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March 2023


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Knoxville

Two Tennessee Men Accused of Plotting to Murder FBI Agents in Tennessee

Edward Kelley is identified during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. Photo via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

Two Tennessee men have been charged with conspiring to murder FBI agents, and they face up to life in prison if convicted. 

Austin Carter, 26, of Knoxville and Edward Kelley, 33, of Maryville, are accused of plotting to attack the FBI’s Knoxville office and kill agents, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.

Kelley, who was arrested for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, faces an additional charge of solicitation to commit a crime of violence and threatening the assault or murder of federal officials.

Authorities say the plot was hatched after Kelley was arrested in May on charges of assaulting a police officer during the insurrection. 

Kelley has pleaded not guilty to the Jan. 6-related charges. 

According to federal prosecutors, Kelley obtained a list of officers involved in the investigation of his role in the Capitol attack. A witness said Kelley discussed assassinating federal agents. 

Carter had obtained a list of 37 names and some phone numbers of law enforcement officials involved in the investigation and gave it to the witness, federal authorities said. 

Prosecutors said Kelley and Carter planned to attack the FBI office if either were arrested. 

According to the criminal complaint filed against the two men, Carter told the witness, “This is the time, add up or put up” and “to definitely make sure you got everything racked, locked up and loaded.”

First Female Special Agent in Charge of Knoxville FBI Division Speaks Out

fbi logo largeBy Steve Neavling

Late last year, Renae McDermott became the first woman to be appointed as Special Agent in Charge of the Knoxville FBI division.

It’s a significant achievement sine only 12% of the senior-ranking positions in the FBI are held by women, WBIR reports. 

McDermott’s career with the FBI began in 1989, holding positions in Dallas, Albuquerque and Washington D.C. headquarters.

Before the appointment, McDermott served as special assistant to FBI James Comey.

When McDermott was growing up in Pittsburgh, she wanted to be a farmer. But while in college, she discovered a desire to help children.

“I knew I wanted to be a public servant after I went through the not being a dairy farmer, a veterinarian or a teacher. I ended up finding a good niche with the FBI,” McDermott said.

While she has worked in counter-terrorism and cyber crimes, most of her work involving fighting violent crime.

“The most proud (moment of my career) was probably an investigation that happened when I was initially an agent in Miami. A kidnapping of a mother and two sons at Christmastime. We worked diligently on it for a week and we recovered them alive. That has been and will be one of the highlights early on in my career,” she said.

FBI: Ex-Marine Harassed, Threatened Catholic Diocese from His Boat

CoA_Roman_Catholic_Diocese_of_Knoxville.svgBy Steve Neavling

A former Marine is facing rare stalking charges after the FBI said he harassed and threatened the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville and its parishes from his boat in California.

Authorities arrested David Andrew Webb, 40, last month in Chula Vista on a sealed complaint that alleges he stalked the church and used a phone to “engage in a course of conduct that caused substantial emotional distress to the victims and placed them in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury,” the Knoxville News Sentinel said. 

According to federal officials, Webb became irate after he said the Catholic church deprived him of contact with his 13-year-old son. He also is accused of leaving profanity-laced threats to the Knoxville diocese, the bishop and its parishes for more than a year.

Here’s an example of one of those messages:

“Your diocese owes me over a billion,” Webb said. “I’m not (expletive) playing. I haven’t seen my son in probably four or five (expletive) years because of your (expletives) religion. … You do not want me coming in to your (expletive) churches on Easter (expletive) Sunday.”

Former Head of FBI’s Knoxville Office Sues Bureau, Justice Department

Richard Lambert

By Steve Neavling

The former chief of the Knoxville FBI office is suing the bureau and the Justice Department for $2.5 million, saying he was falsely accused of violating the law for accepting a position as the senior counterintelligence officer for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence Oak Ridge field office, The Knoxville News Sentinel reports. 

Richard Lambert, a 24-year veteran of the FBI and former special agent in charge of the Knoxville office, claims that his office was raided and false rumors were spread about him.

“Due to the notoriety and stigma surrounding defendants’ erroneous legal opinion and its plain implication that he is a federal felon, Mr. Lambert is currently unemployed and unemployable,” Lambert wrote in the lawsuit.

ORNL spokesman David Keim declined to comment Monday.

At issue is whether Lambert violated a law that “makes it a crime for a former government worker to ‘communicate’ with his or her former co-workers for one year after leaving his or her post ‘with the intent to influence official action,'” the Sentinel wrote.

Lambert was also a key FBI  investigator for a while in the anthrax mailings after 9/11.  He was one of the investigators who strongly believed that scientist Steven Hatfill was behind the mailings. Hatfill successfully sued the government for trying to pin the mailings on him, and leaking information about the case to the press.

Eventually, the FBI decided Hatfill was not the guy, and investigators turned their attention on scientist Bruce Edwards Ivins, who committed suicide before he could be charged.


FBI’s Knoxville Headquarters Sold for $31.7 Million

Steve Neavling

 A Florida investment firm purchased FBI regional field office in Knoxville, Tenn., for $31.7 million, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.

The four-story building was appealing because the FBI is a responsible landlord and it has environmentally friendly and energy efficient features, broker John Adams said.

The building was originally scheduled to be completed in March 2009 but hit roadblocks, including liens and construction delays.

FBI Announces Kenneth L. Moore New Special Agent in Charge of Knoxville Division

Kenneth Moore/fbi photo

Shoshanna Utchenik

Kenneth L. Moore has been appointed special agent in charge of the FBI’s Knoxville Division, the FBI announced in a press release. Moore has served as chief inspector in the FBI’s Inspection Division at FBI Headquarters since April 2011.

Moore’s career began in 1987 in Little Rock. He later went on to fill posts in Detroit, Memphis, and Jackson, focusing on civil rights cases as well as white-collar crimes and drug trafficking, and ultimately counterterroris, including serving as on-scene commander for FBI operations in Afghanistan, where he was responsible for all deployed FBI personnel and assets.

Moore was promoted into the FBI’s Senior Executive Service as an inspector in the Office of Inspections in 2009, leading to his most recent post as chief inspector.

He replaces Richard Lambert, who retired in March. Lambert once headed the FBI probe into the anthrax attacks.

Tenn. U.S. Atty. Russ Dedrick Steps Down This Week

tennesseeBy Allan Lengel

Russ Dedrick, the  Knoxville, Tenn. U.S. Attorney some call “Captain America”, is retiring,  according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The 63-year-old prosecutor steps down this week. He is expected to be replaced by William C. Killian.

Former U.S. Attorney John Gill, who hired Dedrick as a federal prosecutor during the Reagan years, said: “Captain America is what we call him. He’ll take on anything that needs to be done.”

To Read more click here.