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May 2024

FBI Police during National Police Week events on May 7, 2024, in Washington, D.C.
The FBI Police Honor Guard stands for a photo near FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. on May 7, 2024, during National Police Week. The annual observance dates back to 1962, when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.

Message from the Assistant Director, Office of Public Affairs

Hello, FBI Family,

Each May during National Police Week, our thoughts turn to our fallen colleagues within the FBI and our broader law enforcementPublic Affairs Assistant Director Catherine Milhoan community. At FBI Headquarters on May 16, our annual Wall of Honor Memorial Service will honor all the FBI personnel who’ve given their lives while carrying out their duties. This year, we’ll add to the wall the names of eight employees — seven of whom we’ve recently lost to 9/11-related illnesses.

As we pay tribute to the fallen, Police Week is also a chance to show our appreciation for all those who have taken an oath to serve and protect. I’d ask you to share widely this video message from Director Wray expressing support and gratitude for the law enforcement officers among our FBI Family, and for our federal, state, local, and tribal partners nationwide. We are forever grateful you have devoted yourselves to keeping people safe.

In law enforcement, we not only grieve the loss of our own; we’re often called upon to deliver devastating news about victims of crime and terrorism to their loved ones. Last month during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, we announced the launch of the FBI’s updated Trauma Notification Training tool for law enforcement, first responders, victim specialists, and allied professionals. This free online course—first developed in 2015 by our Victim Services Division and now available to everyone on and a new mobile app—demonstrates a four-step, evidence-informed approach to providing trauma or death notifications to the next of kin. These notifications are a difficult but necessary part of our work, and this training helps us ensure they’re always delivered with professionalism, dignity, and compassion. Please help us spread the word about it.

Thanks again for staying connected, if you have feedback, send us a note at

    Cathy Milhoan

By the Numbers: Justice Statistics

The Federal Justice Statistics, 2022, report released earlier this year by the Bureau of Justice Statistics provides national statistics on the federal response to crime for fiscal year 2022 and some statistics on changes over time.

The report describes case processing in the federal criminal justice system, including investigations by U.S. attorneys, prosecutions and declinations, convictions and acquittals, sentencing, probation and supervised release, and imprisonment.

The report shows federal arrests gradually rose from FY 2000 to FY 2013 before decreasing from FY 2014 to FY 2017. Arrests then increased sharply, reaching a 20-year high of 206,630 in FY 2019, before falling in FY 2020 and FY 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic.


  • During fiscal year (FY) 2022, federal law enforcement agencies made 96,857 arrests, a 24% increase from the 78,068 arrests in FY 2021.

  • In the 26,233 Drug Enforcement Administration arrests in FY 2022, the most common type of drug involved was methamphetamine (8,083 arrests), followed by other opioids, including fentanyl (5,375 arrests).

  • Persons exiting federal prison in FY 2022 for nonregulatory public order offenses, including sex offenses, served more time (66 months) than persons exiting for violent offenses (56 months) or drug offenses (53 months).

  • The median number of days from the receipt of an investigation to the decision by a U.S. attorney to prosecute or decline a matter was 60 days in FY 2022, down from 70 days in FY 2021.

View Full Report

Message from the Human Resources Branch Executive Assistant Director

Hello, FBI alumni community, I'm glad to have the opportunity to share some thoughts with you this month. One key aspect of my job is communicating–with the FBI’s entire workforce, and with people who care passionately about our workforce. I often do this through traditional channels, such as regular meetings with the Director’s advisory committees, where I collaborate with representatives of various employee groups.

We’re also using some newer approaches. About a year ago, the Human Resources Branch began hosting small groups of local chapterTim Dunham, Executive Assistant Director, Human Resources Branch chairs of the Society of Former Special Agents at the FBI Academy for a day every few months. The chapter chairs come to Quantico to meet with Director Wray and other executives, tour the FBI Academy, and attend a new agent graduation. This program gives the chapter chairs a venue for sharing their members’ recommendations with the FBI’s top leaders and to see up close changes we’ve made to modernize our training and the new agent graduates who will continue to perform the FBI’s critical mission. You can read about a recent visit to a New Agent graduation below in this month’s Alumni E-Brief.

As an extension of these efforts, I incorporate meetings with local Society chapter members into my field office visits whenever possible. Field office visits are an invaluable way to ask how things are going and what HQ can do to better support our people across the country. I am aiming to visit a different field office every month or so in order to maintain that connection to our workforce and partners in the field.

There’s no substitute for showing up in person and hearing employees’ concerns face to face. But there’s also not enough time for me to get to every field office in person while still handling all the business of the Branch. So my team is tapping into technology to aid in our comms efforts. Our Branch has started a podcast for the workforce as a way to share the latest information about human resources, training, and security. And we’re hosting HR Branch town halls live on FBITV, so employees anywhere in the world can ask their questions.

