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Tag: Quantico

Retired FBI Agent Thomas Louis Hughes Dies at Age 77

Thomas L. Hughes

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Thomas Louis Hughes, an FBI agent from 1961 to 1986, died last week at this home in Virginia Beach. He was 77.

According to an obituary on the Altmeyer Funeral Homes website, Hughes, since 2003, survived amputations, surgeries, and numerous hospitalizations.

“Through it all, his quiet strength of will and pleasant demeanor inspired all who knew him,” the obit said.

A native of Missouri, Hughes was working on a masters degree when he was recruited by the FBI.

He worked in the FBI Crime Lab and earned his Masters Degree in Forensics Science from George Washington University in 1971.

He was a recognized expert witness in 26 states and taught as an adjunct professor at George Washington University.

The obit said he he was Unit Chief in the Crime Lab; Unit Chief, Forensic Training Unit in the FBI Academy, Quantico; and Unit Chief, Administrative Unit, Laboratory Division.

He is survived by his wife Joan, daughter Kendall Hughes, grandchildren Danika and Landon Brackett, son and daughter-in-law, Craig and Judith Hughes. His son Doug Hughes passed away in 1995.

Memorial Service are set for 11 a.m.Saturday (Jan. 25) at Nimmo United Methodist Church, 2200 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA.

 

FBI Agents Sidelined for More Than Three Years After Charges Were Dismissed Against Them

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

When FBI agents Matt and Katia Litton were arrested in an alleged steroid ring in September 2010, they were shocked.

Sure enough, the charges were dropped two months later.

The couple said they were taking steroids because they were trying to have a baby, the Washington Post  reports.

Still, three years after the arrest, the couple has been all but sidelined at the Washington Field Office and Quantico because an administrative review continues, the Washington Post wrote.

“We’ve been in still water,” Katia said. “There has to be some sort of justice to let people move on.”

The FBI declined to comment on the case.

Everything You Want to Know About the FBI’s Hogan’s Alley

 Hogan’s Alley is a tactical training facility  in Quantico, Va. used by the FBI Training Academy. The 10-acre site provides a realistic training environment for new agents.
 
 
 
 
  
By Larry Wack
Retired FBI Agent

Questions about the name and origin of the FBI’s “Hogan’s Alley” surface often with law enforcement personnel, gun enthusiasts and history buffs.

Within FBI circles, it’s mentioned that the alley obtained its name based upon an 1800s comic strip having the same name.

The comic strip’s alley was in a rough neighborhood and the name fit the “neighborhood” of the FBI’s training area. That’s the short answer.

The longer answer follows the progress of law nforcement training from the 1920s through the 1950s, beginning at Camp Perry, Ohio and ending at Quantico, Virginia.

The Sunday comics edition of “Hogan’s Alley,” had its beginnings in New York City:

“Cartoonist, illustrator, and artist, Richard F. Outcault, was born in Lancaster, Ohio and studied art at the Cincinnati University School of Design. In December, 1890 he married and moved to New York City. In November, 1894, he became the founding father of comic strips with The Origin of a New Species. He then created Hogan’s Alley featuring the immensely popular character, Micky Dugan, later known as the Yellow Kid.”

Debuting in 1895, the Yellow Kid was an Irish urchin living and playing in the rough neighborhood of “Hogan’s Alley” within the sometimes dangerous slums of New York City. Online samples of the Sunday comic show the dilapidated row homes, complete with characters in and out of doorways and windows along with a variety of store fronts,vendors, local thugs and mixed nationalities.

With Outcault* having his original roots in Ohio, it’s not surprising that twenty or so years after the popular comic’s distribution, elements within that state would be the first to adopt the comic’s name. In this case, law enforcement took the lead during the 1920s at Camp Perry, Ohio. According to a 2010 article in the American Rifleman:

“The first reference found with the use of an operational “Hogan’s Alley” occurred at the Nat’l Guard’s Camp Perry, Ohio during the 1920s. The NRA, in close conjunction with the National

Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP), overseer of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), established at Camp Perry the Special Police School in 1926 under the Small Arms Firing School, which included a tactical course called “Hogan’s Alley.” It consisted of makeshift buildings with reappearing silhouettes to simulate urban shoot-outs.” 

