FBI explains the way tips are processed and their impact on cases

Mayra Moreno Image
Friday, May 5, 2023
How tip to FBI led to arrest Francisco Oropeza's arrest
During the search for Francisco Oropeza, the FBI received more than 170 tips over the course of a few days. Here's how they were processed.

A lot goes on behind the scenes when it comes to processing information tips. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Threat Office Operation Center in West Virginia expedites these tips accordingly, especially when there is a sense of urgency, like in the case of Francisco Oropeza.

During the manhunt for Oropeza, the FBI's call center received more than 170 tips over the course of a few days and more than 4,000 E-tips, or tips submitted electronically.

On the day Oropeza was arrested, it took an hour and a half from when the tip came into West Virginia to when it was analyzed for accuracy and then sent over to Houston for his arrest.

The operation center in West Virginia has employees called "threat intake examiners," who take the calls, interview the tipsters and conduct an appropriate analysis before they pass along the information to the appropriate field office.

In order to expedite tips quickly, they have established a triage protocol that prompts the tipsters to select a number related to a major case.

"(The callers) are able to select an option that especially tells us what they are calling about," Tim Ferguson with the FBI explained.

The FBI said it relies heavily on the public for information, so no tip is ever too small. As for the specifics of the tip or who called in, the FBI says they were not going to release those specific details.

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