The U.S. Marshals Service has lost track of thousands of encrypted two-way radios in the past two years, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Several marshals have expressed concern about the prospect of criminals getting hold of the missing radios and using them to gain intelligence on law enforcement activities.

A spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service said that "poor record keeping" was to blame for the inventory shortfall, as opposed to an actual loss of equipment.

U.S. Marshals are responsible for protecting federal courts and judges; tracking, pursuing, and apprehending fugitives; and administering the federal witness protection program.

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