June 30, 2023

FBI Detroit Special Agent in Charge James A. Tarasca to Retire

Congratulations to Special Agent in Charge James A. Tarasca, who will retire on June 30, 2023, after 24 years of dedicated service to the FBI. Director Christopher Wray named Mr. Tarasca as the head of the Detroit Field Office in April 2022.

Since arriving in Michigan, Mr. Tarasca has led the office’s efforts to disrupt financial sextortion, hate crimes, hoax threats to schools and businesses, and its response to the shooting at Michigan State University. Additionally, Mr. Tarasca oversaw the successful federal and state prosecutions of 10 men involved in a plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor, the investigation and prosecution of violent criminal enterprises, and the international effort to take down nine cryptocurrency exchanges being used by cybercriminals.

Mr. Tarasca joined the FBI as a special agent in 1999 and was assigned to the Orlando Resident Agency of the Tampa Field Office to investigate white-collar crime. Following the terror attacks of 9/11, he was reassigned to investigate counterterrorism matters throughout Central Florida. He was also a firearms instructor and member of the Tampa Special Weapons and Tactics Team.

In 2003, Mr. Tarasca was selected to the Hostage Rescue Team, the nation’s only full-time domestic counterterrorism unit, based at Quantico, Virginia. He participated in numerous domestic operations and deployed internationally, including to Iraq and Afghanistan on multiple occasions. In 2008, he was promoted to supervisory special agent and team leader.

Mr. Tarasca transferred to the Philadelphia Field Office in 2011 and was assigned to the Violent Crimes Task Force. He was promoted to supervisory special agent of the task force in 2013. He returned to Afghanistan in 2016 to work counterterrorism and kidnapping matters.

In 2017, Mr. Tarasca was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division of the New York Field Office and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. He led squads responsible for investigating international and domestic terrorism, threat response, special events, weapons of mass destruction, hazardous materials operations, bomb technicians, and other matters.

Mr. Tarasca was promoted to section chief in the International Operations Division in 2018, overseeing FBI operations in Europe and Eurasia, as well as the Global Readiness Unit. He returned to the New York Field Office in 2019 as the special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division and JTTF.

He was promoted to deputy assistant director of operations in the Counterterrorism Division at Headquarters in 2021.

Mr. Tarasca is the recipient of the FBI Director’s Award for Excellence in Leadership, two FBI Shields of Bravery, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner’s Commendation for Bravery. He earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Eastern University and was a Pennsylvania state trooper prior to joining the FBI.

Details regarding a permanent replacement for the Detroit Field Office Special Agent in Charge will be forthcoming. Upon SAC Tarasca’s retirement, and in the interim, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Devin Kowalski will be the Acting SAC.