Through these communication channels, I hope our workforce and our stakeholders can see and hear that there are people working hard at HQ to make things better for all employees, so we can continue to protect the American people. Thank you for your support for these efforts.

Tim Dunham


Director Highlights FBI Role in Civil Rights

Director Christopher Wray summoned the words of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a speech last month at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Alabama encouraging civil rights activists and law enforcement leaders to forge ahead in their fight for justice despite the persistence of violent, bias-motivated hate crimes. Details

History: 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing
What We Investigate: Hate Crimes

Protecting Quantum Science and Tech

When new technologies result from American ideas and research, it's the job of the FBI and and our partner agencies to protect them.

Adversarial nation-states are aggressively attempting to obtain a strategic advantage over the U.S. by stealing U.S. technologies and research know-how to help bolster their respective government's policies that violate international norms—including respect for rule of law, fair trade, and full scientific research collaborative reciprocity—while damaging U.S. economic competitiveness and harming U.S. national and economic security. Details

What We Investigate: Emerging and Advanced Technology

Foreign actors are increasingly targeting and collecting against a wide range of U.S. quantum companies, universities, and government labs.

FBI Richmond Field Office

Richmond Field Office

IG Report on Richmond Intel Product

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz last month reported to Congress and publicly released the results of a 120-day review of the “creation and content of the FBI Richmond Field Office’s internal intelligence product addressing a purported link between Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVEs) and ‘Radical Traditionalist Catholic’ ideology.”

The review did not find evidence that anyone ordered or directed intelligence analysts to find a link between RMVEs and any specific religion or political affiliation or that there was any underlying policy direction concerning such a link. Details

'Privilege to Attend'

Chapter Chairs of Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI Attend BFTC Graduation

Chairs of Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI at Quantico in January.

FBI personnel escorted chapter chairs at the FBI Academy in Quantico. Pictured are Rich Kolko, Joe Valiquette, Pat Halford, Keith Moses, John O’Brien, Tim Almon, Nancy Savage, Ed Mireles, Joe Cavallo, Steve Senteney, and Rick Roberson

By Nancy Savage, executive director, Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI
Reprinted from the Grapevine Magazine, January/February 2024

The FBI has, once again, graciously extended an invitation to the Society to
have chapter chairs attend a new agents graduation ceremony of the Basic Field Training Course (BFTC) at the FBI Academy in January of this year. Supervisory Special Agents Amylynn Errera, Rich Kolko (ret.), and Jason Pack, as well as Brandon Clark spent the day with the chairs after they were greeted personally by Training Division Assistant Director Jacqueline Maguire, who joined them on the bus for a short visit.

The event mirrored the last several graduations that our chapter chairs had the privilege to attend with an impressive graduation ceremony for the 124 new agents, wherein Director Wray presented them individually with their credentials. There were seven new agents who were presented their credentials by active and retired FBI family members, including spouses, parents, and grandparents. AD Maguire specifically honored the society chairs for being in attendance. The graduation was followed by lunch in the cafeteria (we dined in the Board Room area) and then spent almost an hour with Director Wray in the Lincoln Room.

Meeting with Director Wray in the Lincoln Room

Director Wray met with the group of chapter chairs and provided the following information:

  • The number of applicants for the special agent position remains strong. When Director Wray visits field offices, the cases that they choose to highlight due to their complexity and impact often have young, highly skilled case agents.
  • The Director commented that the FBI has excellent relationships with state and local law enforcement. He noted that FBI task forces have grown in number and size. Despite law enforcement having staffing problems almost universally, the FBI task forces have maintained their local and state task force officers as the other departments want to continue their partnerships with the FBI. The FBI has approximately 6,000 task force officers at the present time.
  • The Director acknowledged that the FBI is on the receiving end of political fallout from Congress at times. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is presenting challenges with the FBI focusing both on strengthening defenses against AI-based attacks and adapting AI to positive applications for the Bureau.
  • One of the chairs asked the Director about the seeming disparity between investigations related to the January 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol and those in the wake of the George Floyd riots. Wray noted there were hundreds of investigations opened around the country post-George Floyd riots. Some important differences are that January 6 all happened in one day and in one place, whereas the activity related to George Floyd occurred over months in multiple places. The January 6 crimes were all federal, as opposed to many of the criminal acts around the country related to the George Floyd riots, which were state and local crimes. The FBI did work to support these investigations as much as possible. The press coverage of January 6 defendants has been much greater as well, making those cases much more visible. He noted, again, that the FBI does not make prosecutorial decisions, in either state or federal cases.
  • One of the chairs asked about any particular increase in threats after the October 7, 2023, attack on Israel. The Director noted that the FBI is sharing intelligence information closely with Israel. There is a wider array and increased number of threats since the attack with 60% of religious threats being anti-Semitic in nature. The special agents in charge are staying engaged with the rabbis in their areas.
  • One of the chairs asked for further information that the FBI might have on church security, which was provided separately to the chairs afterwards.

