Retired agent Bill Dyson served nearly 31 years with the FBI. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review with Jerri Williams, Dyson is interviewed about how the Chicago Division’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force, while conducting an investigation targeting drug trafficking, overheard tidbits of information that seemed to indicate an international conspiracy involving the El Rukn street gang and Libyan terrorist. Bill Dyson led the Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) that developed this information and determined that members of the El Rukns were meeting with representatives of the then-hostile government of Libya led by Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi to discuss a conspiracy to perpetrate a terrorist attack inside of the United States. The El Rukn Libyan terrorist conspiracy investigation marked the first convictions of American citizens for conspiring to commit terrorists acts in their country on behalf of a foreign government in exchange for money. After retiring from the Bureau, Bill Dyson was hired by the University of Illinois and authored a college text-book titled Terrorism: An Investigator’s Handbook. He currently works for the Institute for Inter-Governmental Research (IIGR), a non-profit serving under a grant from the Department of Justice to provide anti-terrorism training to state and local police officers throughout the United States.
Retired agent Geoff Doyle served 20 years with the FBI. He joined the Bureau after 8 and a half years in the military. Early in his career, Geoff worked a variety of assignments in the Richmond and New York Divisions, including SWAT, bank robberies and investigating Italian organized crime. He was later assigned to a squad specifically established to combat the increase in Chinese organized crime. He was eventually promoted to be the supervisor of the squad, which began to focus primarily on investigating the trafficking of heroin and cocaine from South East Asia into the United States. Geoff is interviewed about working as the case agent of Operation Whitemare, the international FBI investigation that resulted in the largest heroin bust and seizure in U.S. history and identified and disrupted major international Chinese drug networks. Post retirement, Geoff owns and operates, Doyle Carden Group LLC, an investigative and anti-money laundering consulting firm.
Retired agent Dana Ridenour served 20 years in the FBI. She is interviewed about working drug investigations on the island of St. Croix, Resident Agency out of the FBI’s San Juan Office in Puerto Rico and going deep undercover in California to infiltrate and build relationships with individuals associated with the animal rights extremists groups to gather intelligence about criminal activities and the location of activist fugitives. Dana explains how, in order to be successful, undercover agents accept that their job is to “build relationships to betray relationships.” Dana recently wrote and released a crime novel inspired by her years working undercover. The title of the book is Behind the Mask.
Retired agent Sam Smemo served 26 years in federal law enforcement, 15 and a half years with the FBI and ten and a half years with the United States Marshals Service. After hunting dangerous fugitives during the early part of his career, once onboard with the FBI, Sam worked drug cases while assigned to the Philadelphia Division. He talks about a big marijuana shipment investigation that inadvertently resulted in the exoneration and release from jail of an innocent man wrongly accused of shooting a child during a drive by shooting. Identifying and bringing the real culprit to justice was a highlight of Sam’s career. But after witnessing the devastation caused by the tragic events of 9/11, Sam was compelled to transition from fighting the war on drugs to fighting the war on terror. He tells us about working on an extraterritorial case wherein the FBI and the American government desperately attempted to locate and rescue a U.S. citizen kidnapped in Saudi Arabia. Tragically, the businessman was executed by an Al Qaeda terrorist organization operating in the Arabian Peninsula.
Retired Special Agent Jesse Coleman served in the FBI for nearly 28 years. He spent most of his career working drug investigations targeting organized crime figures and pursuing high-profile, violent drug gang members. Jesse is interviewed about the two-year period he went undercover as a drug dealer buying cocaine and heroin from made members of the Sicilian mob. During the undercover investigation, he secretly recorded more than 200 conversations between him and the subjects. Jesse’s efforts resulted in the arrest and conviction of 20 members of the mob family operating in the U.S., in addition to the head of the family who lived in Sicily, Italy. Jesse was awarded the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Agent of the Year in 1991 for his undercover role in this investigation.
Retired Special Agent Bobby Chacon served in the FBI for 27 years. During this interview Bobby shares stories about working in New York on a Jamaican drug gang squad where his and his squad mates efforts disrupted and dismantled the violent Gullymen Posse. He also talks about another highlight of his career – being a member and team leader of the FBI’s Dive Team conducting search and evidence response at underwater crime scenes around the world. Currently, Bobby works as the technical advisor for the new series Criminal Minds – Beyond Borders which premieres on Wednesday, March 16. Bobby can be contacted via FBIRetired.com.
Welcome to episode 4. In this episode, I interview Judy Tyler, who served 31 years as an agent with the FBI. Judy talks about being one of the first women to join the Norfolk, Virginia police department and the dangerous drug world she navigated for most of her FBI career. Post retirement, she continues to share her experience and expertise by training current agents to develop informants as part of a specialized FBI in-service program. We discussed the importance of working well with sources and cooperating witnesses and how crucial this skill set is to the success of the Bureau.