DSS special agents serving as assistant regional security officer-investigators (ARSO-Is) are at the frontline of conducting transnational investigations and collaborative training with DSS international and foreign partners. These law enforcement officers work to protect U.S. national and border security before threats reach U.S. shores.


As it does each year, the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) punched above its weight in 2019 especially in the areas of overseas investigations and training.

Here is a snapshot of one of their cases in 2019:

Since 2017, the U.S. embassies in the Northern Triangle have been using the DSS-created enhanced gang vetting program, which stops dangerous gang members from manipulating the U.S. visa system to come to the United States. In Guatemala alone, suspected gang member detection has increased 400 percent since the program’s implementation. The ARSO-I team at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City, Guatemala, has been leading other efforts to disrupt transnational criminal networks and illicit activities that affect U.S. border and national security, such as taking down large visa fraud rings and deterring human smuggling operations. The ARSO-I team also regularly supports U.S. law enforcement partners with its investigations and missions. In 2019 alone, ARSO-I Guatemala located and helped return 30 fugitives to the United States. When it comes to combating transnational crime, ARSO-Guatemala is on the frontlines.


U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future