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Archive for March 1st, 2022

Judges Tosses Retaliation Lawsuit by ATF Agent Who Previously Settled Complaint Over Supervisor with Nazi Tattoo

Former ATF Agent Bradford Devlin with a Nazi-themed tattoo, via U.S. District Court.

By Steve Neavling

A federal judge tossed a lawsuit filed by a Black former ATF supervisor in Seattle who claimed she was smeared and retaliated against after she settled a previous lawsuit against the agency. 

Cheryl Bishop, the first woman to serve on the ATF’s Special Response Team, received a $450,000 settlement more than two years ago in a lawsuit in which she alleged the ATF scuttled her appointment to a job at Washington D.C.’s headquarters after she blew the whistle on abusive behavior by Bradley Devlin, who served as the resident agent in charge of the Eugene, and complained about a Nazi-themed tattoo on his arm. Devlin denied being abusive and said he got the Nazi tattoo while working undercover investigating an outlaw white-supremacist biker gang in Ohio. Although the agency offered to pay for the removal of the tattoo, Devlin decided to keep it, calling it a “war trophy.”

In the latest suit, U.S. District Chief Judge Ricardo Martinez said Bishop failed to demonstrate that she was retaliated against, saying there was no adverse impact on her job, The Seattle Times reports.

Bishop plans to appeal.

James Smith Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Houston Field Office

Special Agent in Charge James Smith

By Steve Neavling

James Smith has been named special agent in charge of the FBI’s Houston Field Office. 

Before the appointment, Smith served as a chief of staff to the associate deputy director at FBI headquarters.

Smith’s career at the FBI began in 2004, when he was assigned to the Los Angeles Field Office to investigate drug-trafficking organizations, money laundering, and violent gangs. In addition, he was on the SWAT team and deployed to Baghdad in 2008 to support the FBI’s counterterrorism mission.

In 2010, Smith became supervisory special agent and transferred to the MS-13 National Gang Task Force Unit in the Criminal Investigative Division at headquarters. In 2012, he managed international hostage-takings, major crimes, and fugitive matters for the International Violent Crimes Unit.

In 2013, Smith was back in the Los Angeles Field Office, supervising the Violent Crimes Against Children Squad. In 2014, he became supervisor of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Squad and oversaw Mexican criminal enterprise investigations, the Compton Safe Streets Task Force, and other violent crime task forces.

In 2016, Smith became assistant special agent in charge of the San Antonio Field Office, where he oversaw the national security, intelligence, cyber, language services, surveillance, and aviation programs. 

In 2020, he served as an inspector in the Inspection Division at headquarters. Later in the year, he was named the chief of staff to the associate deputy director at headquarters, where he served as the chief of staff, senior proxy, and counsel to the ADD.

Before the FBI, Smith was an aircraft engine maintenance manager and a power plant engineer for two airlines. He received a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.