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August 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for August, 2021

Weekend Series on Crime History: Watergate

Retired FBI Agent Ronald Nesbitt Dies at 67

By Allan Lengel

Ronald A. Nesbitt, who retired in 2006 from the FBI as a special agent in charge of Counterintelligence and Counter-proliferation in the Washington Field Office, died on July 29 in Montgomery County, Md., after a battle with cancer. He was 67.

Ronald A. Nesbitt

“At the wake and funeral, people talked about his love of God, family, co-workers and neighbors,” his brother-in-law Roger Chesley tells “Many called him a patient mentor, willing to listen to concerns from colleagues and provide advice.” 

Nesbitt, who was an affable and caring person, joined the FBI in 1980 and moved around to different offices. In 1991, he was assigned to the Espionage Unit, Counterintelligence Division where he served as the FBI’s liaison to the State Department and the CIA. In 1994, he was assigned to the Inspection Division as an assistant inspector.

He moved on to become a supervisory special agent in Newark, where he managed a Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). From 1997-1999 he served as a unit chief, responsible for internal investigations of FBI personnel.

Then in 1999, he headed west to become an assistant special agent in charge in Seattle office where he managed the Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence and the Organized Crime/Drug Programs. He established two JTTFs in Seattle and Spokane. In 2003, he returned east to take the SAC job in the Washington Field Office. He retired from the bureau in 2006.

“I knew that I had to make a decision while I was still relatively young, while I was attractive to the private sector and not much later in my career,” Nesbitt told CNN in 2006, explaining his reason for leaving the bureau.

After departing, he was named chief security officer for GE Security, a division of General Electric’s GE Enterprise Solutions. He worked there for five years before going on to work security-related jobs at other companies including Enterprise Solutions and the Mason-Harriman Group.

Born on Jan. 4, 1954 at Walter Reed Hospital in D.C., he spent some formative years in France and Germany because his father was in the military. He returned to D.C. in 1967 at age 13.

He ran track in junior high and went on to attend Howard University in D.C. where he earned a psychology degree. In 1975, a year before graduation, he worked as a statistical clerk for the FBI. Nesbitt later earned a certificate in public administration from the University of Southern California.

Nesbitt was active in NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives) and his Catholic church parish. He enjoyed biking, jogging, watching pro football and making home improvements.

He doted on his three daughters, who are now 37, 35 and 22.

“He was very protective and supportive of his family,” Chesley, his brother-in-law, said.

“Ron was opinionated and liked to debate the topics of the day, from leadership, to race relations in America, to raising young women,” said Chesley.

He married Chesley’s sister, Brenda Chesley in December 1976.

While they dated, Chesley said he knew it was a good fit.

“I knew my sister was in love with him when she didn’t protest how he sped down Pennsylvania Avenue in Southeast D.C., when I was still a teen in the mid-70s,” Chesley said. “Brenda acted like everything was just fine.”

FBI Finds No Compelling Evidence That Jan. 6 Riot Was a Coordinated Plot

Alex Gakos/

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has found no compelling evidence to suggest the Jan. 6 riot was part of a coordinated plot to overturn the presidential election, four current and former law enforcement officials tell Reuters.

Of the more than 570 people arrested for their role in the riot, a vast majority were not connected to each other or far-right groups. 

“Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,” a former senior law enforcement official said. “Then you have 5%, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.”

Of those arrested, 40 were charged with conspiracy for allegedly plotting the attack. More than 170 people have been charged with assaulting or impeding a police officer.

A congressional investigation is underway, in part, to determine whether the riot was part of an organized plot. 

So far, the FBI has found no evidence that former President Trump or those around him helped coordinate with others to overtake the building. 

U.S. Agents Find ‘Sophisticated’ Tunnel for Drug Trafficking Near Border

Sophisticated tunnel found near the U.S.-Mexico border. Photo: ICE

By Steve Neavling

U.S. agents and Mexican authorities discovered a large, “sophisticated” tunnel near the U.S.-Mexico border that was outfitted with electricity, ventilation, a rail system with a cart and an electronic hoist, ICE announced. 

The 183-foot-long subterranean tunnel was found beneath a house in the city of Mexicali in the Mexican state of Baja California near Calexico, Calif. 

It was used by drug traffickers, who dug the tunnel nearly 22 feet beneath the ground, ICE said. 

“These types of tunnels enable drug traffickers to conduct illicit activities virtually undetected across the U.S.–Mexico border,” Cardell T. Morant, special agent in charge of HSI San Diego, said in a statement. “Discovering and shutting down these tunnels deals a major blow to drug trafficking organizations because it denies them the ability to smuggle drugs, weapons and people across the border.”

