WIFLE Foundation, Inc. 2023 Award Ceremony and Banquet

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Walking the Talk of InclusiveWIFLELeadership STRONG Walking the Talk of Inclusive Leadership Walking the Talk of InclusiveWIFLELeadership STRONG Walking the Talk of InclusiveWIFLELeadership STRONG WIFLE Foundation, Inc. Annual Leadership Training 2023 Awards Ceremony AUGUST 14–17, 2023 TAMPA, FLORIDA

2023 Awards Ceremony


Master of Ceremonies

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Amber R. Jordan, Esq.

Office of Counsel, Inspector Attorney

Labor and Litigation Group

U.S. Postal Inspection Service

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Vice President, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, Inc., Executive Committee


Joanne Robinson

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Branch Chief

Department of Homeland Security Federal Protective Service


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Administrator Anne Milgram

Drug Enforcement Administration


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Catrina M. Bonus

President, WIFLE Foundation, Inc., and Executive Director, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, Inc.

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Jessie L. Lane

Vice President, WIFLE Foundation, Inc., and Deputy Executive Director, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, Inc.

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WIFLE Foundation, Inc. 2023 Awards

Julie Y. Cross Award

This award honors a sworn federal law enforcement officer for an act of exceptional courage or heroism or for an unusual degree of stamina and willingness to go beyond the call of duty, resulting in an extraordinary achievement in the field of law enforcement. This award is named in the memory of Julie Y. Cross, a U.S. Secret Service agent, the first female law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty on June 4, 1980.

U.S. Embassy Colombo Assistant Regional Security Officer (ARSO) Ashley Day distinguished herself identifying threats and taking actions to address them during months of political and economic turmoil in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She successfully accomplished this despite severe staffing shortages in the Regional Security Office that required her to cover multiple positions.

Facing increasing frustrations from a worsening economic crisis, in the spring of 2022, citizens of Sri Lanka began expressing their displeasure with the government through large, ongoing protests. The President responded by declaring a state of emergency in effect removing all civil rights, implementing curfews, and cutting off multiple communication/social media applications, in an effort to stymie the protests. Though there was violence at the initial large protest, the following thirty days of large and constant protests remained surprisingly peaceful.

In her role as Assistant Regional Security Officer, Ashley saw the writing on the wall with the ongoing economic crisis, calls from citizens for both the President and Prime Minister to step down, and endless, largescale protests. She did not take the peaceful protests for granted. She coordinated with the health unit to move emergency medical equipment and RSO response vehicles to her apartment in the complex. She worked closely with the hotel and residential tower security managers to review their emergency action planning, supplies, evacuation routes, and response


procedures. Her apartment complex was situated at the heart of the protest zone (which would eventually see 90+ days of large-scale protests, on several occasions drawing approximately 50,000 protestors, culminating in an event that brought over 150,000 people outside the largest embassy housing complex.) Her foresight was directly responsible for working with the hotel and preparing information that was vital to Post’s Emergency Action Committee during some of the most frightening periods of violence that unfolded.

On May 9, the Prime Minister led a pro-government political rally that sparked country-wide violence including attacks on government buildings, pro and anti-government protesters attacking each other, crowds setting fires to over 100 buses and cars, the burning of homes belonging to 38 members of parliament, attacks on members of Parliament, wide-spread police use of tear gas and water cannons all around the city, the death of eight people, and countless other injuries. When the violence began that day at noon, it started directly across from the U.S. Embassy in Colombo. Due to the absence of several other team members responsible for that portfolio, Ashley had to rely on her training in high threat and crisis situations to coordinate the mobile patrol vehicles and surveillance detection (SD) team reporting. Her reporting and direction was used to ensure numerous family members and employees caught out were directed safely back to their residences and/or to safe harbor at other mission employee residences further from the violence, and most importantly, the up to the minute information was used to ensure a safe route for children from the Overseas School of Colombo, including 50 embassy children, back to a centralized meeting point.

As the violence continued to rage, the collection of reporting from various security assets was used to help shuttle over 200 employees who had been trapped in the embassy (and who had to be evacuated out the back side of the attached, ongoing new embassy construction site due to the violence directly across from the embassy’s main gate) to safe locations. After ensuring all but the essential staff members were off the premises, Ashley and a few colleagues remained overnight at the embassy. In the early morning hours, before the sun came up, Ashley took great personal risk to shuttle three remaining employees home and used evasive driving techniques to escape a roving group of thugs with batons. To highlight how serious the security situation was, the country went into full lock-down status, and it took over 48 hours for the police and military to clear the city of the weapon-carrying criminals.

