Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, and Homeland Security (D.P.S.)


Division of Criminal Justice and Homeland Security

First Advisor

Keith Cozine

Second Advisor

Bernard Jones

Third Advisor

Cheryl Brown


The transient criminal enterprise progressively evolved through expansion of illicit trafficking pathways throughout the 21st century. Scholars and practitioners share roles and responsibilities in missed opportunities to combat transient criminality. The Intelligence Community’s intelligence process is deficient in timely production and dissemination of their products. Starting with the transient criminality recruitment process, a correlated lack of psychosocial training programs dedicated to countering the transient crime threat exists. This study is rooted in sociological theory. It addresses Homeland Security dilemmas through the theoretical lens of sociology of security (Bajc, 2013) and is enhanced by concepts from Social Identity (Tajfel, 1979), Social Networking (Bajc, 2011), and Chaos (Hodges, 2015) theories. Collectively, these theories fill the literature gaps that exist in explaining the 5Ws of border security law enforcement’s (LE) preparedness to combat transient criminality. This research project incorporates a successive qualitative methodological framework. It selected 20 subject matter experts (SME) from the United States’ (US) border security sector. Border security academics, intelligencers, and LEOs were interviewed to confirm, enhance, and expose existing and new operational gaps that limit border security LE from effectively countering transient criminality. This study discovered that border security practitioners do not exuberate a collective level of confidence in their abilities to fight transient criminality. Their lack of transient crime related training combined with insufficient cohesion through communicating information and sharing intelligence with their border security networks led to lower than optimal confidence levels and reduction of transient criminal activity. Furthermore, this study found that the institutional framework for educating, training, and resourcing the US’ border security tactical forces aids the transient criminal enterprise in illicit profiteering and organizational expansion throughout the Americas. This project concludes with a comprehensive discussion about border security LE’s current posture to employ and deploy their “Triple Cs” (capabilities, competencies, and capacities) against transient criminal activities. It illuminates the needs for enriched agency collaboration efforts. Improvements to training program designs that focus on academics teaching social science concepts, theories, and tactics to border security LE are in demand to increase LE’s effectiveness in proactively identifying potential transient criminal recruits and recruitment centers of gravity.