challenges faced at the scenes of significant explosions and fire incidents at no cost to the state or locals. The NRT consists of three teams organized geographically to cover the United States and can respond within 24 hours to assist law enforcement/fire service personnel in on-site arson investigations. The NRT has been activated to scenes such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Oklahoma City federal building bombing and the Sept. 11, 2001, Pentagon crash site, as well as blasts at explosives and ammunition manufacturing plants, legal fireworks factories and illegal explosive device manufacturing operations. There have been 863 activations since the inception of the NRT in 1978, including assisting law enforcement in investigating the arsons set during the recent civil unrest in Minneapolis and Chicago earlier this summer.
The teams are each composed of veteran special agents who have post-blast and fire origin-and-cause expertise, forensic chemists, explosives enforcement officers, fire protection engineers, accelerant detection canines, explosives detection canines, intelligence support, computer forensic support, and audit support. The teams work alongside local officers in reconstructing the scene, identifying the origin of the fire, conducting interviews, and sifting through debris to obtain evidence related to the fire. Additional resources include technical, legal, and intelligence advisers and a fleet of fully equipped response vehicles strategically located throughout the U.S. to provide logistical support.
Anyone with information on the identities or whereabouts of these individuals, or if you have additional pictures or videos, please contact Kenosha Police Department at 262-605-5203, Kenosha CrimeStoppers at 262-656-7333, or ATF at 1-800-ATF-TIPS (1-800) 283-8477. You may also email information to ATFTips@atf.gov. In addition, you may also submit information anonymously via www.ReportIt.com on the Report It mobile app, available on Google Play or Apple Apps Store. When using Report It, select “ATF – Chicago Field Division” as the reporting agency. Provide as much information as you can relating to the identities and whereabouts of these individuals or upload any videos or photos that may aid in an investigation.