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September 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter


ATF Announces New Philly Leader

By Danny Fenster

The ATF’s Philadelphia Field Office is about to see some new leadership, reports PR Newswire.

Sheree L. Mixell was named the Special Agent in Charge of the Philadelphia Field Division on Thursday.

The Indiana native began her career as a special agent with ATF in 1990 and has over 23 years of law enforcement experience. For three years,  she served as a member of the Baltimore Field Division Special Response Team, responding to high risk situations and apprehending some of the region’s most violent criminals, according to the report.

She most recently served  as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Baltimore Field Division, directing and providing oversight for daily investigations for Maryland and Delaware.

To read more click here.


ATF’s Tom Brandon Named’s Fed of the Year

Tom Brandon/atf photo

 By Allan Lengel

Thomas E. Brandon, the straight-shooting, well respected and extremely able veteran of ATF, who was sent around the country this year to try and mend some of the agencies pressing problems, has been named’s Fed Of The Year for 2011.

Brandon, an ex-Marine who is currently ATF’s number two person in Washington, started the year off as special agent in charge of ATF’s Detroit office, where he was very well respected.

In the spring, after the agency started coming under Congressional fire for Operation Fast and Furious, Brandon was sent off to Phoenix to head up that office and try and improve morale and straighten out matters.

Fast Furious was created in the Phoenix office. Under Fast and Furious, ATF encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers, all with the hopes of tracing the weapons to the Mexican cartels.

Problem was, ATF lost track of many of the guns, some of which surfaced at crime scenes on both sides of the border. Some members of Congress like Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Ia) went on the attack, criticizing ATF. Some even suggested folding it into the FBI.

In late August, acting director  Ken Melson stepped down. In October, as part of a major shakeup at the agency,  Brandon was summoned from Phoenix to become the number two guy in Washington.

We think it speaks volumes that Brandon has been sent to the agency’s hotspots to help straighten out things at a time the agency has come under fire, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Waco.  To boot, it’s easy to find street agents who respect Brandon, who has been an agent since 1989.

Brandon is the fourth person to receive the Fed of the Year Award.  Previous recipients have included Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (2008),  Warren Bamford, who headed the Boston FBI (2009) and Joseph Evans, regional director for the DEA’s North and Central Americas Region in Mexico City (2010).


FBI Appoints Ralph S. Boelter as New Assistant Dir. of Counterterrorism Division

By Danny Fenster

Ralph S. Boelter, after 20 years with the FBI, has been named assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, the bureau said in a statement on Monday.

Boelter began his career at the bureau’s Boston Division in July of 1991, investigating white collar crime, violent crime and criminal enterprise matters, according to the statement.

In March of 2000 he was sent to the Los Angeles Division to supervise the Violent Crime and Criminal Enterprise Branch, later serving as the acting assistant special agent in charge of that branch. In 2005 he helped investigate the unauthorized disclosure of CIA Agent Valeria Plame.

In December of 2006 FBI Director Robert Mueller sent him closer to his native Wisconsin when he was put in charge of the Minneapolis Division, where he managed high-profile cases such as the $3.6 billion Thomas Petters corporate fraud investigation and terrorism investigations of Somali-Americans.

In 2010 Boelter earned the Presidential Rank Award for sustained meritorious performance as a senior executive.


Detroit Fed Prosecutors Morey and Leibson Hanging it Up


Blondell Morey/ttw photo

By Allan Lengel

DETROIT — A Noah’s Ark of the Detroit legal and law enforcement community including federal prosecutors and fed agents and judges gathered Thursday night at the upscale Whitney restaurant on Woodward Avenue to mark the retirement of two assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Leibson, 63, and Blondell Morey, 64,  who had been working in the office since the late 1970s.

Some of the speakers at the event included U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, former U.S. Attorney Saul Green, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Buckley and defense attorney Steve Fishman.

“We came in together, and we’ve decided to leave together,” Morey, longtime former chief of the economic crimes (white-collar crimes) unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office told the Detroit Free Press in a Nov. 25 article.

Leibson spent the majority of his time in the office drug unit.

“In the 20 years I was chief of the criminal division, I’d get calls from defense lawyers and judges complaining about this and that, but I never once got a call about either one of them,”  Alan Gershel, who retired from the office in 2008 and became an associate professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills, told the Free Press.

