History - Catching Counterfeiters:
Robertson must have turned to the next investigation. a case against
against a gang of counterfeit coiners, with some trepidation.
Nonetheless, the necessity of
breaking up this band convinced him, once again, to dispatch his
pursuit. In Robertson's view. those who made and passed counterfeit
coins were "the most-secret and successful perpetrators of crime in the
country." Arresting them became his principal goal.
Fortunately. in this instance, the Department authorized the Marsha to
his Deputies their out-of-pocket expenses; but it refused to pay the
their time and trouble Shortly afterward. Marshal Robertson pursued
counterfeiters into Virginia and Kentucky, working assiduously to rid
Ohio of its large population of coneymen.
The Marshals in Pennsylvania and New York were also plagued with bogus
money. The problem continued to grow, overwhelming the limited time and
resources available to the Marshals. In the mid l860s, Congress finally
recognized that the ease of counterfeiting money demanded special
attention to prohibit it. In 1865, it created the Secret Service,
placing it under the Secretary of the Treasury, as the federal
government's first investigative agency.
Originally, the Secret Service was too small and too disbursed, its
too limited, to cope with the problem by itself. Marshals continued to
assist in the investigations and in making the arrests. But the
creation of the Secret Service effectively transferred responsibility
for catching counterfeiters from the Marshals to the new agency. This
transfer freed the Marshals to concentrate on other areas of law
enforcement and court operations.
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