New Grads

The New Agents of #23-05 came from a wide variety of backgrounds, to include accounting, computer science, cyber security, lawyers, military service, law enforcement, and operational medicine.
A total of 44% had prior military or law enforcement experience. Their backgrounds included an aeronautics operations engineer, biomedical engineer, middle school teacher, and a clinical pharmacist.
Over 50% of the class held advanced degrees, with three having doctoral degrees. Class members spoke a total of twenty different languages.

Director Wray meets with Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI in January 2024.
Chairs of Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI watch training at Quantico in January, 2024.

Director Wray meets with society representatives at Quantico.

Current priorities of the FBI

  • The Director emphasized that the FBI follows the evidence wherever it leads and will not be deterred from doing the right thing in the right way.
  • The Director noted that the line between news and opinion is often being blurred. One chair asked if the Director could do more press appearances, especially talk shows. The Director indicated that he has done a number of press interviews and is continually working to participate in a number of news productions but wants to ensure that the format allows him to accurately relay information about the FBI, investigations, and threats facing the nation.
  • He remarked that much of the country gets its news from local outlets and he is encouraging the SACs to be engaged with the media and talk about issues of national concern.

Director Wray was thanked for extending the invitations to the chapter chairs to attend a new agent graduation and for spending time candidly answering all questions. The schedule allocated thirty minutes for the society representatives to meet with Director Wray. The meeting lasted almost an hour with the chapter chairs fully engaged with Director Wray.

Chairs of Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI watch training at Quantico in January, 2024.

Training Division staff provide a demonstration.

FBI Academy Tour

The group met with members of the Firearms Training Unit and the Defensive Tactics Unit (where they were provided a demonstration of the new defensive tactics being taught to the New Agents and to law enforcement officers throughout the country as requested.) The chairs had a chance to feel out the new point- and-shoot hand guns with laser sights. They were joined by Executive Assistant Director (EAD) Tim Dunham during the defensive tactics
briefing before heading off to tour the updated Hogan’s Alley.

Chris Kelly of the Practical Applications Unit provided the Chairs with a tour of Hogan’s Alley. The tour included the newly remodeled area of the Biograph Theatre, which has been updated to include the Pulse Nightclub, a movie theatre similar to the layout in Aurora, Colorado, a
café, and a medical office waiting room. The building that housed the Biograph now has additional venues for students to review their actions on video directly after their training exercise. The tour also included the Bank of Hogan, as well as a number of practical
application rooms.

Meeting with Training Division AD Jacqueline Maguire

AD Maguire and members of her executive management team met with the society representatives in the Training Division conference room, where she answered questions. She noted that they are in the process of adding a training section at the academy for the staff operations specialists (SOSs), who are assigned to the investigative squads in the field to assist the agents in case support such as phone record analysis, preparation of subpoenas, preparation of spreadsheets, and similar investigative support functions. The SOSs are provided six weeks of training at the academy including legal training. This position is often considered a stepping stone to the special agent position.

AD Maguire explained that they take all the new agents and analysts to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and to the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City as part of the orientation. The four sessions of approximately 50 new agents start together at the academy and graduate together. Some of the agent training is done in conjunction with both intelligence analysts and SOSs.

Based on a question from one of the chapter chairs, AD Maguire indicated that the FBI Academy will still be the headquarters for the Training Division, but more of the advanced training will be done in Huntsville, Alabama. The group members heartily thanked
the Training Division staff for the entire day and their efforts to provide such a rewarding experience.

Heightened Threat During Pride Month

The FBI and DHS are issuing this Public Service Announcement to provide awareness to the public of foreign terrorist organizations or their supporters potential targeting of LGBTQIA+-related events and venues. Foreign terrorist organizations or supporters may seek to exploit increased gatherings associated with the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month.


USERT divers prepare to investigate pipeline.

Investigating Environmental Crimes

The FBI and its partners used groundbreaking techniques and technology to determine what happened in 2021 when a thick black sheen of oil reached the shores of Huntington Beach, California. It spanned nearly six nautical miles and reached as far south as San Diego. Over three days, 25,000 gallons of oil leaked from a pipeline eight miles offshore. Details

Behind the Mic

FBI Budget Request for 2025

The FBI Headquarters building is located at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C.

FBI Headquarters building in Washington, D.C.

The FBI's budget request for FY25 proposes $11.3 billion in direct budget authority to carry out the FBI’s national security, intelligence, criminal law enforcement, and criminal justice services missions.  