Unfortunately, the violence didn’t end there. Sir Lanka faced months of additional economic hardship, extreme fuel shortages, and more protests with sporadic violence. Ashley continued to put countless extra hours


and effort into emergency planning and preparation; worked on medical, consolidation, and evacuation planning; and wrote numerous security messages to the community. The economic difficulties and fuel shortages reached their peak in June and July of 2022. Locally employed staff could not get to work. This included critical security staff such as local guards, and bodyguards and drivers for the Chief of Mission’s protective detail.

The RSO team was exhausted after the months of violence and uncertainty, the endless hours of work on evenings, weekends, and early mornings. It is an understatement to say Ashley was vital to the success of the RSO mission during this unexpectedly difficult time. Over the past year, her performance has been front and center at U.S. Embassy Colombo, and everyone recognizes her ongoing energy and tremendous contributions.

Special Agent

Naval Criminal Investigative Service

Special Agent (SA) Rhiannon Mancinelli of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS Resident Unit Houston Office) is receiving the Julie Y. Cross Award for her incredibly heroic acts to save the life of another NCIS Special Agent and two young children in Houston, Texas on September 22, 2022.

SA Mancinelli has been a sworn Federal law enforcement officer with NCIS since 2018. She transferred to the NCIS Houston office in the summer of 2022. On September 22, 2022, SA Mancinelli and her partner responded to the residence of a U.S. Navy dependent spouse in Humble, Texas to interview her about reports of domestic violence involving her husband, a U.S. Navy Chief. SA Mancinelli initially attempted to interview the spouse at a local police station; however, the spouse was unable to meet there because she had two young children at home.

Recognizing that the spouse was in imminent danger due to escalating violence by her husband, SA Mancinelli agreed, with her partner, to interview the spouse at her residence. Prior to responding to the residence, SA Mancinelli made contact with the Navy suspect’s chain of command. She confirmed the suspect had reported to his office, which was approximately 45 minutes from his residence. However, during the interview, the spouse reported seeing a suspicious vehicle drive by her house several times that day. SA Mancinelli then called 911 and requested a patrol unit respond to the residence and immediately began developing a safety plan for the victim, which included finding immediate temporary housing for the spouse and her children, two of whom were home with her during the interview.

At the conclusion of the interview, SA Mancinelli and her partner urged the victim to gather her belongings. SA Mancinelli and her partner then returned


to their vehicle to arrange with the command to relocate the spouse and her children. Recognizing that the victim may have been in imminent danger, SA Mancinelli refused to leave the area and kept watch on the house while trying to convince the spouse to immediately depart the residence. Further contact with the Navy member’s command in Houston revealed that the suspect had departed the office and refused to sign the military protective order issued to him by the command. Following this revelation, SA Mancinelli observed a male matching the suspect’s description run into the victim’s residence with what appeared to be a gun in his hand. SA Mancinelli immediately exited her vehicle with her partner and ran toward the home.

Upon approaching the home, SA Mancinelli and her partner heard gunshots and a woman screaming. SA Mancinelli drew her weapon, as did her partner. She yelled that they were police and ordered the suspect to drop his weapon. SA Mancinelli next heard more gunfire as she and her partner approached the front door, which the suspect had kicked off the hinges. SA Mancinelli then saw the Navy member standing in the hallway facing them, as he held his young daughter in one arm while pointing a gun at SA Mancinelli and her partner. The suspect fired his weapon at SA Mancinelli. She returned fire, carefully aiming as to avoid hitting the child the suspect was holding as a shield. The suspect continued shooting at SA Mancinelli and her partner as he exited the residence, while still holding his daughter. As SA Mancinelli and her partner split up to find cover, SA Mancinelli continued to return fire at the suspect. Her courageous actions wounded the suspect and caused him to put down the child, whom SA Mancinelli quickly moved to safety. Fortunately, the child was unharmed.

During the firefight, SA Mancinelli’s partner had been shot multiple times by the suspect and suffered life-threatening injuries. As local law enforcement had not yet arrived on scene, SA Mancinelli immediately recognized the severity of the situation and managed to get both her partner and the child into a neighboring home so she could render lifesaving first aid to her partner. They locked all the doors because they were unsure of the shooter’s location, and SA Mancinelli then applied a tourniquet and pressure to her partner’s wounds, and kept him awake and alert until paramedics arrived, all while trying to calm the screaming child and calling 911.

