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U.S. Customs Official Ousted

Washington — The head of internal affairs for U.S. Customs and Border Protection was removed from his post Monday amid criticism that he failed to investigate hundreds of allegations of abuse and use of force by armed border agents, officials said.

James F. Tomscheck is a 30-year veteran of federal law enforcement agencies. He was given a temporary assignment in another job in Customs and Border Protection, which is the parent agency of the Border Patrol.

FBI Director James B. Comey will assign an FBI agent to replace Tomscheck with orders to be more aggressive at investigating abuse cases, officials said. Senior officials at Homeland Security concluded that Tomscheck had not assigned enough investigators to review hundreds of complaints of abuse and excessive force by Border Patrol agents, said a senior official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Records released last month showed that only 13 out of 809 abuse complaints sent to Customs and Border Protection’s office of internal affairs between January 2009 and January 2012 led to disciplinary action.— Tribune