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Tag: Quantico

Head of FBI’s El Paso Field Office to Leave Post for Promotion in Quantico

FBI Special Agent Luis M. Quesada

By Steve Neavling

Louis M. Quesada, special agent in charge of the El Paso Field Office, will leave his post on Friday to become deputy assistant director of the bureau’s Incident Response Group in Quantico. 

Quesada was promoted to head of the El Paso office in October 2019.

“Both professionally and personally, it has been a fantastic time, a time of growth,” Quesada told the El Paso Times. “I’m not from this area, but it’s been a wonderful experience. It’s a great community and I think that attributes to why El Paso is El Paso. For a major city to have the third least violent crimes and the fifth overall crime, I think speaks a lot to the people in the community and to the relationships that the law enforcement has with each other, which is something that I’ve never experienced in any other office in the last 25-plus years that I’ve been in the FBI.”

Quesada joined the FBI as a special agent in 1995 and began working in the Miami Field Office, where he investigated violent crimes with a focus on bank robberies, extortion, and kidnappings. In 1998, Quesada voluntarily transferred to the San Juan Field Office in Puerto Rico before returning to Miami in 2001 to investigates drugs. In both offices, Quesada served on the SWAT teams.

Quesada was promoted in 2003 to supervisory special agent and began working in the Counterterrorism Division of the Terrorist Screening Center, which manages and operates the nation’s terrorist watch list.

In 2005, he transferred to the FBI Academy in Quantico as a defensive tactics instructor. Quesada returned to Miami two years later as the supervisor of the violent gang and high-intensity drug trafficking area task force. He later became the acting assistant special agent in charge of Miami’s Criminal Branch.

In 2010, Quesada became the assistant legal attaché in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he promoted FBI interests in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

In 2012, Quesada was promoted to a unit chief position in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, focusing on counter-narcotics efforts in Latin America and the U.S. Southwest border.

In 2014, Quesada became legal attaché of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, focusing on counterterrorism threats throughout the Balkans and the U.S.

A year later, Quesada became the assistant special agent in charge of the Criminal Branch in the Jackson Field Office in Mississippi. In 2017, he was appointed to assistant section chief in the Training Division, and a year later was promoted to section chief of the division’s Training Services Section.

Quesada earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Florida International University

Suit Alleging Sexual Harassment at FBI’s Training Academy Adds 17th Woman

Training academy in Quantico, Va., via FBI

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A female FBI trainee has become the 17th woman to claim she was sexually harassed at the bureau’s training academy in Quantico, Va.

The Florida woman who was discharged from the training academy joined a lawsuit that alleges the academy is a “good-old-boy network” that exposes women to a hostile work environment, inappropriate jokes and sexual advances beginning in 2015.

The lawsuit was amended to include the unidentified woman’s accusations, The Washington Times reports.

The trainee alleges her male supervisors effectively discharged her by issuing numerous situations known as “suitability notations,” which instructors hand out for issues ranging from insubordination to inability to complete a task.

The suit, filed in May, claims some of the women were discriminated against based on their race or disabilities. One African American trainee alleges an instructor called her “spaghetti head” because of her braids.

The lawsuit zeroed in on the mock town known as Hogan’s Alley, where trainees learn about tactical training with fake criminals and terrorists. This phase of training resulted in many women being kicked out of the academy.

At the time of the suit, seven of the 16 women still worked for the FBI.

The women are asking for more female training instructors, an examination of the training evaluation process and $300,000 each for emotional stress.

The FBI has declined to publicly comment on the case.

FBI Training Academy Under Fire over ‘Disturbing’ Claims of Gender Discrimination

FBI academy, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

House Judiciary Committee leaders are requesting the Justice Department’s internal watchdog investigate the FBI’s training academy after 16 women accused the bureau of gender discrimination.

The women claimed in a lawsuit filed last month that they were disproportionately disciplined and were subjected to a male-biased review process and overt sexual discrimination at the academy in Quantico, Va.

Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and ranking Republican Douglas Collins, R-Ga., sent a letter to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, saying the allegations were “disturbing” and “require an investigation into the FBI’s training and selection practices for new agents,” The Washington Post reports.

“If true, such conduct cannot be tolerated,” the lawmakers wrote. “The selection process employed by the FBI must be free from discrimination on the basis of factors such as gender and race, and individuals hired to these important positions should reflect the diversity of our country.”

Horowitz’s office declined to comment.

According to the lawsuit, the women were discharged, but seven still work at the FBI in other capacities.

“Because of the FBI’s history of tolerating the Good Old Boy Network, the subjective evaluations by these male instructors result in female trainees being written up and subsequently dismissed at a rate significantly and disproportionately higher than their male counterparts,” the lawsuit alleges.