The request includes salaries and expenses supporting 37,083 positions (13,623 special agents, 3,337 intelligence analysts, and 20,123 professional staff), and $61.9 million for construction. Program enhancements include $7 million to enhance cyber capabilities, $17.8 million to mitigate threats from foreign intelligence services, and $8.4 million for firearms background checks.

Director Wray's Statement for the Record

Podcast: Investigating Torture

On this episode of Inside the FBI, we’ll share the story behind a joint investigation by the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations that helped secure the second-ever conviction under the United States’ federal torture statute since its implementation in 1994. Details

A Museum of the American Revolution employee handles two firearms recovered during an art crime investigation conducted by FBI Philadelphia and our local law enforcement partners, with help from the museum and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Members of the Royal Highland Regiment, part of the British Army sent to suppress the American rebellion, carried these steel pistols.In Case You Missed It

The FBI recently helped recover stolen Revolutionary War-era U.S. firearms that were a part of a string of thefts in the 1960s and 1970s in and around Valley Forge Park in Pennsylvania.

Since the investigation into these thefts started in 2009, three men have admitted taking items from the park and from the Valley Forge Historical Society located within Washington Memorial Chapel and helped investigators locate stolen items. Details

This series features stories, images, and videos produced by the team that manages


A Retired Agent’s Second Act

Anne Beagan produced the documentary “The 26th Street Garage: The FBI’s Untold Story of 9/11" and the “FBI True” docuseries

Director Wray presented Anne Beagan with a token of appreciation at FBI Headquarters.

Director Wray presented Anne Beagan with a token of appreciation at FBI Headquarters.

Anne Beagan tells the FBI’s stories through her own entertainment industry projects.

The retired agent was the keynote speaker at FBI Headquarters’ celebration of Women’s History Month on March 27. The event’s theme was “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion” and was sponsored by the Office of the Diversity and Inclusion and the Women’s Advisory Committee.

Emcee and Training Division Assistant Director Jacqueline Maguire said the word “advocate” is the keyword in the theme because it means to “come to one’s aid” and to “publicly support or recommend.” In her 23-year Bureau career, Beagan advocated with partner agencies and was a liaison to the film and TV industry to help tell FBI-themed stories with authenticity.

“I know what it took to get here, to have the jobs that you have, and I know what it takes to stay in it,” she told the audience in the Bonaparte Auditorium and watching via webcast. She knows the long hours, the missed holidays and family events. She knows the positive difference FBI employees make in the lives of those we serve, too.

Anne Beagan handed out “FBI True” caps from the docuseries she produced.

Anne Beagan handed out “FBI True” caps from the docuseries she produced.

Beagan grew up in a tiny, rural Vermont town. One day, a female FBI agent from the Albany Division spoke to her high school political science class; Beagan was 14 and riveted. “In walked Superwoman,” she recalled about the agent in a sharp red skirt suit. “She had a badge, a gun and handcuffs. She had it all.” Beagan knew then that she wanted to become an FBI agent.  

But she was young when she applied, and the recruiter was concerned she didn’t have enough life experience to be considered. Beagan doggedly pursued her goal, kept in touch and reassured the recruiter that “small town, independent, country living actually not only gives you the tools for life, but the whole tool shed and the barn. And he took a chance on me.”

In New Agents Class 96-18, Beagan ranked the New York Office as her first and only choice. Her first assignment was as a co-case agent on boxing promoter Don King’s four-month trial that ended in a hung jury, a major blow. She next joined a Civil Rights, Public Corruption and Violent Crimes Against Children squad. “I moved from a safe, comfy white-collar squad right into the belly of the beast,” she said.

Then the 9/11 attacks happened, and everything changed.

“Once the dust started to settle, there were needs popping up that didn’t fit into any one box, per se,” Beagan said. “I saw a gap, and I volunteered to be the full-time FBI liaison to the mayor’s office, working side-by-side with our local, state, federal and private sector partners. Working to deconflict issues impacting local businesses, restaurants, hotels, sanitation, the Federal Reserve. And that coordination became critical.”

After 9/11, so many high-profile events in the city were more heightened because of the risk of a terrorist attack, the United Nations’ General Assembly meeting among them. Beagan’s boss told her to attend a planning meeting at the UN and represent the FBI. She became the special events coordinator for the NYO’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, a role she loved.

Beagan found her next assignment in the NYO’s Press Office. Her SSA was aware that Beagan knew writers and producers and encouraged her to help them understand the FBI and “get us involved in New York productions that touch the Bureau,” she said.

“By showcasing inclusion and diversity of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives within the FBI, these portrayals send a powerful message: That anyone can aspire to serve their country.”

Anne Beagan, retired special agent, producer of "FBI True"
Anne Beagan is joined by ADD Brian Turner, retired OPA AD Mike Kortan, and others at FBI Headquarters

Anne Beagan is joined by others at FBI Headquarters for a group photo that includes Assistant Deputy Director Brian Turner (third from left) and retired Assistant Director, Office of Public Affairs, Mike Kortan (fifth from left).

