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FBI, Army join Arlington National Cemetery probe

Wednesday - 6/29/2011, 4:18pm  ET

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The mishandling of remains at Arlington National Cemetery is now the focus of a federal criminal investigation.

A spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigations Command said at a press conference Wednesday that a broad joint investigation with the FBI is underway.

The Army CID has an ongoing investigation into possible criminality that includes the burial of eight sets of cremated remains in one location at the cemetery, improper burial reservations and possible contract fraud.

Spokesman Chris Grey also made it clear the investigation is focused on past practices at the cemetery.

"It's critical to point out that the investigative activity ongoing today does not include the current administration," he says.

He adds that they will go where the investigation takes them.

A federal grand jury in Alexandria is currently looking at the allegations of irregularities that came to light last year.

Prosecutors are looking into possible contracting fraud and falsification of records, and they're calling witnesses to try to determine who knew about the misplacement and misidentification of remains, and whether it was criminally covered up.

The Washington Post reports the FBI and Army have been investigating for at least the past six months. Sources say charges are not imminent, and it's not clear whether any will be filed.

WTOP's J.J. Green and Neal Augenstein contributed to this report.

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