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Archive for October, 2021

4 Federal Agents Shot During ‘Incredibly Difficult Week for Federal Law Enforcement’

By Steve Neavling

Four federal law enforcement officers were shot last week in the three separate shootings, underscoring the dangers of the profession.

DEA Special Agent Michael Garbo was shot and killed by an Amtrak passenger in Tucson, Ariz., while doing a routine inspection for illegal drugs and guns on the train.

Another DEA was shot and critically injured.

On Tuesday, an ATF agent was injured and a gunman killed in a shootout in Tennessee. The agent was trying to arrest Corey Daniel Wellman as part of a drug-related investigation when the shootout occurred at about 2:15 p.m. in a parking of a string of businesses.

On Wednesday, an FBI agent was shot while a federal task force tried to serve an arrest warrant at a home in Racine, Wis. The agent is recovering. The suspect fatally shot himself. 

“The FBI Agents Association stands with these courageous agents, and our thoughts and prayers are with them and with their families,” FBI Agents Association President Brian O’Hare told ABC News. “The FBIAA hopes that all Americans will join us in condemning these abhorrent acts of violence.”

It was a tough week for federal law enforcement, Acting Deputy Director of the ATF Tom Chittum said. 

“This has been an incredibly difficult week for federal law enforcement,” he said. “Our hearts and thoughts and prayers go out to the families, the friends and to those officers that have been subjected to this gun violence.”

330-Mile Bike Ride Honors Slain FBI Agent Martha Dixon-Martinez

By Steve Neavling

Family members of FBI Special Agent Martha Dixon-Martinez, who was killed during a shooting rampage in November 1994, stopped at the bureau’s Pittsburgh Field Office last week as part of an annual 330-mile bike ride in her honor. 

“Martha’s Ride” began on March 8 in Washington D.C., where she was shot, and ended at the field office on Friday. 

“We all walk into this building named after Ms. Dixon every day and remember the sacrifice she made,” Mike Nordwall, special agent in charge of the Pittsburgh Field Office, said in a statement. “We are thankful to her family for continuing to honor her legacy.”

The ride raises money for the Martha Fund, which has built playgrounds in the Pittsburgh area for more than 20 years. 

“Martha’s Ride honors the enduring legacy of a true American hero,” said Kevin Dixon, Martha Dixon’s brother. “Martha was unfortunately called upon to make the supreme sacrifice for her fellow Americans. Aside from a devoted agent, she was known for her love of her young nieces and nephews and for athletics. To keep her memory alive, the Martha Fund conducts the ‘Martha’s Ride,’ as well as a run in her name each spring as an homage to her athleticism. It also honors her love for kids by helping build playgrounds in the Pittsburgh area.”

On Nov. 22, 1994, a gunman opened fire inside the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Department, killing Dixon-Martinez, FBI agent Michael John Miller and Metro Police Sgt. Henry Daly. 

Before joining the FBI, Dixon-Martinez received a degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Several years later, she began her career with the FBI in Knoxville where she became the first female agent in the field office to be certified as a SWAT team member. 

In November 2001, the Pittsburgh Field Office was later named in honor of Dixon.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Mexican Mafia

FBI Refutes Claims That Zodiac Killer’s Identity Has Been Revealed

Zodiac Killer via FBI

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is disputing claims by an independent group of cold case investigators that they have identified the notorious Zodiac Killer. 

The Case Breakers made the claim in a press release this week, identifying the serial killer as Gary Francis Poste, who died in 2018.

But the FBI told the Washington Examiner that case “remains open,” and there is no new information to share with the public. 

The Zodiac Killer murdered at least five people in the Bay Area in California in 1968 and 1969.

In December 2020, the FBI said it had cracked a coded message from the killer, but it didn’t reveal any obvious clues about the killer’s identity.

The Case Breakers based their claims on matching “head scars” and forensic evidence found at the murder scene of one of the victims. 

Funeral Services for DEA Agent Fatally Shot on Amtrak Train Set for Today

DEA Special Agent Michael Garbo. Photo via DEA.

By Steve Neavling

DEA Special Agent Michael Garbo, who was shot and killed by an Amtrak train passenger in Tucson, Ariz., will be remembered with a public funeral this morning. 

Garbo, a 16-year veteran of the DEA, was killed Monday while doing a routine inspection for illegal drugs and guns on the train, and two other law enfacement officers were also wounded. The gunman, who barricaded himself inside a bathroom, died from gunshot wounds.  

A law enforcement procession will take place at Bring’s Broadway Chapel beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Funeral services begin at Calvary Chapel at 10 a.m., followed by an outdoor ceremony at 11:30 a.m. 

Watch the funeral service live here. CBP also is providing a live stream.

ATF Agent Injured in Shootout with Drug Suspect in Tennessee

By Steve Neavling

An ATF agent was injured and a gunman killed in a shootout Tuesday afternoon in Tennessee. 

The agent was trying to arrest Corey Daniel Wellman as part of a drug-related investigation when the shootout occurred at about 2:15 p.m. in a parking of a string of businesses, Metro Nashville Police told reporters, The Tennessean reports.

As of Wednesday, the agent was still being treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

No other law enforcement officers were injured. 

The FBI is leading the investigation. 

The agent was trying to serve an arrest warrant for Wellman, who had been charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute. 

On Monday, a DEA agent was fatally shot aboard an Amtrak train in Tucson, Ariz., while conducting a routine inspection for illegal drugs and guns. 

Jodi Cohen Named Special Agent in Charge of Louisville Field Office

Special FBI Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen

By Steve Neavling

Jodi Cohen has been named special agent in charge of the Louisville Field Office in Kentucky. 

Cohen, whose career with the bureau began in 2005, was most recently serving as chief of staff for the executive assistant director and section chief in the National Security Branch (NSB) at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. 

Cohen’s career as an FBI agent began in 2005. 

In 2018, Cohen served as the assistant special agent in charge of the Criminal Branch in the Seattle Field Office. She was also a team leader in the Inspection Division at FBI headquarters, overseeing agent-involved shooting investigations, national program reviews, and field office inspections.

In 2014, Cohen became supervisory special agent and reported to the Washington Field Office to provide support to national security and criminal covert operations.

Cohen also worked in the New York Field Office, investigating white-collar crime and health-care fraud. She also served on the Safe Streets Task Force.

Cohen received a bachelor’s degree from Quinnipiac University and a master’s degree in physical therapy from Quinnipiac University. 

Before her career with the FBI, she served as a senior physical therapist at a hospital in New York City.

DOJ Reviewing Decision to Not Prosecute FBI Agents Who Botched Handling of Nassar Probe

Larry Nassar is charged with child pornography.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department is reviewing its previous decision not to prosecute former FBI agents who mishandled the investigation into sexual abuse allegations against disgraced gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. 

Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco made the announcement Tuesday while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She said Kenneth Polite, the head of the DOJ’s criminal division, “is currently reviewing this matter, including new information that has come to light,” The New York Times reports.

The review comes nearly three months after the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded in a searing 119-page report that the FBI mishandled the investigation.

Horowitz also found that W. Jay Abbot, special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office, lied to investigators about the botched investigation and his personal conflicts in the case. 

Abbott retired in January 2018, and Agent Michael Langeman was fired for his role in the investigation. 

“I want the survivors to understand how exceptionally seriously we take this issue and believe that this deserves a thorough and full review,”  Monaco said at the hearing.