247: Michael De La Pena – Polygraph Examiner, Boston Marathon Bombing Associate

Retired agent Michael De La Pena served in the FBI for nearly 30 years. During his career, Mike became a certified hostage negotiator and undercover operative, and trained as a polygraph examiner at the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

He has more than 16 years of polygraph service conducting approximately 2,500 exams across the United States, Central and South America, and Iraq.

As the son of Cuban refugees, he is a fluent Spanish speaker and can conduct polygraph examinations in the Spanish language.

Michael De La Pena reviews his polygraph examination of Robel Phillipos, a friend of the Boston Marathon bombers, convicted in 2015 of lying to authorities investigating the terrorist act.

During the attack, orchestrated by brothers Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, three people were killed and more than 260 injured. Mike also reviews the training and duties of a good polygraph examiner.

Mike was assigned to the New Haven, San Juan, and Boston Divisions, where he investigated bank robberies, armored car robberies, civil rights violations, fugitive matters, and terrorism cases. In Boston, before becoming a full-time examiner, he worked for six years on an anti-narcotics squad.

Michael De La Pena is the author of the Coyote Wars Trilogy, an FBI suspense series featuring a family of domestic terrorists and the polygraph examiner who discovers their plot to bring the country to its knees.

His series includes The Coyote Wars, The Last Coyote, and Coyote Rising in addition to a prequel, The Devil’s Henchmen. He currently works as a private polygraph examiner for ORTSEC LLC, a private security company. Mike has been a featured speaker on polygraph cases and concepts at the American Polygraph Association and other polygraph groups in Singapore and Ukraine at the invitation of those governments.

Special Agent (Retired)

Michael De La Pena

7/9/90 – 12/29/19









“That’s what was so frustrating. Out of a loyalty to his friends, Robel would not admit that he was in the room with them and that they threw out the backpack.”–Retired Agent Michael De La Pena

The following are news articles about the Boston Marathon Bombings associate Robel Phillipos:

FBI.gov website: Three Men Arrested in Connection with Marathon Bombing Investigation

Boston 25 News – 10/7/2014:  Marathon bombing suspect’s friend was told to be on ‘Team America’

Boston Herald – 10/28/2014: Tsarnaev pal Robel Phillipos convicted of lying to FBI

Boston Herald – 2/26/2018: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s college pal Rubel Phillips slated for release today

You may also want to listen to Episode 250: Richard DesLauriers – Boston Marathon Bombing

Robel Phillipos.
If the three college friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had called in immediately, the murder of a police officer might not have occurred.








FOX 25 News artist sketch of Michael De La Pena testifying in court during the Robel Phillipos trial.









Robel Phillipos’ defense was that he was too high to remember what had occurred.









Mike’s crime fiction series features a FBI polygraph examiner and a family of domestic terrorists. Purchase here.













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 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.

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  1. […] 247: Michael De La Pena – Polygraph Examiner, Boston Marathon Bombing Associate […]


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