DHS Official Has Office Raided, Covered in Crime Scene Tape
The Department of Homeland Security intelligence official in charge of tracking cross-border threats was escorted from his office on Monday by federal police and security after an afternoon search that left his office sealed with crime tape, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the events.
The official in question is Brian Sulc, executive director of the Transnational Organized Crime Mission Center at DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis in Washington. Sulc has been placed on administrative leave. He is under investigation for an alleged security violation, bringing a personal electronic device inside the secure office, where phones and electronic devices are prohibited. He has not been arrested nor charged with a crime.
At about 4:15 p.m. on Monday, three squad cars from the Federal Protective Service — a DHS law-enforcement body tasked with protecting the department and federal buildings — drove into DHS’s northwest Washington complex with flashing lights. The FPS officers joined security on the third floor of the secure building to search Sulc’s office. While they were doing the search, Sulc was escorted out of the building flanked by security and FPS and taken to a different location on the DHS campus for questioning, two sources said.
The office has been sealed shut with crime tape, and evidence seals were placed around the door and across the keyhole so no one can enter.
Sulc is in charge of the office that produces intelligence assessments on border security, the opioid epidemic, and other high-stakes policy issues. Those assessments include intelligence on how fentanyl is crossing into the United States, as well as attempts to identify cartel members and human-trafficking operatives on both sides of the border. They’re used to inform policy decisions at the highest levels of DHS and elsewhere in the Biden administration.
“He is a big deal,” one source with direct knowledge of the search of Sulc’s office. “He does the border, all the big issues and crises. This is why this is all so shocking.”
Sulc is a career official who has held the post since March 2022, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has worked for DHS since September 2008.
Sulc did not respond to emails, calls, texts, or voice messages left on his home and cellphone numbers. His work-cellphone voice mailbox was full, and he did not respond to a LinkedIn message.
Asked about Sulc, a DHS official tells Rolling Stone: “DHS is committed to ensuring all operational security protocols are followed and is conducting an inquiry into a reported security incident. DHS will not comment on ongoing internal investigations. DHS conducts its national security mission with adherence to the highest standards.”
On Sulc’s LinkedIn, he describes the mission center as the lead program that prepares all-source assessments for the DHS secretary, the department’s daily intelligence briefings. His profile says in his current role he “prepares strategic assessments on transnational organized crime, border security and terrorist travel threats for DHS operational and policy components, for senior customers in the intelligence community and state, local, tribal and private sector stakeholders in the homeland security mission.”
Sulc testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security on March 18, 2022, on his office’s role in the Biden administration’s National Drug Control Strategy team to combat the opioid epidemic. Sulc reports to Ken Wainstein, the DHS Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis. Wainstein reports to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who is scheduled to testify Wednesday morning before the House Homeland Security Committee in a hearing titled, “A Review of the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request for the Department of Homeland Security.”
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