She combed through the trade papers looking for announcements about FBI-themed productions. A friend in the mayor’s office told Beagan about projects with approved film and tv permits. “I started reaching out, introducing myself, being very much the New York representative of the unit here at Headquarters within OPA that has historically and brilliantly done that very same thing.”

Her goal was to shape productions in a more authentic way, but “I started thinking of new ideas and ways to proactively highlight our brand, to highlight who you are and what you do.”

In 2015, Beagan pitched a scripted show about the FBI that became the six-episode docuseries, “Inside the FBI: New York,” a project that took viewers “deep inside a field office,” she said. It aired in 2017, and the feedback she received praised the show’s accuracy in depicting the job, its sacrifices and its rewards.

One day, Beagan heard from a CTD agent who was featured in the series. “He said, ‘Annie, the Ops Center just connected a call to my desk. It was a guy who saw me in the series. And he said to me, I didn’t know you could be in the FBI if you were gay.’” A lightning bolt went off in Beagan’s head — FBI shows can influence and inspire people. “I knew I had to do more,” she said.

Anne Beagan is joined by FBI Director Christopher Wray and Training Division Assistant Director Jacqueline Maguire at FBI Headquarters

Anne Beagan is joined by FBI Director Christopher Wray and Training Division Assistant Director Jacqueline Maguire at FBI Headquarters.

She wanted to transfer to Los Angeles, the heart of the entertainment industry, but she was fourth on the Office of Preference list. She called the three agents ahead of her and asked them, “If you get the call, are you going to go?” They wanted to know why she was asking.

“I explained to them what I had done in the press office [in the NYO], the impact I saw, that our beloved brand was under attack and I wanted to do more, and I figured LA was the place to do it. … Those three men stepped aside and cleared the way for me to be in the number-one position.”

When she retired on Jan. 8, 2020, she wanted to produce stories about the Bureau on her own, “to show our diversity and to inspire change and growth.”

Beagan’s eponymous production company released a documentary, “The 26th Street Garage: The FBI’s Untold Story of 9/11,” about how the NYO converted a garage into a command post immediately after the attacks. Beagan has also produced the “FBI True” docuseries.

A series about the Bureau’s first Black female profiler is in the works, and she has additional projects in which she’s assigning lead roles traditionally played by men to women because “authentic portrayals of the FBI in film and TV have the power to humanize, demystify and challenge stereotypes.”

“By showcasing inclusion and diversity of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives within the FBI, these portrayals send a powerful message: That anyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual preference or socio-economic status, can aspire to serve their country. Join Team America and make a difference in the world,” she said.

Women have been making a difference in the FBI for more than a century, Director Wray said in his introductory remarks.

In the FBI’s early days, women served as radio and switchboard operators to keep the FBI connected. They maintained records to ensure crucial case information was accessible at a moment’s notice. Women broke through into the Bureau’s science professions and handled forensics and other evidence and worked with early information technology efforts, including processing electronic fingerprints. Women served in all these fields and many others before they were finally accepted into the special agent ranks in 1972.

“Each new field they entered represented obstacles they had overcome and accomplishments they achieved despite barriers that should not have existed in the first place,” Director Wray said. “In short, the story of women in the FBI is one of skill, perseverance and a noble dedication to service. And today, that story continues with leadership because we now benefit from more women leaders than ever before.”

Director Wray is committed to continuing to push for diversity and inclusion initiatives across the organization, including more and better professional development programs.

“And I’m going to continue to do all I can to expand leadership opportunities through the enterprise because as far as we have come these 115 years, we need to keep removing barriers and ensuring that women have a seat at the table, whether that table is in a courtroom, a forensic lab, a cyber off-site, etc. And if we do it in the right way, we won’t have to wait another 115 years for gender disparities in the FBI to be considered history.”

“In short, the story of women in the FBI is one of skill, perseverance and a noble dedication to service. And today, that story continues with leadership because we now benefit from more women leaders than ever before.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray

Kansas City Ribbon-Cutting

New field office honors former Director Kelley and division's fallen agents

Ribbon Cutting for Kansas City Field Office in April 2024.

The FBI Kansas City Field Office recently held its commemoration and ribbon cutting ceremony for its new building recognizing former FBI Director and Kansas City, Missouri Police Chief Clarence M. Kelley. The event honored FBI Kansas City’s historic past and recognized its current efforts to protect the community.

