292: Frank Runles – Niagara Falls Laborers Local 91

In this episode, retired agent Frank Runles reviews a Labor Racketeering investigation where union management for Laborers Local 91 in Niagara Falls, New York, was charged with RICO and convicted of operating as a criminal enterprise.

He also talks about interview skills and training techniques.

Frank served in the FBI for more than 25 years. While assigned to the Buffalo Division, he worked a wide variety of criminal matters to include organized crime, financial institution fraud, health care fraud, labor racketeering, kidnappings, and serial murders, conducting more than 1,000 interviews both internationally and domestically. He was a Sniper Team Leader on SWAT for 10 years.

Later in his career, Frank was promoted to the FBI Academy, where, as part of the FBI National Academy, he instructed more than 900 Secret Service, U.S. Marshal Service, Department of Homeland Security Agents, and other local, state, and international senior law enforcement officers on Advanced Interview Techniques and Deceptive Language Analysis.

Frank was also the Lead Instructor for new FBI agents, instructing courses on Interviewing and Interrogations, Detection of Deception, and Intelligence Collection Techniques. In a similar role, Mr. Runles taught these courses for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) State Security Division Investigators and Intelligence Officers.

Frank also worked overseas with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and with the CIA and Joint Special Operations Forces in Iraq conducting intelligence debriefings of hundreds of foreign fighters captured during combat operations.

During his career, he received many awards, including Investigator of the Year Award by the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation, 2003, 2007 for the Niagara Falls Laborers Local 91 RICO case, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Group Investigation Award in 1997, and the FBI Meritorious Service Award in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2005, and 2008.

Frank is the author of Lies People Tell: An FBI Agent’s Toolkit for Catching Liars and Cheats, where he reveals everything he has learned over a 20-year career spotting liars and exposing cheats using Deceptive Language Analysis to show the many ways language is used to mislead and deceive.

Special Agent (Retired)

Frank Runles

02/1995 – 09/2015




“The federal government takes over leadership of the union until they can prove they’re legitimate enough to run it themselves. I’m like, I don’t want to take over the union. I want to put these guys in jail because they’re going to kill someone before they’re done.”—Retired Agent Frank Runles


The following are links to news articles about the Niagara Falls, Laborers Local 91 investigation:


Niagara Falls Reporter – 5/9/2006: FINAL LOCAL 91 TRIAL SET FOR JULY

Niagara Gazette – 7/16/2006: A day in court

New York Times – 8/2/2006: Union Leaders on Trial for Racketeering and Extortion Plead Guilty

New York Post – 11/10/2009: He’s ‘quid pro’ Joe

Wikipedia – United States v. Enmons

Check out more FBI Retired Case File Review episodes about Labor Racketeering here.

Union members picketing
The Niagara Gazette and other media outlets covered the racketeering investigation and trial of Laborers Local 91.






Purchase Frank’s book about the ways language is used to mislead and deceive 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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