35-Year-Old Border Patrol Agent at McCallen Station Dies; CBP Grieves

Photo illustration: CBP

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent assigned to the McAllen Station died earlier this week, CBP announced Wednesday. 

Agent Ricardo Zarate, who began his career with CBP in 2009, passed away Monday. 

“I am deeply saddened to share the loss of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Ricardo Zarate,” Troy A. Miller, acting CBP commissioner, said on Twitter.  

“With a heavy heart, we regret to announce the line-of-duty death of Border Patrol Agent Ricardo Zarate,” CBP said in a statement. “Agent Zarate entered on duty on February 12, 2009, as part of session 922. We will never forget.”

CBP didn’t divulge details of his death, including the cause. 

Zarate was a husband and father, according to a death notice. 

Vote for TSA’s Cutest Canine on Social Media Today

Alona is one of four finalists for the TSA’s cutest canine. Photo: TSA

By Steve Neavling

The Transportation Security Administration’s four-legged workers are a vital part of keeping travelers safe at airports, sniffing out drugs and explosives.  

And they sure are cute.

The TSA is holding an online contest for its cutest dog, and voting is today, which is National Dog Day.

The four finalists are Alona, a golden retriever from the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport; Lexi, a Belgian Malinois from Dallas – Fort Worth International Airport (DFW); Badger, a Belgian Malinois from Chicago O’Hare International Airport; and Lexa, a German Shepard from DFW.

You can cast a vote for your cutest canine on Instagram , Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Voting ends at midnight tonight.

The TSA has more than 1,000 canines paired with handlers. 

“TSA’s working canines play an important role in the agency’s security operations across the country. We are so fortunate to have Alona and her handler Vanessa as a member of our team in Las Vegas,” Karen Burke, TSA federal security director in Las Vegas, said in a statement. “Alona is not only very skilled as a working dog, but she is also a worthy competitor in this year’s Cutest Canine contest. I’ll be voting for Alona and I hope you will join me in voting for her, too.”

Want to see some other furry cuties? Check out the TSA 2021 calendar.

CBP Seizes Fake FBI, DEA Badges Sent from China

Counterfeit FBI badge seized by CBP officers. Photo: CBP

By Steve Neavling

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers recently seized several packages from China containing counterfeit DEA and FBI badges in Chicago. 

The packages, which contained eight counterfeit DEA badges and one FBI badge, were sent from China and destined for locations across the U.S. 

“These counterfeit badges could have led to disastrous consequences if our officers had not found them,” LaFonda Sutton-Burke, director of field operations in Chicago, said in a statement. “Criminal organizations could have used these badges for their illicit activity under the guise of federal agents. Our CBP officers were able to identify these very realistic counterfeits and stop them from reaching their destinations.”

The badges pose a threat to the public, said Shane Campbell, area port director in Chicago. 

“It could be a serious security issue,” Campbell said. “Used nefariously, a fake badge can be a danger to the public and can harm the public’s trust in law enforcement.”

In the past few months, CBP also seized thousands of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards that were sent from China.

Border Patrol Chief: Recent Attacks Targeting Agents Won’t Stop Them from Enforcing the Law

Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz.

Border Patrol Chief Paul Ortiz said his agency won’t be deterred by a spate of attacks targeting agents at the border.

So far this month, agents have been shot at, and one was struck and dragged by a car at a border checkpoint in Texas. 

“U.S. Border Patrol agents continue their unwavering commitment to provide border and national security to the American public despite recent attacks against them along our Southwest border,” Ortiz said in a statement Tuesday. “We take these threats and acts of violence seriously and will do everything we can to identify and bring those to justice who have sought to harm the men and women of the Border Patrol.”

Earlier this month, agents came under fire along the Juárez-El Paso border. An agent was patrolling the border when about five shots rang out from Juárez. He took cover and was not injured. 

Four days earlier, about 20 gunshots were fired at a Border Patrol agent who was patrolling in El Paso’s Lower Valley. The quick-acting agent also took cover and wasn’t injured. 

The FBI is investigating the shootings. The agency didn’t say whether there were other recent shootings.

About a week ago, a 37-year-old man smuggling a migrant in Texas used his car to strike and drag an agent at the Ysleta Station checking in El Paso County. He was arrested and charged. 

Ortiz said Border Patrol agents are well-trained and equipped to respond to attacks. But, he said, the violence is a reminder of the dangers facing agents. 

Ortiz said federal law enforcement will vigorously investigate the attacks and bring the suspects to justice.