As written for the Dallas Morning News, publication date October 5, 2022; additional hyperlinks to DOJ press releases added.
Often, bad news is the kind of news that makes headlines—crime and lawlessness that makes law-abiding citizens shake their heads. But sometimes, good news is just as newsworthy—the crimes that were prevented, the repeat offenders taken off the street. As the federal government’s fiscal year just ended, I think it’s valuable to hear directly from us about the work we are doing in the northern half of Texas.
The dedicated professionals of the Dallas FBI – the 12th largest field office – continue to be committed to partnerships with local, state, and other federal agencies, the private sector, and the communities we serve. The FBI’s jurisdiction encompasses more than 200 categories of federal law, and this year is no exception in the drive to accomplish our mission to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States.
Our work has led to notable successes for our entire territory, spanning from Lubbock to Lufkin, in the last fiscal year. To date, our Violent Crimes Against Children squads have arrested more than 50 individuals, secured indictments for more than 45 people, and recovered 35 children, with dozens of sentences ranging from 10 years to life in federal prison.
In other accomplishments:
- We found justice for multiple victims of hate crimes who were targeted through a dating app.
- Dismantled 101 individuals from a multi-layered transnational electronics trafficking conspiracy that began as an investigation of terrorizing takeover robberies throughout North Texas.
- Disrupted abuse of government healthcare programs as 13 defendants were sentenced to a combined 84 years in federal prison.
- Continued the investigation of sophisticated scammers impacting hundreds of victims for millions of dollars in losses; the majority of the dozens of defendants charged in this investigation have ties to a transnational organized crime syndicate originating in Nigeria.
- In another case, we prevented a Wichita Falls man from committing an infrastructure attack with national implications.
- In West Texas, we reduced drug-fueled crime as 34 meth traffickers were sentenced to more than 360 years in federal prison.
- Held law enforcement responsible for committing a federal civil rights offense in Van Zandt County.
- Investigated a federal bribery and conspiracy scheme against our nation’s defense infrastructure.
- We also continued supporting our area’s local, state, and federal partners throughout many investigations, but most notably, the Colleyville synagogue attack in January.
The somber 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks just passed, and as we look back on the victims and their families, it is worth remembering that 21 FBI employees died of illness related to their response to the attacks.
Since then, the FBI was forever transformed in our approach to prevent terrorist attacks. An example of how our counterterrorism techniques have evolved is the case involving an ISIS-inspired man who was charged with aiding and abetting a plot to murder former President George W. Bush last May.
Part of our jobs is to detect and disrupt the counterintelligence and economic espionage efforts emanating from the government of China—a grave threat to the economy and values of the United States. As the Chinese government continues to use its intelligence services, researchers, business conduits, and academics to steal American intellectual property.
The FBI is in charge of responding to and investigating cyber attacks that threaten our economic security and critical infrastructure. This year we utilized our extensive network of foreign and domestic partnerships to conduct joint operations imposing risk and consequences on criminal and nation state cyber adversaries.
These examples make up a fraction of the impactful success in our territory over the past year, and I’m proud of my team and the work they do every day for the American people. This work is conducted with partner agencies, enabled by supportive FBI headquarters leadership, collaborative with other FBI field offices, and focused on achieving justice for victims. This year was not an outlier, and you will receive similar dedication, professionalism, and results from the FBI in our area of responsibility each and every year.
Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Dallas
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