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June 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Houston Field Office

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.