FLINT (WWJ) – The FBI is now investigating the contamination of Flint’s drinking water.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit says federal prosecutors are working with a multi-agency investigation team on the water contamination matter — including the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division.

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“The FBI has a lot of advantages when conducting an investigation,” said WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton. “First of all, they are used to multi-agency investigations — and we’ve seen a number of them in Detroit over many years. Next, should they discover criminal activity, they have the advantage of the grand jury system, which is a good investigative tool without a lot of public scrutiny. And finally, the federal government has virtually no time limit to make its conclusions.”

The FBI investigation is separate and apart from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s investigation into possible state law violations.

“The investigation could very well focus on both civil and criminal federal issues in Flint,” said Langton.

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Flint switched its water source from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River in 2014 to save money while under state financial management. The river water was not treated properly and lead from pipes leached into Flint homes. The city returned to Detroit’s water system in October while it awaits the summer completion of a separate pipeline to Lake Huron.

Tests have shown high lead levels in some Flint children.

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