315: Christian Anglin and Craig McLaughlin – Operation Crown Prince, Fried Chicken, Heroin, and Warlords

In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, retired agents Christian Anglin and Craig McLaughlin review Operation Crown Prince, an investigation into Afghan nationals residing in the U.S. transporting heroin into the country and providing proceeds to the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and insurgents as a means of material support for their operations combating U.S. and allied forces.

The case was nicknamed “The Great Chicken Caper” as it originated with intelligence that proceeds were laundered through Afghan owned fried chicken businesses along the east. At the time, FBI officials characterized the investigation as “one of the most important being run out of the New York office.

The case resulted in several large kilogram seizures of heroin originating from Afghanistan, dozens of arrests, multiple disruptions and dismantlements, and ultimately the conviction of the world’s largest opium producer, Haji Bashir Noorzai, a prominent Afghan tribal leader and warlord.

Authorities released Noorzai, who had been sentenced to life in prison, in exchange for U.S. contractor Mark Frerichs, who was being held hostage by the Taliban in September 2022.

Special Agent (Retired)

A. Christian Anglin

9/1998 – 3/2023

Retired agent Christian Anglin served in the FBI for more than 24 years.

His first assignment was to the New York Field Office, where he worked on a violent crime squad until he volunteered for reassignment to the International Terrorism Task prior to the attacks of 9/11. Chris reported to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO) where he assisted in determining the process and course of interrogations of detainees and the formation of a task force comprised of representatives from numerous agencies, the U.S. military and intelligence community partners. He testified in several of the military tribunals of high value detainees. After returning from GTMO, Chris opened Operation Crown Prince.

Later, he accepted a transfer to Springfield, Illinois and was first assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force and then formed a Safe Streets Task Force in eastern Illinois, before stepping into the role of Strategic Partnership Coordinator. Prior to retiring, Chris joined the National Academy Unit in Quantico, VA. Currently, he is employed as the Associate Director – Federal Public Safety for Verizon Business Development. Chris also joined Performance Protocol as a leadership coach and joined the D2C team.

Special Agent (Retired)

Craig McLaughlin

9/1998 – 7/2021

Retired agent Craig McLaughlin served in the FBI for 23 years, working primarily on national security matters including counterintelligence and counterterrorism.

Craig served in the New York Office for 14 years and was a member of the NYO JTTF and Evidence Response Team. Craig served as the lead Counterterrorism Assistant Legal Attaché at the US Embassy in Berlin, Germany, for 4 years before finishing his FBI career as a supervisor leading a counterintelligence squad in Newark. Currently, Craig works in global corporate security at Verizon.

The following are news articles about Operation Crown Prince and the exchanged for hostage Mark Frerichs from the Taliban:

Free Republic – 9/23/02: Crown Chicken Eyed by Feds in Al Qaeda Funds Probe

New York Daily News – 4/9/2018: 9 SMACKED IN HEROIN BUST Say Osama got chicken store cash

New York Times – 9/23/2008: Manhattan Jury Convicts Man Linked to Taliban Leader in Drug Smuggling Case

New York Times – 5/1/ 2009: Afghan Linked to Taliban Sentenced to Life in Drug Trafficking Case

Time magazine – 2/8/2007: Warlord or Druglord?

VOA News – 9/19/2022: Taliban Free Last American Hostage in Afghanistan in Prisoner Swap

New York Times – 9/19/2022: U.S. Hostage Exchanged for Afghan Drug Lord in Prisoner Swap

To learn more about the behind-the-scenes negotiations made by U.S. officials to assist families seeking to secure the release of loved ones held hostage by terrorists listen to FBI Retired Case File Review Episode 301: Zorka Martinovich – We Don’t Negotiate With Terrorists?

The proceeds of heroin trafficked into the U.S. provided material support for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Haji Bashir Noorzai, a prominent Afghan tribal leader and warlord, was sentenced to life in prison.
Time Magazine – 2/8/2007: Warlord or Druglord?
U.S. contractor Mark Frerichs, held hostage by the Taliban, was released in exchange for Noorzai.





















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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top
Malcare WordPress Security