243: Peter Lapp – Ana Montes Espionage Case, FISA Warrants

Retired agent Peter Lapp served in the FBI for 22-years. Assigned to the Washington Field Office, he specialized in counterintelligence, espionage, economic espionage, and trade secret theft matters.

In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Pete reviews the espionage investigation of Ana Belen Montes, who was arrested ten days after 9/11 for espionage, and sentenced to 25 years for spying for the Cuban Intelligence Service while she worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The application of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants played a key role in Pete and his senior co-case agent’s ability to gather evidence in this case.

Pete was also the case agent on the theft of trade secrets investigation of MIN Yonggang, who as a former DuPont employee was convicted of misappropriating over $1 billion of the company’s trade secrets. Pete gained inter-agency experience while conducting a joint-duty assignment at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence/Partner Engagement. Later in his career, he was promoted to program manager, and chief of the economic espionage and People’s Republic of China (PRC) espionage units at FBIHQ’s Counterintelligence Division.

Pete conducted hundreds of awareness briefings while at the Washington Field Office to academic, industry, and community groups on the topics of counterintelligence, insider threat, and active shooter.

Pete is the founder of PJ Lapp Consulting, LLC where he now focuses his vast knowledge and experience in counterintelligence and insider risk. He is a widely recognized expert and thought leader in the area of IR. Combining his experience as an investigator and program manager of espionage and economic espionage investigations, Pete is well qualified to provide seasoned advice on how to successfully build your IR program to mitigate reputational risk and protect your critical assets to help companies maintain their competitive advantage.

Special Agent (Retired)

Peter J. Lapp

May 1998 – Mar 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Every counter intelligence success is a counter intelligence failure. She committed espionage for 16 years before being caught. The damage she did is long lasting and can’t be erased.”—Retired Agent Peter Lapp

The following are links to FBI and news  articles about the Ana Montes espionage investigation and information about the use of FISA warrants in national security matters:

FBI Website: Ana Montes: Cuban Spy

CNN “Declassified” –  8/8/2018: The most dangerous U.S. spy you’ve never heard of

Washington Post – 4/18/2014: Ana Montes Did Much Harm Spying For Cuba – Chances Are You Haven’t Heard of Her

Department of Justice – Office of Justice Programs: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA)

Listen to more FBI Retired Case File Review episodes on espionage cases here.

Ana Montes’ official FBI mugshot photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9/16/01, surveillance photo of Ana Montes making a call on a pay phone in NW DC near Cleveland Park. She made the call despite “making” the FBI surveillance moments before.

 

 

 

 

 

FBI photo of Montes’ “go bag” with everything needed for a quick escape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A “cheat sheet” provided by Cuban intelligence that Ana Montes used to help her encrypt and decrypt messages to and from her handlers. (FBI.gov)

 

 

 

 

 

Photo taken in 1988, at Ana’s brother Tito’s graduation from FBI new agent training at Quantico. Her father is on the left and her sister is Lucy is in the middle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 200 episodes available for free subscription on all popular podcast apps.

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