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'Proliferation' of armed units seen in federal agencies

In late February, four federal agents carrying side arms with a drug-sniffing dog descended on the Taos Ski Valley in what was called a "saturation patrol." 

Authorities were working on tips of possible drug selling and impaired driving in the ski resort's parking lot and surrounding area. 

But the agents weren't from the FBI, ATF or even the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

Rather, the agents represented the U.S. Forest Service. 

"It's one of the untold stories about government," said former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who lives in Taos, is an avid skier and has been a leading critic of the operation that turned up only a few minor infractions. "People don't grasp the size and the scope of these entities and their law enforcement arms." 

It may come as a surprise to many U.S. taxpayers, but a slew of federal agencies -- some  whose responsibilities seem to have little to do with combating crime -- carry active law enforcement operations. 

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