FBI Director James Comey spoke at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Congressional Breakfast and Law Enforcement Recognition Program, held May 7, 2014 in Washington, D.C., where a ...
FBI Employees Among Those Recognized by NCMEC
|FBI Director Comey speaks at the NCMEC event honoring law enforcement personnel on May 7, 2014. Photo courtesy of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children | High-res image|
A number of FBI employees were among the law enforcement personnel honored by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) at its Congressional Breakfast and Law Enforcement Recognition Program held May 7, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Each year, NCMEC selects law enforcement representatives for special recognition of their extraordinary service on cases involving missing or exploited children.
The Bureau employees—along with the federal, state, and local partners they worked with—were chosen for their outstanding work in apprehending a Ten Most Wanted Fugitive, bringing down a child pornography and sex trafficking ring, safely recovering an abducted child, and finding justice for a missing child by apprehending the suspect and recovering the child’s remains.
FBI Director James Comey spoke at the event, congratulating all of the honorees and stressing the importance of private sector partners like NCMEC in addressing “the plague” of crimes against children. He also detailed the FBI’s commitment to protecting children—highlighting such initiatives as our multi-agency Child Exploitation Task Forces around the country, the Innocence Lost operation that identifies and disrupts child sex trafficking rings, the Child Sex Tourism Initiative that identifies American citizens who reside or travel overseas to engage in illicit sexual contact with children, our Child Abduction Rapid Deployment team, and our Office for Victim Assistance, which supports young victims of these crimes.
Said Comey, “National security remains the Bureau’s highest priority, but our criminal programs—and especially our work to try and protect the most vulnerable, to rescue and save kids—are at the core of this organization…. We are pained whenever anyone is victimized. We are pained and heartbroken when that victim is a child.”
The FBI partners with NCMEC on many of the above mentioned programs. Since 1998, the Bureau has assigned agents and analysts to NCMEC full-time to work jointly on numerous operational, training, and awareness initiatives focused on protecting children from dangerous predators.
When a child goes missing, it impacts the whole community. And while local law enforcement and investigators from our regional FBI offices respond and begin looking into the disappearance, the Bureau ...
Investigating Child Abductions
When a child goes missing, it impacts the whole community. And while local law enforcement and investigators from our regional FBI offices respond and begin looking into the disappearance, the Bureau has an additional investigative asset that can be called upon for these time-sensitive cases—our national Child Abduction Response Deployment (CARD) team, which works to recover victims as quickly as possible and helps apprehend those responsible for taking them.
New Jersey resident Sang-Hyun “Jimmy” Park, the leader of a large-scale fraud ring who profited by helping people establish fake identities—enabling them to charge millions of dollars on credit cards ...
Sophisticated Fraud Scheme Dismantled
|A 586 Social Security card and credit card used in Sang-Hyun “Jimmy” Park’s multi-million-dollar fraud scheme.|
New Jersey resident Sang-Hyun “Jimmy” Park, the leader of a large-scale fraud ring who profited by helping people establish fake identities—enabling them to charge millions of dollars on credit cards they had no intention of paying off—was recently sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to the charges against him.
As an FBI agent, he battled gangsters like Arthur “Doc” Barker and Alfred Brady. As a U.S. Marine, he fought valiantly in the Pacific Theater during WWII. As an expert marksman, he won numerous ...
Celebrating the Life of Walter Walsh
|At left: Walter Walsh at the FBI's 100th anniversary celebration in 2008. At right: Walsh practices his marksmanship in his younger years.
As an FBI agent, he battled gangsters like Arthur “Doc” Barker and Alfred Brady. As a U.S. Marine, he fought valiantly in the Pacific Theater during WWII. As an expert marksman, he won numerous honors throughout his life, including competing on the U.S. Olympic shooting team in the 1948 London Summer Games.
His life consisted of tales both harrowing and heroic. And it is with a heavy heart that the FBI pays its respects to the storied Walter Walsh, who passed away earlier this week at his Virginia home. He would have celebrated his 107th birthday this Sunday.
Born in New Jersey on May 4, 1907, Walsh joined the FBI in 1934 under Director J. Edgar Hoover and quickly earned a name for himself in the days of the Gangster Era. In 1942, Walsh joined the Marines, where he trained snipers in North Carolina before being assigned to combat duty in 1944, which led to his participation in the invasion of Okinawa. After the war, he came back to the FBI for a brief period of time, but eventually returned to active duty, retiring in 1969. Throughout his life, Walsh remained a competitive—and extremely medaled—sharpshooter and continued shooting even as a centenarian.
In 2008, Walsh attended the FBI’s 100th anniversary celebration, where—at one year older than the organization itself—he was recognized as the oldest living former FBI agent.
|In 2008, Walsh spoke to the FBI about his role in the Bureau's early years. | Watch video|
Retired FBI Special Agent Richard “Bugsy” Boteler, a former Marine who met Walsh in 1987 at the annual FBI-Marine Corps birthday celebration in Washington, D.C. and developed a close friendship with him over the years, remembers Walsh fondly. “He was the most humble man you’d ever meet—you would never know of his accomplishments,” Boteler said. “To know Colonel Walsh has really been an honor. He was an extraordinary man.”
We agree. The FBI is honored to have been part of his full and incredible life.
The FBI and DHS are conducting coordinated training exercises as part of our continuing mission to share information and work with public safety and private sector partners to improve overall threat ...
Terrorist Incident Response Training
|SWAT team members from our Sacramento Division participate in a complex attack training scenario at a local mall to test the response of law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, and private sector representatives.|
Last September, al Shabaab gunmen attacked a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing more than 70 people. In response, the FBI secured operational resources to assist Kenyan authorities.
