Monday, January 26, 2004

A veteran agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been named to head the ATF’s Office of Field Operations, where he will oversee regulatory and criminal enforcement for 23 field divisions throughout the country.

Michael R. Bouchard, who supervised the ATF’s investigation and apprehension of Washington snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, will also be responsible for oversight of ATF personnel who inspect federally licensed firearms and explosives dealers and manufacturers, and for all criminal investigators focusing on illegal firearms and explosives matters, arson, violent gangs, and alcohol and tobacco diversion.

He will also oversee the resource deployment of the ATF’s National Response Teams, which respond to major arsons and bombings nationwide.

Mr. Bouchard was formerly the deputy assistant director for the ATF’s Strategic Intelligence and Information division.

Mr. Bouchard began his career as a police officer and detective in Connecticut in 1979, moving to the ATF in 1987, where he has served in numerous positions at its headquarters and across the country. He headed the ATF field division in Baltimore, where he was responsible for criminal and regulatory enforcement issues in Maryland and Delaware. He also served as resident agent in charge of the Boston field division, where he handled the investigation into one of the largest arson-for-profit fires in the history of Massachusetts.

As head of the ATF’s Resource Management Branch, he also oversaw the logistics for the Oklahoma City bombing deployment and all church fires in the middle to late 1990s. He headed the Arson Enforcement Branch, served as chief of the Arson and Explosives Programs Division and as director of the Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative.

As a member of the National Response Team, Mr. Bouchard supervised the ATF’s efforts at several major incidents, including the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon.

A native of Connecticut, Mr. Bouchard received a bachelor’s degree in fire-arson investigation from the University of New Haven in Connecticut; and a master’s degree in national-security strategy from the National War College in Washington.

He also serves on the arson and explosives committee with the International Association of Police Chiefs, and previously served on committees with the National Fire Protection Association and the International Association of Arson Investigators.

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