SA Mancinelli’s heroism ensured the safety of two children, and her actions, no doubt, further resulted in the survival of her partner, who had been bleeding profusely from his wounds. SA Mancinelli later learned that the injured suspect had fled the scene in his vehicle and was shot and killed by local law enforcement, approximately 25 miles from the residence. Although the domestic violence victim was tragically shot and killed by her husband inside the residence, both children inside the home that day were unharmed thanks to SA Mancinelli’s actions to stop the suspect.


SA Mancinelli’s actions no doubt saved the life of her fellow agent, as well as two small children. Local and Federal law enforcement officers who responded to the scene were stunned by SA Mancinelli’s courageous actions and her tactical proficiency. Her courage, stamina, and willingness to risk her own life for others constitute an exceptionally heroic achievement.

Elizebeth Smith Friedman Intelligence Award of Excellence

This award honors federal law enforcement personnel, sworn and nonsworn, and full-time intelligence professionals, an individual, or a group. The award honors significant acts of exceptional and sustained levels of intelligence analysis; innovative intelligence integration functions; increased situational awareness to further investigative operations, secure/protect an event (NSSE), reduce/prevent crime, and prevent terrorism. This award is named in honor of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, ATF’s first female Prohibition Investigator and accomplished Cryptanalyst, for her pioneering work in fighting one of the most perilous threats of the prohibition era – transnational organized crime syndicates that controlled liquor and narcotics smuggling.

Catherine Spanbauer Intelligence Specialist Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)

Intelligence Specialist (IS) Catherine Spanbauer received bachelor’s degrees in political science and Russian/Soviet Studies from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). While at UCSD, IS Spanbauer had the opportunity to study abroad in Russia. Prior to her U.S. Government service, IS Spanbauer worked at American President Lines; Kraft Nabisco; and United Parcel Service. Following her time in the private sector, she completed a Master of Science in Nationalism at the London School of Economics, London, England.

IS Spanbauer joined the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Intelligence and Analysis (DHS I&A) in 2008 as a strategic All-Source Analyst. While at DHS I&A, she was assigned to the Terrorist Travel and Immigration Security Branch and the Border Security Branch. In 2010, she was assigned to the San Diego Law Enforcement Fusion Center, where she increased finished intelligence production and collection through information sharing with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners.

In late 2015, IS Spanbauer joined the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Initially, she was assigned to NCIS Marine West Field Office


(MWFO), then in 2017, she spent six months at NCIS Headquarters and provided analytical support to Task Force Purple Harbor. In April 2019, she transferred to the NCIS Cyber Operations Field Office (CBFO), San Diego to support cyber operations and investigations.

IS Spanbauer provided outstanding intelligence and analytical support to CBFO during 2022. In support of a cyber operation, she reviewed 15 open Federal criminal investigations for proactive identification of subscribers/ Department of Defense (DOD) users associated with Internet Protocol (IP) addresses observed downloading child sexual assault material (CSAM). She then completed in-depth background checks and social media analysis of potential targets, which she then identified independently from data output using the then newly launched Navy Law Enforcement Research Network or NLERN toolset. She confirmed if children were linked with associated residences and/or potential targets. As a result of her analysis, she provided a solid foundation for investigators prior to the execution of search warrants. In one instance, her positive identification and comprehensive analytic product supported NCIS special agents arrest a subject who had engaged in ongoing viewing of CSAM and the identification of one child resident at the same location.

IS Spanbauer also responded to multiple requests for information from the DHS, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) related to suspect addresses and/or names. In support of an exigent warrant being served on a household and possibly a service member by HSI, IS Spanbauer conducted extensive database searches and research to assess/confirm DOD affiliation of five individuals associated with the subject address. By triaging Department of Motor Vehicle and military records, she determined a DON member associated with a targeted address was not at the location when the suspected CSAM downloads occurred. Her work directly supported the local San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, and the operation received a National Missing Children’s Day award from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for making a major contribution to the ICAC community.

IS Spanbauer provided further invaluable intelligence and analytical support in connection with a second CBFO operation. This operation was designed to support the DOJ Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative. When the operation fielded an overwhelming amount of complex data during September 2022, the operation’s proactive efforts to identify suspected False Claims Act violators based on Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Assessment Center (DBCAC) data stalled. She created a new procedure to identify suspected violations; and led numerous discussions with personnel from DOJ, DIBCAC, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Defense Contracting Management Agency, and the Navy Acquisition Integrity Office. As a direct result of her contributions, DOJ and NCIS identified the first company for investigation under this operation for civil False Claims Act violations.