Subsequent to the Kansas City Massacre in June, 1933 the FBI entered the “war on crime” with additional firearms acquisition and organized training being at the forefront.  Bureau files show that through the efforts of Hoover Committee Members, Assistant

Director Hugh Clegg, SA Frank Baughman, and others the FBI began training agents in firearms with U. S. Army assistance nationwide. This was before the FBI’s relationship with the US Marine Corps. Clegg, who majored in education, would eventually become Assistant Director of Inspection and Training and would play a key role in the founding of the FBI Academy.

One early firearms expert who assisted with FBI training, and was also familiar with Camp Perry, Ohio was Major Julian S. Hatcher, Ordnance Department, U. S. Army.

Hatcher wrote several books in the late 1920s and mid 1930s about firearms and during the period he was Ordnance Officer and Ordnance Representative for the National Matches at Camp Perry. In writing a “Foreword” to Hatcher’s book in 1935, Firearms Investigation, Identification & Evidence, FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover praised Hatcher mentioning his service as a member of the Bureau’s training school faculty.

 

Importantly, Hatcher’s book, Textbook Of Pi s tol s & Revolvers, (1935) provides us with a visual of the layout and purpose of “Hogan’s Alley” at Camp Perry. He writes: “Something on this general order is found in the so-called “Hogan’s Alley” range which is part of the great Police School conducted by The National Rifle Association at Camp Perry each year. ‘Hogan’s Alley’ consists of several sham buildings erected on the target line, to represent a street in a slum section of a town. There are, of course, numerous doors and windows, and there are chimneys, etc. behind which gangsters might be supposed to be lurking. The officer then walks down the street, with his gun loaded. ……As each figure appears in some unexpected place, the officer fires at it.” 3

 

Read more »

FBI Agent Faces Trial After Shooting His Wife During an Alleged Confrontation

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent has found himself on the wrong side of the law.

A second-degree murder trial is scheduled for Arthur “Art” Bernard Gonzales to begin on Oct. 16, Frederickburg.com reports.

Gonzales, who has been working as a supervisory special agent-instructor at the bureau’s National Academy at Quantico, is accused of fatally shooting his estranged wife at their Stafford County home in Virginia during what he said was an argument.

Gonzales, 43, called 911 on April 19 and blamed the confrontation on his estranged wife, Julie Serna Gonzales, 42.

“My wife just attacked me with a knife and I had to shoot her,” he was recorded telling the Virginia 911 dispatcher. “She cut me on the arm.”

 

FBI Crime Lab in Quantico, Va., Helps Track Down Terrorists Who Used IEDs

Robert Mueller

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A little-known FBI crime lab near Washington played a critical role in convicting two men who helped target American soldiers in Iraq with improvised exploding devices, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammad pleaded guilty to smuggling Stinger surface-to-air missiles and money to terrorists in Iraq from the one place you wouldn’t expect to find jihadists – Bowling Green, Ky.

Lab technicians at the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center in Quantico, Va. found evidence linking Alwan to the use of an IED in Iraq, the LA Times reported.

The lab has processed more than 80,000 IED submissions.

But FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III fears the lab may be hit by budget cuts.

Column: The Unfair Treatment of Man Who Wanted Nothing More Than to Be An FBI Agent

Herman Groman is a retired FBI agent whose work included investigating public corruption and organized crime.

Justin Slaby

 
By Herman Groman
For ticklethewire.com

I’m not one to easily pick up a cause. I’ve seen too many situations when after all of the hype and the dust settles, somehow the “cause” was found to be flawed.

So when I heard about FBI Agent trainee Justin Slaby being drummed out of the FBI training academy at Quantico, Virginia, I was certain after looking into it, there would be more to this story. It would all make sense.

You see Justin Slaby is a former US Army ranger and he served three tours of duty serving his country in Afghanistan and Iraq. He left the military only after his left hand was blown off by a grenade.

His life-long ambition was to become an FBI Special Agent, but with his amputated left hand it seemed unlikely his dream would be realized. Still, he was hopeful.

He got some encouragement along the way from an FBI recruiter he met, and decided as improbable as it might be, he would continue his quest. The first obstacle he faced however, wasn’t his missing hand. He had a state of the art prosthesis and could just about do anything he could before he lost his hand. He had to get a college degree.

