FBI Investigative Accomplishments

Note that this is not an "official" site ... the official FBI site is at: www.fbi.gov.

Subject: Future of the FBI
Date: Sat, 26 Jul 1997 14:34:37 -0700
From: former agent
To: xxxx

Richard.....this list could go on and on....With Cunanan's death the FBI is not praised for a job well done but are asked by the media..."Why did you not get him sooner?"...

FBI Investigative Accomplishments

It never ceases to amaze me how people and the media can look at the negative side of things and forget all the good that has been accomplished. No person or organization is perfect and it is only by analyzing their accomplishments, their successes and their failures, that one can come up with a reasonable appraisal. The FBI is a good case in point. Unquestionably the best investigative agency in the world, the press continues to harp on those negative aspects instead of celebrating their litany of successes.

First, there was the World Trade Center (WTC) Bombing: in February 26, 1993, explosion in the WTC's parking garage resulted in 6 deaths and 1,042 injuries. The blast, caused by a bomb made of about 1,200 pounds of explosives, resulted in a five-story crater with damage of over $500 million. On March 4, 1994, Muhammad Amin Salameh, Nidal Ayyad, Mahmud Abouhalima, and Ahmed Ajaj were convicted for their roles in the bombing. On April 25, 1994, each received a 240-year prison term and a $500,000 fine. Also, money they may receive from interviews or books must be turned over to the families of the six people killed in the bombing. Salameh's roommate, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, also was found to be involved in the conspiracy. However, he left this country for Pakistan the day after the bombing on board a Pakistan International Airlines flight. On February 7, 1995, Yousef, a "Top Ten" fugitive, was arrested in Pakistan and was then turned over to the FBI. This was an excellent example of hard investigative work. We refuse to give the FBI the authority they need but we are quick to criticize them for not preventing these terrible acts.

Then there was the Ames Espionage Investigation: Aldrich Hazen Ames and Maria Del Rosario Casas Ames were arrested on February 21, 1994, and charged with conspiracy to commit espionage . Ames had been an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for over thirty-one years and served as Chief, Soviet Operational Review Branch in the Operational Review and Production Group of the Soviet/East European (SE) Division of the Directorate of Operations (DO) of the CIA from 1983 through 1985. In the fall of 1985, until his departure for Rome in July, 1986, Ames attended Italian language classes and worked with the Europe Branch, External Operations Group, SE Division, in preparation for his tour. At the time of his arrest, he was assigned to the Directorate of Intelligence Counternarcotics Center. His wife was a university student and had been a paid source for the CIA in Mexico City. Ames was sentenced on April 28, 1994, to life in prison without parole for conspiracy to commit espionage. On October 21, 1994, Mrs. Ames was sentenced to 63 months for conspiracy to commit espionage and 10 concurrent months for income tax evasion. This is another example of hard work in a very sensitive area, involving another agency and another branch of government.

Then there was Operation Disconnect: Operation Disconnect, involving eighteen FBI field offices, focused on identifying and prosecuting illegal telemarketers. It is considered to be the most significant federal investigation ever directed at illegal telemarketing. Over 300 people have been charged and over 220 were convicted. Also, $6.5 million in property was seized for potential forfeiture. Again hard work and professional perseverance paid off.

How about Polar Cap? Polar Cap was a joint investigation into one of the most significant international money-laundering organizations operating in the United States. This group was responsible for laundering an estimated $150 million each year for the Cali and Medellin drug cartels of Colombia, moving millions of dollars through bank accounts in the United States, Austria, Belgium, Colombia, the United Kingdom, Panama, and Switzerland. As of November, 1994, forty-five persons had been arrested, and asset seizures totaled over $50 million dollars. Polar Cap was conducted by the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service, and U.S. Customs Service. A good example of inter-agency cooperation.

The FBI worked well with the state of Florida in a case involving Violence Against Clinics Providing Reproductive Health Services: Following the FBI's investigation, Paul Hill was found to be responsible for the anti-abortion-related shooting deaths of Dr. John Britton and James Barrett and for gunshot injuries to Mrs. June Barrett, which occurred on July 29, 1994. Hill was convicted on three counts of violating Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 248, the Freedom of Access to Clinics Entrances Act of 1994. Also, on November 2, 1994, a Florida state jury found him guilty of murder, attempted murder, and firing a gun into an occupied vehicle. Hill was sentenced to die in Florida's electric chair.

The civil rights Investigation into the Beating of Rodney King. On April 17, 1993, after extensive FBI investigation and federal prosecution, a jury convicted Los Angeles police officers Laurence Powell and Stacey Koon of one count, each, of violating Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 242 (Color of Law), in connection with the beating of Rodney King while he was being arrested. Both officers were sentenced to serve thirty months in federal prison.

The FBI has worked hard with local authorities to prevent.Gang Violence. As a result of an FBI investigation, the entire leadership of a violent street gang, the "LA Boys" or "Cali Boys," headed by Donald "Sly" Green and Darryl "Reese" Johnson, was convicted of racketeering, as well as racketeering and narcotics conspiracy, on March 30, 1994. Green also was found guilty of conducting a Continuing Criminal Enterprise. Prior to the trial, twenty-six of thirty-two defendants pleaded guilty to Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization charges. Therefore, the most powerful and violent drug-distribution group in western New York was dismantled. Johnson faces a capital death penalty charge, as authorized by the Attorney General.

Another FBI sucess came out of Operation Horsecollar. A task force comprising of the FBI and New York City police targeted heroin distribution networks in Harlem, which has the highest concentration of heroin addicts in this Nation. Investigation resulted in about 222 arrests, 167 people convicted, over $8 million seized, 15 organizations dismantled, and 30 groups identified, as of November, 1994. The operation also has been responsible for a marked decrease in murders in New York and the solution of 40 murders, including the assassination of a New York police officer by a group under investigation.


See also, FBI - History - Famous Cases from the FBI Albuquerque website.

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FBI Failures & Criticism

The FBI: Past, Present & Future