Episode 078: Bob Hamer – Counterfeit $100 Bills, Operation Smoking Dragon

Retired agent Bob Hamer served in the FBI for 26 years. While in the Bureau, Hamer, a Marine Corps veteran, worked organized crime, gangs, terrorism, and child exploitation cases. Much of his career was spent undercover, successfully posing as a drug dealer, contract killer, international weapons dealer, white-collar criminal, and pedophile. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Bob Hamer is interviewed about his undercover role in Operation Smoking Dragon, an investigation that dismantled an international smuggling ring that brought into the country illegal drugs, cigarettes, and counterfeit $100 bills, known as North Korean “supernotes,” and conspired to bring in Chinese-made weapons as well. Bob Hamer received numerous awards throughout his career including the coveted FBI Director’s Award for Distinguished Service and five United States Attorney Awards for Distinguished Service. He has written and consulted for television and is the author of three award-winning books and three novellas. His non-fiction book, THE LAST UNDERCOVER, details his FBI undercover career.

Special Agent (Retired)

Bob Hamer

9/17/1079 – 1/6/2006








The following are links to a 2-Part FBI website post about Operation Smoking Dragon that includes a Q & A with Bob Hamer and newspaper articles about the international smuggling operation:

Operation Smoking Dragon — FBI

Operation Smoking Dragon, Part 2 — FBI

Smoking dragon, royal charm | Center for Public Integrity

North Korea’s Counterfeit Benjamins Have Vanished | VICE News

Scary Crimes Uncovered by FBI in Operation Smoking Dragon

Bob Hamer used an arm crutch as part of his undercover disguise for Operation Smoking Dragon and other cases.










Bob Hamer worked undercover as a drug dealer, contract killer, pedophile, international weapons dealer, and white-collar criminal. This is a surveillance photo from the Operation Smoking Dragon investigation.










The Last Undercover True Story: An FBI Agent’s Dangerous Dance with Evil is Bob Hamer’s true tale of going undercover. It includes more stories about his work on Operation Smoking Dragon.













Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, attempts to relive her glory days by writing crime fiction and hosting FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast available for free subscription on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, and other popular podcast apps. Her nonfiction book FBI Myths and Misconceptions: A Manual for Armchair Detectives and her FBI corruption squad police procedurals featuring Special Agent Kari Wheeler are available wherever books are sold.

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