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July 2013


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Fed Judge Clears ex-FBI Agent Pete Norell Jr. of Wrongdoing

By Allan Lengel

An ex-FBI agent who pleaded guilty in 2010 to illegally accessing an FBI computer has been vindicated.

Scott Schwebke of the Orange County Register reports that U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford ruled this month that ex-FBI agent Pete Norell Jr. was “factually innocent” of the misdemeanor charge he pleaded to.

The paper reported that the ruling removes the conviction.

Norell Jr., a veteran agent out of Orange County who was popular among fellow agents, was sentenced to one year probation back in 2010 for illegally accessing FBI records and pressuring someone in 2005 to pay a $500,000 debt owed to an acquaintance and other investors. He resigned from the FBI.

Judge Guilford at the time said he did not believe Norell deserved jail time, but added, “I do remain concerned about people in positions of trust and do think the sentence should reflect that.”

He also ordered Norell, the son of a former Superior Court judge, to 100 hours of community service and a $3,000 fine.


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Comment from pbhayes
Time July 30, 2013 at 11:26 am

If Judge Guilford felt Norell was “factually innocent” at the time the case was brought why did he accept the plea? Norell made a mistake that should have been handled with internal discipline not criminal charges. It was clear at the time that certain people in FBI management were out to get Norell and used this unfortunate circumstance to do so.

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