Not long after, the Bureau—in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—formulated plans for a training exercise series to ensure that American law enforcement, other public safety first responders, and private sector entities had coordinated, effective response plans in place in case this type of complex terror attack ever occurs at a U.S. public venue.
These exercises aren’t in response to any current threat but are simply part of our continuing mission to share information and work with public safety and private sector partners to improve overall threat response capabilities.
When a 6-year-old boy was abducted in Puerto Rico in October 2012, the FBI’s Child ID app for mobile phones played a role in the boy’s speedy recovery.
How the FBI Child ID App Aided a Recovery
When a 6-year-old boy was abducted in Puerto Rico in October 2012, local media outlets issued conflicting details about the boy’s age; some said he was 7, others said he was 4. Eager to put out an accurate, detailed description to expedite the search, the FBI in San Juan interviewed the missing boy’s parents and asked about his particulars—name, age, and what he was wearing when he was abducted.
|About the Child ID App | PDF|
“The mother was hysterical,” recalls Diana Rosa, a community outreach specialist in our San Juan Field Office who with the assistance of a special agent was able to question the boy’s parents. The family didn’t have a recent picture of the boy handy, so there was little to work with.
Then Rosa pulled up the FBI Child ID app she had installed six months earlier on her smartphone. The free mobile application, available on iPhone and Android operating systems, is a way for parents to store up-to-date pictures and detailed information about their children in the event they go missing. Rosa, whose job includes talking to community members about subjects like safety, had the app on her own phone because she has a young daughter.
On the phone with the case agent who was interviewing the boy’s parents, Rosa referred to a series of queries on the app that helped guide the agent’s questions and collect more identifying characteristics about the missing boy. The probing prompted the boy’s father to recall a very unique characteristic about one of his son’s front teeth.
Shortly thereafter, FBI San Juan issued a detailed press release containing the new information. Within hours, the boy was released by his captors in a busy office park, where a woman who recognized him from the media reports immediately got help. The boy was reunited with his family the same day.
The FBI released the app for iPhones in 2011 and for Android systems in 2012. While the app wasn’t used quite as intended in this case, Rosa said it was very helpful as a way to collect key information during an emotionally charged moment and showed just how useful the app could be. Now when she meets with parents in the community she passes her phone around and shows them the Child ID app, encouraging them to download it so that they will have everything at hand if they ever need it
“As a mom, I know if my child goes missing I won’t remember what she was wearing that day,” said Rosa, who uploads new photos to the app every time her daughter gets a haircut. “Just knowing it’s a click away on my phone in a matter of seconds is a relief.”
The operator at the office supply store call center answers the phone, and the person on the other end claims to be a school purchasing officer with questions about his account. But the caller is ...
Understanding School Impersonation Fraud
The operator at the office supply store call center answers the phone, and the person on the other end claims to be a school purchasing officer with questions about his account. But the caller is actually a criminal, and the information the operator may unwittingly divulge could cost the retailer hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It’s called the school impersonation scheme, and it has been carried out in nine states across the country—mostly by Nigerian criminal groups using the Internet and social engineering techniques.
FBI Director James B. Comey discussed hate crimes and the shared outlook between the FBI and the Anti-Defamation League at the group’s national leadership summit in Washington, D.C. today, where he ...
Director Comey Speaks at Anti-Defamation League’s Leadership Summit
|Director Comey speaks at the Anti-Defamation League’s national leadership summit on April 28, 2014.
Full remarks | Video
FBI Director James B. Comey discussed hate crimes and the shared outlook between the FBI and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) at the group’s national leadership summit in Washington, D.C. today, where he emphasized the importance and effectiveness of training, awareness, partnerships, and patience in the fight against hate. The ADL was founded in 1913 to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry in the U.S. and abroad.
“Over the years, the partnership between the FBI and the ADL has grown stronger,” said Comey. “Yes, we serve different functions, but we share common values and common goals. We both work to protect the lives and liberties of our fellow citizens. We are both building communities that stand united against crime and terrorism. And we are both committed to promoting and defending freedom.”
They are our nation’s heroes—often risking their lives abroad to protect us at home. Which makes what one Virginia con man did all the more despicable…defrauding military personnel and their ...
Investment Fraud Scheme Uncovered
They are our nation’s heroes—often risking their lives abroad to protect us at home. Which makes what one Virginia con man did all the more despicable…defrauding military personnel and their dependents in an investment fraud scheme.
But one of his victims came forward and filed a complaint. And after a joint investigation conducted by the Richmond offices of the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service—under the auspices of the Virginia Financial and Securities Fraud Task Force—Vernon Matthews was charged in the scheme, pled guilty, and was recently sentenced to a federal prison term.
The FBI is asking for the public’s help to identify victims of suspected serial child predator William James Vahey, who taught in private American schools overseas in nine different countries ...
Seeking Information in International Child Exploitation Case
The FBI is asking for the public’s help to identify victims of a suspected serial child predator who taught in private American schools overseas in nine different countries beginning in 1972 and whose young victims—believed to be boys between the ages of 12 and 14—may be unaware of what happened to them.
William James Vahey, a 64-year-old U.S. citizen who was jailed in California in 1969 for child molestation, committed suicide last month days after his employer saw a thumb drive belonging to him that contained pornographic images of boys who were likely drugged. At the time, Vahey was teaching ninth-grade world history and geography at the American Nicaraguan School in Managua. When confronted about the images by a school administrator, Vahey confessed that he was molested as a child and had preyed on boys his entire life, giving them sleeping pills prior to the molestation.
A confidential questionnaire is available for anyone who thinks they may have been victimized by Vahey or who may have information about his predatory behavior.