Mike Liebson chats it up/ttw photo

“The office is losing two very good people who know that being a good prosecutor is much more that getting an indictment and securing a conviction,” Gershel added. “They care about justice and getting a fair result.”

Read the Free Press feature on the two prosecutors by clicking here.


Head of FBI’s Norfolk Office Off to Headquarters

Alex Turner

By Danny Fenster

Alex J. Turner, special agent in charge the Norfolk, Va. FBI office since January 2008, is headed to headquarters in D.C.  to serve as Deputy Assistant Director of the agency’s Security Division, reports the Virginian-Pilot.

Turner was born in Oklahoma. He went to school at the University of Maryland then began his career as a police officer in Greenbelt, Md. Turner previously worked as the chief of the national and criminal enterprise program at FBI headquarters, as well as a 10 year stint in Atlanta as an undercover in drug cases, later managing the office’s gang task force,

Longest Serving Fed Prosecutor John C. Keeney Dead at Age 89

John Keeney

By Allan Lengel

It was Billy Joel who once sang “Only the Good Die Young.”

Not so.

AP reported that retired Justice Department official John C. Keeney, the longest-serving federal prosecutor in history, died on Saturday in Kensington, Md., at age 89.

In a statement posted on the Justice Department website on Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. remarked:

“For the last six decades, Jack Keeney served the Department of Justice with dedication, integrity and an unshakeable commitment to the rule of law. As the longest-serving federal prosecutor in the history of the United States, the contributions that he made – to the Justice Department and to the nation he was so proud to serve – are beyond measure. And I am one of many who have been grateful to count him as a mentor, advisor and friend.

“Although Mr. Keeney will be sorely missed, his legacy will live on – in the Justice Department building that bears his name, in the standard of excellence that he established in the department’s Criminal Division, in the work of countless attorneys that he mentored throughout his career, and in the inspiration that he will continue to provide public servants across our nation.”

“Dean of Federal Law Enforcement in Tulsa” Don Crowl Passes at 72

 By Danny Fenster

The “dean of federal law enforcement in Tulsa”has  passed away.

Don Crowl’s 25-year career with the Secret Service included stints on security details of six presidents, from Lyndon Johnson to George H. W. Bush, plus other politicians, judges, foreign dignitaries and cabinet members, reports the Tulsa World. He passed away on Monday at age 72.

“The criminal investigations, the whodunits, the thrill of the chase,” he told the Tulsa World once, “It’s what I like best about the job.”

The Tulsa paper described him as “the unquestioned dean of federal law enforcement in Tulsa.”

Crowl’s son Doug wowed classmates at show-and-tell when he brought his dad in. “It was fantastic. He came every year. It became a sort of tradition,” he told the Tulsa World. “All my friends looked forward to it, my dad coming to talk about what a cool job he had.”

Crowl joined the Secret Service 1965 as the agency was expanding in the wake of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He protected Vice President Hubert Humphrey during the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots in Chicago and President Nixon in preparation for his first trip to China, the paper reported.

Crowley was named to lead the Tulsa Office of the Secret Service, pursuing investigations of counterfeiting and other federal cases. In 1989 he was nominated for the US Marshal’s post by President George H. W. Bush.

Crowl retired in 1994 as U.S. Marshal.

To read more click here.

Aaron Ford to Head Up FBI’s Memphis Division

Aaron Ford/fbi photo

 By Allan Lengel

Aaron T. Ford, an inspector at FBI headquarters, who has a law degree from Rutgers, has been named special agent in charge of the FBI’s Memphis Division.

As inspector, he oversaw field office and headquaters inspections, shooting incident review teams, audits, and special inquiries.

Ford began his career with the FBI in August 1985 and was first assigned to the St. Louis Division, where he worked violent crime and organized crime matters. He was also a SWAT team member.

In June 1989, he moved east to the Newark Division where he served as a team leader on the SWAT team. In August of that year, he was promoted to supervisory special agent on a drug squad.

Two years later, in January 2000, he became a supervisor for the public corruption/civil rights squad. In August 2005, he was assigned as supervisory special resident agent of the Red Bank , N.J. Resident Agency.

He returned to the mothership at headquarters in February 2006, as a team leader in the Inspection Division.

The following year, he returned to Newark as an assistant special agent in charge.