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

Retired agent Bob Hamer served in the FBI for 26 years.

In this episode, Bob reviews 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.

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. Bob 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.










Bob 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.













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 250 episodes available for free on all popular podcast apps.


  1. Lisa GunnoeApril 20, 2020

    I love your guests. I think Bob Hamer is one of my favorites. I was laughing when he talked the music he had playing in his car and his undercover names. These true stories are amazing. Thank you for bringing these stories to your fans.

    1. Jerri WilliamsApril 20, 2020

      Thanks for listening!


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