The building proudly displays a plaque recognizing Kelley’s service to Kansas City, the FBI and the United States. In addition to the plaque, the executive management suite exhibits multiple items from Director Kelley’s life and work. These include an award for firearms expertise he earned at Quantico, a copy of the testimony from his confirmation hearing, the hat he wore as police chief, and his credentials from his time as an FBI special agent. Former Director Kelley’s family was present at the ceremony, and Director Christopher Wray met with them to discuss Kelley’s life and legacy. Ruth Noah, Director Kelley’s youngest granddaughter, participated in the official ribbon cutting of the building.

Director Wray met the family of Special Agent Jerry Jobe at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Kansas City Field Office.

Director Wray met with the family of Jerry Jobe, who died in 2010 from cancer linked to carcinogens he was exposed to while responding to the 9/11 attacks.

Director Wray met the family of former Director Clarence Kelley at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Kansas City Field Office.

Director Wray and the family of former FBI Director Clarence Kelley.

The field office commemorated conference rooms honoring five FBI Wall of Honor members who were serving in Kansas City when they lost their lives in service to the FBI. The special agents are Raymond Caffrey, Wimberly Baker, Stanley Ronquest, Jerry Jobe, and Melissa Morrow. Four of the agents’ families were able to attend the ceremony and Director Wray spent time with each of them hearing stories about their loved one.  

FBI Kansas City Special Agent Rob Gunderson’s daughter Emma honored America by singing the national anthem and a color guard from the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department presented the colors.

A Legacy Across Three Generations

One family's multi-generational commitment to leave FBI 'better than you found it'

The Smith brothers share their family heirloom,
special agent badge No. 1120, at Bryan’s (right)
retirement from the FBI in December 2023.

Brothers Kelly (left) and Bryan Smith share their family heirloom, special agent badge No. 1120, at Bryan’s retirement from the FBI in December 2023.

From the late 1930s to today, the Smith family has been part of the FBI, and three generations have carried badge No. 1120. The first was Joseph F. Smith, then it went to one of his sons, Neil Smith, then to his grandsons, Kelly and Bryan Smith. Kelly is an ASAC at FBI Seattle, and Bryan was a section chief in the Cyber Division. Bryan and Kelly are 13 months apart, and Kelly joined the Bureau first in January 2002.

Joseph was an FBI clerk who worked nights in the late 1930s while going to Georgetown Law School. He became an agent in 1941 and was in the San Diego Division. On Dec. 8, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor, Smith resigned his position and joined the U.S. Navy. After the war, he returned to the FBI and worked 33 years in San Francisco. He and wife Elizabeth had four children and lived in nearby Burlingame.

Several agents were in the neighborhood and the dads carpooled to work, their fedora hats resting below the car’s rear window. The agents’ kids were all friends.

In 1948, Joseph was one of the FBI agents who picked up Tokyo Rose, aka Iva Toguri D’Aquino, from U.S. military custody. (Tokyo Rose wasn’t just one person; several women served as the voices of Japanese anti-U.S. propaganda during the war.)

Family lore includes the tale of how Joseph met Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in the San Francisco field office. The SAC knew Director J. Edgar Hoover wasn’t a fan of Kennedy’s.

“So he found the highest-ranking Irish Catholic to give Kennedy the tour of the office. And that’s how we ended up with this photo of my grandfather talking to Bobby Kennedy,” Bryan said. Joseph retired from the Bureau in 1975.

Son Neil joined in 1976 and worked in the Portland, Boston, Honolulu and San Francisco divisions before retiring in 2001 to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Before he retired, Neil asked if badge 1120 could be held for nephew Kelly who was in the agent hiring process. In 2014, Neil returned to the FBI as a contractor in Honolulu.

The first FBI agent in the Smith family, Joseph (left), met Attorney General Robert F.
Kennedy in the San Francisco Field Office.

The first FBI agent in the Smith family, Joseph (left), met Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in the San Francisco Field Office.

Looking for Meaning

One day in the late 1990s, Kelly called Bryan to tell him he was considering the agent path and to ask what Bryan thought about it. Bryan encouraged Kelly to apply. The brothers were working in the private sector, at a Big Four accounting firm and a management consulting business. They liked their jobs but sought more meaning in their careers.

Kelly started at the FBI Academy in January 2002 as part of class 02-02, the second new agents class after the 9/11 attacks.

Firearms were new to him, and range time included a contract instructor whom Kelly characterized as “the ex-Marine that screamed in your ear while you’re trying to shoot, which isn’t helpful.” About six weeks into training, concepts like trigger control clicked; Kelly finished third in his class in firearms.

Upon graduation, he was assigned to the Erie RA in Pennsylvania as his first office, a fortuitous assignment to a smaller city. “I got the excitement of working in the violent crime world and probably the investigative experience or complexity working in the fraud and public corruption and white-collar world,” he said.

Kelly worked closely with detectives in several jurisdictions as they collaborated on casework.

A memory from Erie is the Collar Bomb case from 2003, when pizza delivery man Brian Wells robbed a bank while wearing a time bomb around his neck. Kelly was among the law enforcement responders near Wells, about 25 yards away, waiting for the bomb squad to arrive. Then the bomb’s timer went off, killing Wells instantly. Kelly recalled pieces of metal pinwheeling over his head.

After Erie, Kelly went to FBIHQ, to the Economic Crimes Unit. In a nice twist, Bryan — who had followed his brother’s lead and become an FBI agent himself in 2002 — was in the unit, too, but on a detail to the Securities and Exchange Commission. “We didn’t sit next to each other every day because I don’t think anyone could tolerate two brothers sitting next to each other,” Bryan said.

Could the brothers Smith ever have a podcast like the Kelces’ or the Mannings’?

“Once you hear both of us laugh, you’ll realize that nobody wants us on a podcast laughing,” Bryan joked.

The brothers swapped badges before Kelly left FBIHQ for his next job as the SSRA in Tacoma from 2012-17. The badge is a family heirloom, and Bryan deserved to carry it as well, Kelly said.

An international opportunity arose for Kelly in Canberra, Australia, for a 60-day TDY and next he served as the counterterrorism assistant legal attaché from 2018-21. He and others from the Legat traveled to New Zealand in March 2019 along with FBI Los Angeles’s extraterritorial squad to assist partners with the Christchurch mosque shootings investigation.

Back stateside, Kelly led a CT squad in Seattle for a year and became ASAC over the criminal program in 2022.

His family’s FBI legacy is a “privilege and a responsibility all in one,” he said. “I feel like having this be such a big thing in my family that I’ve been entrusted to something. I want to be responsible and perform well.”

Upholding Standards

Bryan remembers his grandfather Joseph as funny and engaging, someone who was active in his parish and coached kids’ basketball. “We admired the fact that there’s a right way to do things, and that he had respect for the country and respect for the Bureau. I remember they had a bar at the house with an FBI seal behind it.”

Bryan was part of class 02-20 and spent the first nine years of his FBI career in the Cleveland Division. Then came a position in the Economic Crimes Unit as a detailee to the SEC for 18 months, and next Bryan moved to the Cyber Division to start a cybercrime financial team. He was a unit chief in the money laundering unit in CID from 2014-15 and then returned to Cleveland to lead a cyber criminal squad before being promoted to an ASAC of the White-Collar Cyber branch.

His last role was in the Cyber Division as the Cyber Criminal Operations section chief. In a way, his career came full circle from his private sector days of consulting on IT issues in the late 1990s. Back then, cybersecurity was an afterthought. “That was across the board in every single industry, and now, we’re paying the price for that,” he said.

“In the end, the people and making cases are the core of who we are and what we do, and as I retire, I hope I never strayed from that.”

Bryan Smith
Kelly (left) welcomed Bryan to the FBI agent ranks as a member of the graduating class of 02-20.

Kelly (left) welcomed Bryan to the FBI agent ranks as a member of the graduating class of 02-20.

Of his family’s FBI service, Bryan said what resonated was that the FBI is bigger than “all of us and that you want to be a part of, and contribute, and that you have an obligation to leave it better than you found it.”

On a personal note, he’s met retired agents who knew his grandfather and his uncle. “You want to maintain and uphold the standard that was set before you, both in the family and the Bureau.”

Bryan retired from the FBI on Dec. 8, the same date his grandfather retired in 1941 to join the Navy after the Pearl Harbor attacks. When asked what he is most proud of, Bryan said there were two things: The incredible people he worked with and his nine years as a case agent, the job he feels he was best at.

“In the end, the people and making cases are the core of who we are and what we do, and as I retire, I hope I never strayed from that.”

What about the next generation of Smiths? Bryan and his wife have five children; a daughter who’s studying information technology at Syracuse University is a potential future candidate, and he thinks his two high school-aged sons may be interested. Kelly’s three kids are younger.

“Our hope with our family is that we can see this into the next generation, and maybe there’ll be a female agent who then gets to take the badge,” Bryan said.

Retiring and Returning

As a kid, Neil was an avid viewer of “The F.B.I.” weekly TV series with Efrem Zimbalist Jr., and the show made an impression. Of course, Inspector Lewis Erskine always solved crimes in each hourlong episode and never did paperwork.

Neil studied accounting and worked in the field for a couple of years before beginning at Quantico in 1976. When Neil asked his dad why he didn’t stick around to see his son become an agent, his dad quipped, “Any outfit that was letting you in, I was getting out of.”

Twenty-two of his 35 classmates were assigned to the New York Office, and Neil and badge 1120 went to Portland, Oregon, where Neil benefited from having excellent training agents who mentored him.

When he transferred to Boston two years later, Neil adjusted to the “culture shock of working with people who were very direct, trying to figure out if they liked you or didn’t like you.” But he added, “once they are your friends, they’re your friends forever.”

He recalled studying maps of Boston, learning how to navigate the 300-year-old neighborhoods and to run informants and work long-term white-collar cases. Back then, the body recorders were the size of paperbacks. While in Boston, Neil met a young first assistant attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, Bob Mueller. Their paths would cross again.

“I feel like having this be such a big thing in my family that I’ve been entrusted to something. I want to be responsible and perform well.”

Kelly Smith
Kelly and Bryan’s uncle, Neil Smith (center), is pictured in 2001 with Robert Mueller before he became FBI Director and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Kelly and Bryan’s uncle, Neil Smith (center), is pictured in 2001 with Robert Mueller before he became FBI Director and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Neil was acquainted with infamous agent John Connolly, who was Irish mob crime boss and informant James “Whitey” Bulger’s handler. Bulger’s turf was South Boston, and the Italian mob’s Angiulo family ran Boston’s North End. The information Bulger and others provided to the FBI helped to dismantle the Angiulos’ criminal activities. But at the same time, details of Neil’s public corruption cases into Whitey’s brother, William “Billy” Bulger, the president of the Massachusetts state senate, kept appearing in The Boston Globe.

The paper had “a story every day about who I was interviewing and what I was doing,” Neil said. Further details as to why were subsequently revealed in the book, “Black Mass,” and subsequent internal OPR investigations.


After 13 years in Boston, Neil moved in 1990 to the Honolulu Field Office and eventually became a supervisor. As his three sons approached high school, the family moved to San Francisco and settled in Burlingame, a homecoming.

By this time, Mueller was the U.S. Attorney in Northern California. “Bob knew my background,” Neil said, and their rapport helped his squad’s cases get attention in the office.

Soon after 9/11, Neil was eligible to retire; two former agents recruited him to work for Charles Schwab, and that job led to additional opportunities in the financial services sector and global travel. The first year he left the FBI was hard because Neil missed the “meaning of the work.”

By 2014, Neil’s wife was ready for a change of scenery, and they returned to Hawaii and he retired, full stop. He lasted about a month. “I had friends, two classmates who were doing the forfeiture work,” he recalled. The flexibility of being an FBI contractor appealed to him.

The Bureau he returned to was different from the agency he’d left. Gone were the days of looking through serials and closed files. “The technology available to FBI investigations today and the support investigations receive from FBI personnel such as analysts, forensic accountants, computer analysts and others during the course of an investigation has advanced FBI cases. It results in continued successful convictions of the most complex crimes of today and makes us all proud as former employees.”

Neil retired as a contractor on Sept. 1, 2023. Looking back, “I’m so proud of my career. I’m so proud of my family’s attachment to the FBI,” he said. He still recruits for the FBI when he meets someone who’s sharp. “I still want them to join the best organization.”

“I’m so proud of my career. I’m so proud of my family’s attachment to the FBI.”

Neil Smith


Stock image depicting an overlay of binary code with old computers, monitors, and keyboards in background.

Morris Worm

At around 8:30 p.m. on November 2, 1988, a maliciously clever program was unleashed on the Internet from a computer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The cyber worm was soon propagating at remarkable speed and grinding computers to a halt.

The rogue program had infected systems at a number of the prestigious colleges and public and private research centers that made up the early national electronic network. This was a year before the invention of the World Wide Web.

Read about it.

You Can Keep Up With the FBI on Your Phone! Download the App

From catching up on the Bureau’s latest stories and podcasts to following FBI social media feeds and learning about wanted fugitives, the myFBI Dashboard app brings everything to your fingertips. Details

Depending on your device, go to Google Play or the Apple App Store and search for myFBI Dashboard app.

Generative AI and Child Pornography

The FBI is warning the public that child sexual abuse material (CSAM) created with content manipulation technologies, to include generative artificial intelligence (AI), is illegal. Federal law prohibits the production, advertisement, transportation, distribution, receipt, sale, access with intent to view, and possession of any CSAM, including realistic computer-generated images. Details

Related Story: Charlotte Child Pornography Case Shows the 'Unsettling' Reach of AI-Generated Imagery

Can't Stand the Heat?

It seems like we just gave winter safety tips, but time flies, so here are your summer safety tips. 
Extreme Heat | How to Prepare (PDF)

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Hate Paying Tolls? Don't Pay Fake Ones

Since early-March 2024, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received over 2,000 complaints reporting text messages representing road toll collection service from at least three states. IC3 complaint information indicates the scam may be moving from state-to-state. The texts claim the recipient owes money for unpaid tolls and contain almost identical language. Details

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The FBI Alumni E-Brief is distributed through our alumni and family organizations. These groups share it through their membership lists, we do not maintain an individual email list. Currently, the groups receiving the AEB are:

  • The Society of FBI Alumni 
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