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September 2012


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Sen. Grassley Demands Answers About an Undercover FBI Agent Accused of Spending Taxpayer $$ for Prostitutes in Philippines in Gun Trafficking Sting

By Allan Lengel

A controversy over allegations that a California undercover FBI agent paid for prostitutes for himself and targets of a gun trafficking sting in the Philippines seems to be picking up some steam.

The latest: Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Ia.) fired off a letter to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller on Wednesday demanding answers. was first to report on the allegations that were made by John Littrell, a deputy Federal Defender in Southern California. The office filed a motion in Los Angeles District Court on Sept. 17 asking the judge to dismiss the gun trafficking case against three defendants because of egregious governmental misconduct.

The office alleged that the the agent paid for prostitutes for himself and the three defendants, and that one brothel was raided by Philippine authorities who found underaged girls and signs of sex trafficking.


In his letter Grassley wrote:

 In light of this information, I ask that you provide a briefing to my staff on this issue as soon as possible. I also request that you come prepared to answer the following questions:

1) Of the $14,500 requested by the undercover agent for reimbursement, how much was the agent actually reimbursed by the FBI?

2) Was the undercover FBI agent the case agent for this weapons-trafficking investigation? If not, did the case agent authorize the expenses at the brothels in this undercover operation?

Sen. Grassley/official photo

3) Did any other U.S. law enforcement or embassy personnel visit these brothels with the undercover FBI agent? Please list each agency, the number of employees involved, each individual’s role, and whether they were a recipient of the services for which reimbursement was requested of the FBI.

4) Was any of the activity for which reimbursement was requested recorded by wire or video surveillance? If so, which activity? Please provide all recordings.

5) What other U.S. law enforcement or embassy personnel participated in the Philippines in the overall weapons-trafficking investigation? Please list each agency, the number of employees involved, and their role.

6) Was the first-line supervisor of the undercover FBI agent and/or case agent aware of the undercover agent’s visits to brothels? What other supervisors were informed?

7) When and how did FBI headquarters become aware of these allegations against this FBI agent working in the Philippines?

*What actions were taken by FBI headquarters to investigate these allegations?

9) Has discipline been proposed for any FBI employees (agents or other personnel) in connection with this? If so, please describe the circumstances and procedural standing of the proposed discipline.

10)When did FBI supervisors become aware that minors may have been involved at these brothels?

11) Did the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) running the undercover operation receive notification of and/or authorize the undercover activity at the brothels?

12)Was the USAO running the undercover operation provided notes or other materials (e.g. 302’s) regarding the events in question? If so, please provide these documents.

13)Is the FBI aware of any other instances of similar behavior occurring by other agents stationed around the world? If so, please describe them.

14)How many FBI employees (agents or other personnel) have been disciplined in the last eight years, including those terminated or voluntarily separated from the FBI, for soliciting, hiring, procuring the services of, or other inappropriate behavior involving prostitutes? Include all instances in which the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) reviewed allegations that FBI agents were involved with prostitutes, including a detailed summary of the allegations, the findings of investigation, the pay grade and rank of the employee, the proposed punishment  (administrative or otherwise), the location where the incident(s) occurred, and whether the employee is still employed by the FBI.

15) How many FBI employees (agents or other personnel) have been terminated by the FBI following an investigation or allegations of inappropriate involvement with prostitutes?

16)How many FBI employees (agents or other personnel) remain employed by the FBI following an investigation or allegations of inappropriate involvement with prostitutes?

Finally, please also provide the following documents:

17) Any case notes or briefing plan regarding the undercover activity, including how the undercover activity was monitored or details on surveillance by agents in the brothels.

18)All emails pertaining to FBI becoming aware of any of the above allegations.

19)All emails demonstrating the FBI’s response to the above allegations.

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