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Archive for October 6th, 2020

Iran Ordered to Pay Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson’s Family $1.45B in Damages for His Kidnapping

Robert Levinson disappeared while in Iran.

By Steve Neavling

A U.S. judge has ordered Iran’s government to pay $1.45 billion to the family of former FBI agent Robert A. Levinson, whose 2007 disappearance while on an unauthorized CIA mission remains a mystery.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly last week awarded Iran to pay Levinson’s family $1.35 billion in punitive damages and $107 million in compensatory damages for his kidnapping, Reuters reported Monday.

Some intelligence officials believe Levinson may be dead, but the search for him has never ended. 

“This judgment is the first step in the pursuit of justice for Robert Levinson, an American patriot, who was kidnapped and subjected to unimaginable suffering for more than 13 years,” Levinson’s family said in a statement. 

“Until now, Iran has faced no consequences for its actions. Judge Kelly’s decision won’t bring Bob home, but we hope that it will serve as a warning against further hostage-taking by Iran,” the family said. “We intend to find any and every avenue, and pursue all options, to seek justice for Robert Levinson.” 

Reuters was unable to reach a spokesman for Iran’s mission to the U.N. for comment.  

Levinson, who would be 72 today, disappeared while on a CIA operation on Kish Island in Iran in March 2027.  The Iranian government initially responded that it had detained Levinson but soon backed off that story and has since maintained it has no idea about Levinson’s whereabouts.

Kristi Koons Johnson named assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office

Kristi Koons Johnson, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

By Steve Neavling

Kristi Koons Johnson has been named assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. 

Johnson was serving as the special agent in charge of the Omaha Field Office in Nebraska.

Johnson became an FBI special agent in 1999, working for a decade in the Chicago Field Office, where she investigated organized crime and public corruption. In 2007, she began leading a public corruption squad as a supervisory special agent. 

Johnson was tapped in 2010 to serve as the chief division counsel for the Omaha office, where she provided legal advice about investigations and FBI policy.

In 2014, another promotion brought Johnson to FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., where she was unit chief in the bureau’s Internal Policy Office, managing day-to-day operations. 

In 2016, she returned to the Omaha Office as the assistant special agent in charge of national security, cyber, and intelligence matters.

In 2018, Johnson was back at headquarters serving as chief of the Transnational Organized Crime Section of the Criminal Investigative Division, which manages investigations and collects intelligence of transnational criminal organizations.

In 2019, Johnson was promoted to special agent in charge of the Omaha office, which is responsible for operations and personnel across Iowa and Nebraska. Her focus was on preparing for crises by establishing partnerships with private sector and community partners, and enhancing relationships with federal, state and local agencies.

Johnson also has served as a trainer at the International Law Enforcement Academy in San Salvador, El Salvador, and in Skopje, Macedonia. In addition, she has served in temporary duty positions in Moscow and Athens, Greece, as the assistant legal attaché.

Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from the University of Detroit-Mercy.