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A Day in the Life of a CAST Alum: Monica Mapel, Criminal Justice Sciences

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The College of Applied Science and Technology’s “A Day in the Life of a CAST Alum” series is designed to shed some light on how CAST alumni spend their days. Our alumni will tell you that every day is different, and this series aims to peek into an alum’s world.

Criminal Justice Sciences alumna Monica Mapel ’87 has been a special agent with the Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), since 1987 and after creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003 with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

HSI, the primary investigative agency within DHS, is responsible for investigating a broad range of domestic and international activities arising from the illegal movement of people and goods into, within and outside of the United States. HSI enforces a diverse portfolio of federal laws, more than any other federal agency. HSI’s mission is to investigate, disrupt, and dismantle terrorist, transnational, and other criminal organizations that threaten or seek to exploit the customs and immigration laws of the United States.

Mapel has 30 years of federal law enforcement investigative and leadership experience. She is the acting deputy special agent in charge for HSI San Antonio. HSI San Antonio Office encompasses two federal judicial districts, 58 counties, and over 500 miles of international border between Mexico and the United States with the responsibility for some of the busiest and most challenging ports of entry into this country.

11:30 p.m.—Respond to notification of duty call to support a surveillance of suspected narcotics into the interior. Provide oversight and guidance. Notification and coordination of multijurisdictional offices.

1 a.m.—Fell asleep in my living room watching television, so I am woken by getting my face licked by my two German shepherd rescue dogs, Sherlock “Sherly” and Dr. Watson “Watty.”

5 a.m.—Receive emails from headquarters’ operations centers on daily reporting of significant events and enforcement activities.

7 a.m.— Receive update to surveillance and close that out.

8 a.m.—Accept briefing request of 18 international government and law enforcement visitors.

9 a.m.—Arrive at the office. Receive update from our internal peer support team on our support for injured officer. Grab a Diet Coke for fuel!

10 a.m.—Respond to taskings from headquarters soliciting volunteers for international temporary details. Review a U visa submission for certification.

11 a.m.—Prepare for Alamo Area of Chiefs of Police presentation regarding immigration fraud schemes.

12 p.m.—Review assessment and cost-benefit of a seizure of real property that was purchased with proceeds of criminal activity (criminal and administrative forfeiture).

1 p.m.—Coordinate interdiction of private aircraft arriving from Mexico suspected to be smuggling OxyContin.

2 p.m.—Respond to request for information from public information officer regarding press inquiry of an enforcement action.

3 p.m.—Approve travel authorizations, vouchers, and time card submissions for personnel. Respond to request for assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on suspected human smuggler.

4 p.m.—Confer with ICE embedded attorney on legal decisions and rulings affecting enforcement and arrest of criminal alien.

5 p.m.Receive update regarding ongoing enforcement activity of transnational gang activity.

6:15 p.m.—Walk down the hall to sit in with group supervisor while special agents discuss investigative options for several immigration fraud investigations and counterfeit intellectual properties cases.

7 p.m.—Leave office.

8 p.m.—Respond to headquarters request for updated executive summary of ongoing investigation of counter-proliferation of military items, sensitive dual-use commodities from sanctioned or embargoed countries. Log into authorized laptop and generate updated response in coordination with case agent.

10:30 p.m.—Receive notification of another duty call regarding importation of trafficking of narcotics destined to the interior of the U.S. Coordinate and approve the actions.

11 p.m.—Prepare for quarterly range qualifications by collection assigned weapons and gear.

Got an idea for a future “Day in the Life” story? Contact us!

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