Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

January 11, 2011


Contact: ATF Public Affairs Division

(202) 648-8500

ATF Names Forensic Scientist Czarnopys to Lead Forensic Labs

WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today announced the creation of a Senior Executive Service (SES) position to lead the forensic science efforts at its world renowned National Laboratory Center (NLC), within the Office of Science and Technology (OST). Gregory P. Czarnopys, deputy director, ATF Laboratory Services, assumes the title of deputy assistant director, Forensic Services, where he will continue to direct ATF’s forensic science laboratories in Atlanta, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and oversee the Fire Research Laboratory. Along with these duties, Czarnopys will be responsible for ATF’s financial investigative services, which conduct forensic audits in support of ATF investigations. The NLC was previously led by Michael Etheridge, former director, NLC, who recently retired.

ATF’s creation of this new position and selection of Greg Czarnopys demonstrate ATF’s commitment to excellence in its forensic science investigations, said Kenneth A. Melson, acting director, ATF. Greg’s leadership and knowledge will enhance ATF’s mission within the forensic science community.

Greg Czarnopys is a well-respected forensic scientist whose work has solidified ATF’s reputation as a leader in the field, said Rick Holgate, assistant director, OST. He successfully led the reaccreditation of ATF’s Washington laboratory and DNA section and is in the final stages of the accreditation process for all ATF laboratories.

Czarnopys, a forensic chemist and 21-year ATF veteran, has dedicated himself to scientific methods that advance ATF’s ability to solve violent crime and provide unbiased expert testimony in criminal proceedings. He provided forensic expertise following the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993; the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City; the Atlanta abortion clinic bombings between 1996-1998; the Washington, D.C., serial arson case; the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; and the D.C. sniper case in 2002.

Czarnopys is the acting vice-chair of the Council of Federal Forensic Laboratory Directors, and a member of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He also served as the Interpol representative for the International Forensic Science Symposium.

ATF’s forensic science laboratories evaluate evidence obtained in criminal investigations that involve alcohol, tobacco, firearms, explosives and suspected arson. The laboratories offer services regarding firearm and toolmark examinations, fire debris analysis, explosives
examinations, alcohol and tobacco diversion, DNA analysis, fingerprint examination, questioned document examination and the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).

ATF laboratories have a distinguished history that dates back to 1886 and are staffed by more than 100 professionals who work in four laboratories in three cities. The NLC, which opened in 2003, is the centerpiece of ATF’s Laboratory Services Division.

In Fiscal Year 2010, ATF’s laboratories accomplished the following:

  • Processed 3,463 forensic cases
  • Provided 220 days of expert testimony in court
  • Spent 260 days at crime scenes
  • Provided more than 650 days of training to federal, state and local investigators and examiners.

ATF fact sheets: