Celebrating Agents of Asian Ancestry: Fred Wong
Frederick Wong shares his experience as an FBI Special Agent of Asian ancestry.
My name is Frederick Wong, I entered on duty in 1982 in September through the San Francisco division, and I retired in July of 2007 as a legal attaché out of Jakarta.
I always wanted to be an FBI agent or in law enforcement. I used to every Sunday with my parents, 8 o’clock on Sundays, watch The FBI with Efram Zimbalist Jr. I still remember those days of watching TV.
Back in those days, you went back to your office of hiring for six months, so I went back to San Francisco, gained some on-the-ground experience working reactive, then white-collar crime matters. I was then transferred to Seattle, Washington in 1984, where I was assigned to the reactive squad, and one of the first cases I was assigned to by my supervisor was Tony Ng, or Wai Chiu Ng, murder case in which he murdered 13 gamblers in Seattle, Washington and was a fugitive. I still recall my supervisor at the time calling me into the office and saying it takes—because Tony was Chinese and I am of Chinese ancestry—it takes a Chinese to capture a Chinese.
So, I was assigned the case and that was primarily my case for 18 months where I just followed leads and spoke to a lot of people in Chinatown. Tony Ng by that time had become one of the FBI’s Top Ten Fugitives. I finally, through leads and speaking to a lot of people, narrowed down his location to Calgary, Canada. Myself and the Seattle Police Department went to Canada, went to Calgary and captured him, arrested him, brought him back to Seattle, Washington where he stood trial.
I wanted to be—we’re all hired as my other colleagues that I’ve mentioned, we are all hired as special agents. Not as an Asian special agent or a female special agent, but we’re special agents there to do the job.
It’s the greatest job in the world, as my colleagues have mentioned. You meet the greatest people. When people ask me to describe it, it might be a little bit different. I describe it as fun. I had the most fun in my life. It was hard work, it was difficult work, long hours, but at the end of the day because of the agents that we work with and support it was the best job. The best cadre of people. With the backgrounds that everyone had, I think everyone contributed to the mission.
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