So the married father went to college at night full-time and worked during the day. All the while he kept his sights on his dream to become an agent. Eventually, he landed a job with the elite FBI hostage rescue team as a support employee.

Not an easy accomplishment by itself, but he still wasn’t an agent. Fortunately, when it came to firearms, he was an expert shot and he was right handed. But knowing that the FBI firearms training required that some shooting be done with the “weak hand” (in his case his left hand with the prosthesis) he even learned to shoot with the prosthesis for this limited shooting. Eventually, his determination paid off.

After enduring the grueling application process, countless interviews and an extensive background investigation, he was offered a position as an FBI Special Agent trainee at Quantico Va.

Herman Groman

He was where he had dreamed of being since he was boy. Against all odds, he had made it to the FBI Academy. He was doing well in the academics, and the physical part of it was a cake walk given his Army Ranger training.

In firearms training he was doing well, but the technique he developed for shooting with his prosthesis in his “weak hand” wasn’t in conformance established FBI firearms guidelines.

It wasn’t pretty, but he got the job done. After several weeks into the training, he noticed that he would be called out of classes and summoned to the firearms unit. He was tasked to do things that the other trainees were not asked to do.

Things like draw a can of pepper spray and his weapon at the same time and pull  a 250-pound man around with one arm. One of the instructors even callously blurted out to one of his classmates, “What’s next? Guys in wheelchairs?”

Still, he was willing to endure whatever they asked of him in order to accomplish his goal of becoming a special agent.

After a few weeks, in spite of his satisfactory performance, he was dismissed from the FBI Academy because of his unconventional “weak hand shooting technique.”

He formally requested to be reinstated to the academy and his request was denied.

Slaby has filed a federal law suit and the trial is scheduled to begin on Monday July 29th in Stafford Va.

I for one hope he prevails. He has already demonstrated that he has guts, focus, drive and integrity: the qualities that make an outstanding FBI Special Agent.

FBI Agent Christine Oliver Who Helped Lead Probe in Ohio Public Corruption Probe Moving to New Assignment

By James F. McCarty
The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND — FBI Agent Christine Oliver’s introduction to Cleveland, where she would play a significant role in the biggest public corruption case in Ohio history, began inauspiciously.

Before graduating from the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., Oliver and the rest of the class of 1997 participated in the traditional listing of preferences for their first assignments, ranking the nation’s FBI offices from one to 56. A lifelong resident of the East Coast, Oliver ranked the Cleveland office 39th. No classmate received a lower-ranked assignment.

“The only thing I knew about Cleveland was that it was cold and I had never been there,” Oliver recalled last week. “I wanted to work closer to home.”

Oliver feels much differently about the city now as she prepares for an out-of-state transfer. This past week, her last in the Cleveland office, she agreed to talk about her 15 years in Northeast Ohio and her work on the region’s highest-profile investigations of corruption in Cuyahoga County government and elsewhere.

To read full story click here.

Bryant to Head St. Louis FBI Office

Dean Bryant/fbi

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Dean C. Bryant is taking over the St. Louis FBI office.

Bryant, the chief of the Critical Incident Response Group’s Hazardous Devices Operations Section near Quantico, Va., was the senior FBI executive and chairman of the Joint Program Office responsible for coordinating with the interagency and the White House’s National Security Staff.

He started with the FBI in 1991, and was assigned to the Miami division, where he worked public corruption, violent crimes and fugitives.

In 2000, he transferred to the Mobile Field Division’s Monroeville Resident Agency.

In 2003, he was promoted to supervisory special agent in and assigned to the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters.

He was als deployed to Qatar and Iraq in support of the FBI’s mission.

In 2005,  Bryant became the supervisory senior resident agent of the Springfield and Joplin, Missouri Resident Agencies, which are part of the Kansas City Field Office. He was responsible for FBI investigations of all violations in 32 counties within Missouri and Kansas. During this assignment, Mr. Bryant served as the FBI’s deputy on-scene commander in Iraq in support of the Counterterrorism Division.

In 2008, Byant was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office, where he supervised the Aviation, Surveillance, and Technical Programs.