Site Search

Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

September 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter


Ex-Chicago Cornerback Charles Tillman Becomes An FBI Agent

Tillman (Photo by Jeffrey Beall)

By Allan Lengel

Former Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman has become an an FBI agent.

A source tells the Chicago Tribune that Tillman graduated from the FBI’s training academy is now working as an agent.

Tillman, 37, retired from the NFL in 2016.


Gordon Johnson, First African American to Head up Baltimore FBI, is Retiring

By Allan Lengel

Gordon Johnson, FBI special agent in charge of the Maryland field office, is retiring from the agency after 20 years on the job.

Johnson, the first African American to head up the office, sat down with ABC7 to talk about his career. He was with the bureau for 20 years.

Eric B. Smith, Native of Ohio, to Head Up Cleveland FBI

Eric B. Smith

By Allan Lengel

Eric B. Smith, a native of Ohio, has been named head of the Cleveland FBI.

Smith, 49, a native of the London, Ohio, joined the FBI in 1999 and was first assigned to the Wichita Resident Agency, Kansas City Field Office, where he worked violent crime, counterterrorism and counterintelligence.

In 2005, he transferred to the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters. Three years later, he became a supervisor for the Cleveland Field Office’s counterterrorism squad and Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to an FBI press release.  Two years later, he became the FBI’s senior representative to a counterterrorism task force headquartered in Fort Bragg, N.C.

Smith returned to the Cleveland Field Office in 2013, where he was named assistant special agent in charge over counterterrorism and cyber matters and the resident agencies.

In 2015, he took on the role of  chief of staff to the FBI deputy director. He later became special assistant to the Director in 2016.


Joseph R. Bonavolonta Now Heads Up Boston FBI Office

Joseph R. Bonavolonta (FBI photo)

By Allan Lengel

Joseph R. Bonavolonta, who had served as deputy assistant director for the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division since March 2018, has taken over as head of the Boston field office.

He’s no stranger to the Boston office, having previously served as assistant special agent in charge there from 2013 to 2017.

Bonavolonta has held a variety of leadership, operational, and investigative positions throughout his FBI career.

He entered the FBI in 1996 as an investigative specialist in the FBI’s New York Field Office.

In August 2000, he received his first assignment as a special agent in the New York Field Office, where he spent several years investigating the Bonanno La Cosa Nostra Family.

His work led to the convictions and/or guilty pleas of dozens of high-ranking members and associates of the Bonanno LCN Family, according to an FBI press release.

From 2006-2007, Bonavolonta served as the program manager in the Organized Crime Section at FBI Headquarters.  He also directed an international organized crime initiative with the Italian National Police to combat criminal operations between the American-based LCN families and the Sicilian Mafia.

In 2008, he became a supervisory special agent of the corporate/securities fraud squad at the Newark Field Office in 2008. In 2013,  Bonavolonta was named assistant special agent in charge of the Boston Field Office.

Todd A. Wickerham Heads Up FBI’s Cincinnati Office

Todd A. Wickerham (Linkedin photo)

By Allan Lengel

Todd A. Wickerham, who served as a special assistant for the FBI’s associate deputy director since 2017,  has been named special agent in charge of the Cincinnati Field Office.

Wickerham, who joined the FBI in 1997,  has held a variety of investigative, operational, and management positions in the bureau. He was first assigned to the Pittsburgh Field Office, where he investigated violent crime and criminal enterprises. He also served on the SWAT team and as a special agent bomb technician, according to a press release.

On Sept. 11, 2001, he responded to and worked the scene of the United Airlines Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

In 2006, Wickerham was promoted to the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters, where he served as a supervisory special agent in the Strategic Planning Unit.

In 2008, he became the supervisory senior resident agent of the Akron Resident Agency where he managed all FBI investigative programs in the Akron area.

During that stretch, he also completed a four-month temporary assignment in Kabul, helping to establish the Major Crimes Task Force – Afghanistan.

In 2013, he was  appointed as assistant special agent in charge of FBI Cleveland’s criminal branch.

Before joining the FBI, he served as a deputy sheriff for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in South Carolina, an investigator for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and a combat engineer with the Ohio Army National Guard.

He began his new post last month.

Deputy U.S. Marshal — Father of 4 — Fatally Shot in Arizona

By Allan Lengel

Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White, 41, was fatally shot Thursday night in Tucson, Az., while serving a fugitive warrant, the agency said Friday. The shooter was taken into custody.

White, who was married and the father of four,  was rushed to Banner-University Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries later that evening, the agency said in a press release.

After the shooting,  Tucson police and federal officers surrounded the single-story house where the shooter was holed up.  After about an hour standoff, they took the man into custody, the Arizona Daily Star reports. 

“We are all extremely saddened by the tragic line of duty death of our brother, Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White, last night in Tucson, Arizona,” David J. Anderson, Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement. “He was shot and killed while performing his mission.  It’s a dangerous job, but Chase was devoted to making his community and this nation safer. His sacrifice will not be forgotten.”

White joined the Marshals Service in 2015. He was an Air Force reservist, preparing for an upcoming deployment.

FBI’s George Piro, Who Interrogated Saddam Hussein, Returns to Miami For His Second Tour of Duty

FBI Agent George Piro interviewed on 60 Minutes in 2008

By Allan Lengel

George Piro is returning to Miami for his second tour of duty as special agent in charge of the FBI field office.

Piro headed up the Miami office from 2014 to 2017 before becoming assistant director of the International Operations Division at headquarters.

Piro has held a variety of investigative, operational, and management positions within the FBI since joining in 1999.

He made his mark both within the FBI and publicly after he served as the team leader and interrogator responsible for the interrogation of Saddam Hussein.  He spent seven months leading the interrogations of Hussein and other key figures within the former Iraqi regime.

Border Patrol’s Laredo Sector Has New Interim Chief with a Leadership Background

Felix Chavez

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol’s busy Laredo Sector has a new interim chief after two of its agents have been charged with murder this year.

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost appointed Felix Chavez, a 32-year veteran of the agency, to the position, which puts him in charge of more than 85,000 square miles, from Arkansas to Texas.

Chavez, who replaces Jason D. Owens, most recently served as chief patrol agent of the Del Rio Sector

A graduate of Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa, Chavez became an agent in 1985, and his first assignment was at the Sierra Blanca Station. A decade later, Chavez rose to supervisory Border Patrol agent at the Tucson Station.

In 1997, he became the field operations supervisor at the Tucson station before promoted to patrol agent in charge of the Alamogordo station in the El Paso sector in July 2002. In 2007, Chavez was selected as the patrol agent of the Tucson Sector.

In May 2011, Chavez was promoted to the senior executive service position of deputy chief of the former operations division at Border Patrol’s headquarters in Washington D.C. In August 2013, he was appointed as the deputy chief patrol agent at the Tucson Sector.