What specific FBI policy/policies are there that required 29 FBI agents and 17 vehicles (according to Stone's personal account) to be sent for his arrest? Is there any specific policy regarding the number of agents to be sent, depending on the nature of the alleged crime? Or is it determined on a case-by-case basis?

If it is done on a case-by-case basis (which I assume, given the seemingly arbitrary number of agents), then what specifically required 29 agents to be sent in this particular case?

  • 5
    Do you know the division of manpower between making the arrest and executing the search warrant for easily destroyed evidence?
    – DJohnM
    Jan 30, 2019 at 16:42
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    The reason is the content of the indictment. Stone allegedly made threats against another person and is accused of witness tampering. Unfortunately, the question is off-topic here because it's not about government policy.
    – JJJ
    Jan 30, 2019 at 16:46
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    I don't see how it is off topic, the FBI is part of the US government, and it was they who decided to send x amount of agents to arrest someone. Anyways, I updated the title to be more factual and less "opinionated". Jan 30, 2019 at 16:51
  • 3
    The revised version of this question is reasonable. May or may not be answerable with publicly available information, but on topic.
    – Bobson
    Jan 30, 2019 at 18:16
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    I removed my prior comment. This question has been satisfactorily edited to no longer be opinion, speculative, or off-topic.
    – David S
    Jan 30, 2019 at 19:16

1 Answer 1


Googling this question produced good answers, but I'll sum them up here anways.

First and foremost, the use of many agents is not abnormal. From former agent James Gagliono

"In the FBI, we tend to defuse situations by removing the fight-or-flight inclination, via our overwhelming presence. To arrest one, we bring 10. For 10, we'll bring 100," (source)

Especially for such a polarizing figure where, if somehow people knew the arrest was going to happen, there would likely be both protesters and counter-protesters:

"They have the responsibility to not only protect their agents, but the public at large and even the person they are arresting. Often the way to do that is with overwhelming force that would tend to dissuade any resistance." (same source as above)

Stone likely exacerbated fear by posing for pictures armed at a gun range joking about "shooting "commie dogs" and making a "JFK throat shot,"" and saying that if Trump is impeached that "there will be a civil war in this country."(source)

Now Stone is a well known provocateur, and to those who know him it is clear he's just making noise to get people riled up, but the FBI can't justify seeing a man making threats about shooting Americans and predicting a civil war and just say "eh, he's probably joking".

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