Lawsuit: Women Sexually Harassed During FBI Training in Quantico

Training academy in Quantico, Va., via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the FBI tries to increase its ranks of female agents, 16 women have sued the bureau, claiming they were sexually harassed at the FBI’s training academy in Quantico, Va.

The lawsuit alleges the academy is a “good-old-boy network” that exposes women to a hostile work environment, inappropriate jokes and sexual advances beginning in 2015, The New York Times reports.

The suit also claims some of the women were discriminated against based on their race or disabilities. One African American trainee alleges an instructor called her “spaghetti head” because of her braids.

The lawsuit zeroed in on the mock town known as Hogan’s Alley, where trainees learn about tactical training with fake criminals and terrorists. This phase of training resulted in many women being kicked out of the academy.

“The real purpose of the suit is to change the culture of the F.B.I.,” said David J. Shaffer, the lawyer for the women.

Seven of the 16 women still work for the FBI.

The women are asking for more female training instructors, an examination of the training evaluation process and $300,000 each for emotional stress.

The FBI wouldn’t publicly comment on the lawsuit but told the New York Times in a statement that the bureau was “committed to fostering a work environment where all of our employees are valued and respected.”

Meet the First Transgender Woman Accepted to the FBI National Academy

Lesley Mumford became the first transgender woman to be accepted into the elite FBI National Academy.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A Colorado SWAT team coordinator made history by becoming what is believed to be the first transgender woman accept into the FBI National Academy, an elite and intense training course in Quantico, Va.

Lesley Mumford, of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, is among about 200 law enforcement agents who will attend the 10-week course beginning in July, the Summit Daily reports

“I think it’s a pretty amazing thing, a historical thing,” said Mumford, who transitioned last year. “It makes me feel that society is changing, it makes me feel that as individuals we do have the ability to change and influence the world around us.”

Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons, who nominated Mumford, hailed the moment as a groundbreaking moment for the transgender community.

“We were so proud to have her transition in the workplace, but this is the next, huge, huge, smash-the-ceiling moment,” he said. “We’re so proud of Lesley.”

Trump to Visit FBI Academy Following Sharp Criticism of Bureau

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump, who boasted that the FBI is “in tatters” and “the worst in history,” will visit the bureau’s National Academy in Quantico, Va., today to speak with what could be a skeptical audience.

Trump will take part in the FBI’s graduation ceremony at a time of strained relations between the president and the bureau’s leadership.

The criticism prompted Trump’s FBI Director Christopher Wray to defend the bureau against heightening rhetoric as the special counsel investigation into Russia and the president’s aides continues to heat up.

Trump planned to visit FBI headquarters in May, but it was canceled following his firing of then-Director James come.

FBI Agents in Training Visit MLK Memorial As Part of Cultural-Sensitivity Training

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents who undergo months-long training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., undergo target practice and training for surveillance and self-defense.

But one of the newest exercises involves FBI agents in training to take a trip to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

The trainees, dressed in plainclothes, were told to pick the most inspirational MLK quote etched into the stone slabs of the memorial and then discuss it, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The point of the exercise is to show the FBI’s questionable investigations into King, which included racially motivated wiretapping and harassment.

FBI trainees receive other forms of cultural-sensitivity training, including visiting the National Holocaust Museum.

“We wanted to provide a lesson of what happens when power is abused and the responsibility that comes with being in the FBI,” said Cynthia DeWitte, a curriculum manager at the FBI academy. “We wanted this to be more than a field trip.”

ATF’s Scott Sweetow Named Deputy Director of the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center in Quantico

Scott Sweetow

Scott Sweetow

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF agent Scott Sweetow has been named deputy director for the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC).

The intergovernmental agency, which is based at the FBI Laboratory in  Quantico, Va.,  coordinates efforts to gather and share intelligence about improvised explosive devices (IEDs), helps disarm and disrupt IEDs, link them to their makers and works to try and prevent attacks.

Sweetow will be responsible for strategic planning and execution, administration, financial management, program management and oversight of the day-to-day operations

The agency, created in 2003, is headed by a director from the FBI Greg Carl. Sweetow represents the ATF in the agency.

In May 2014, Sweetow was named Deputy Assistant Director for ATF’s Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information (OSII).

He began his career with ATF in 1990 in Los Angeles, spent several years assigned in the Arson and Explosives group, and served as a Certified Explosives Specialist. His duties included being part of ATF’s elite National Response Team, which investigated such high-profile crimes as the Oklahoma City bombing and the Centennial Olympic Park bombings.

He also spent several years working criminal intelligence matters, including a weapons case targeting the “The Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman’s one time driver and bodyguard, Hikmat Alharahsheh.

Additionally, he served as special agent in charge of the ATF offices in Atlanta and St. Paul.