As a testament to IS Spanbauer’s significant contributions to the operation, DOJ requested her to present during the January 26, 2023 DOJ Civil CyberFraud Working Group meeting. During this meeting, she presented her new methodology to assess/action DIBCAC raw data to some 70 senior leaders representing more than 20 Federal law enforcement agencies. As a result of her insight, DOJ remains actively engaged in efforts to encourage U.S. Government-wide replication and use of IS Spanbauer’s new methodology in both the U.S. law enforcement and acquisition communities.

Due in part to IS Spanbauer’s professionalism, achievements, and dedication, NCIS has been able to effectively protect DON interests and U.S. warfighters.

Agriculture Operations Manager

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Agriculture Operations Manager (AOM) Sarah Williams developed the Thousand Talents Open-Source Pool (T-TOP) to be utilized as a specialized tool for assessing membership in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Talents Programs. The data in T-TOP was extracted from open-sources and was compiled into a searchable database that is available in the CBP Analytical Toolbox. The data set contains 4,631 participants of the Thousand Talents Program and displays information to include last name, first name, date of birth, U.S./foreign institution, and Chinese institution. The data within T-TOP has been deemed significant and has led to new open investigations with Partner Government Agencies (PGA) within the Intelligence Community (IC).

On November 4, 2019, AOM Williams attended the Unified Targeting Course (UTC) at the Advanced Training Center (ATC). As part of the UTC curriculum, CBPAS Williams conducted research on a subject implicated as the intended recipient of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV, a type of coronavirus) material seized at Detroit Metro Airport. This developed into a long-term research project and led to the creation of a Field Information Report (FIR), FIR-CHL20-2211851_ University of Minnesota Professor and Virologist Fang Li and Associates. This subject is linked to Zhengli Shi, widely known in the media as ‘the batwoman’ and is directly connected to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). These connections led to a collaboration between various CBP entities and on April 15, 2020, this collaboration was formalized into a Special Operation called “River City,” which targeted subjects of interest associated to Wuhan Institute of Virology. The project identified dozens of high-risk targets and led to multiple referrals to the FBI and other actions.


In July 2020, while conducting research on subjects of interest in River City, AOM Williams discovered open-source websites containing “batches” of Thousand Talents Program participants. The batches contained names, dates of birth, and U.S. institutional affiliations of Chinese Thousand Talents Program members. Some of the listed institutions include U.S. federal laboratories that conduct sensitive and high-level research. “The Thousand Talents Program (TTP) was introduced by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 2009 to identify foreign individuals with the skills, abilities, and knowledge necessary to transform China into a modern economic power. The TTP incentivizes individuals engaged in research and development in countries worldwide to transmit knowledge, trade secrets, data, and sometimes physical property to China in exchange for salaries, research funding, lab space, greater employment status, and other incentives. “China unfairly uses American research and expertise it obtains for its own economic and military gain.” Excerpt from IB-CHL-20-2239447- Thousand Talents Open-Source Pool (T-TOP).

Realizing the value of this information AOM Williams collaborated with Detroit Field Office BTOS on how to best develop and socialize the data. Initially, from the first batches discovered, 2,338 subjects were extracted. AOM Williams continued research and discovered additional batches that required a laborious process of aligning, organizing, and verifying the data from multiple Chinese-language sources began after discovery. Once completed, the dataset containing 4,631 subjects was developed into a user-friendly, stand-alone tool that can sort and analyze the data.

Upon publication of the Information Bulletin (IB) on January 28, 2021, interest was generated from internal CBP divisions, including Office of Intelligence (OI) Counterintelligence and Office of Trade-Intelligence. Through OI, AOM Williams and the Detroit Field Office BTOS participated in numerous phone calls with PGAs of the IC to include: Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Commerce (DOC), Office of National Security – Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The PGA’s IC revealed the dataset within T-TOP contained names of individuals under investigation and highlighted new persons of interest for investigation. AOM Williams attended meetings with the NTC Targeting Business Division and Privacy and Diversity Office and determined the best CBP system to access T-TOP would be in the CBP Analytical Toolbox. On May 20, 2022, T-TOP was published as an application within the CBP Analytical Toolbox. After going live on the CBP Analytical Toolbox, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Liaison/Air Force Office of Special Investigations requested T-TOP for further research and analysis. AOM Williams received emails from several FBI Counterintelligence Task Force (CITF) Task Force Officers (TFO) requesting additional information and stating praise for the significance of the data.


On June 28, 2022, data from T-TOP was developed into a User Defined Rule for passenger targeting and identifying high risk individuals for inspection.

On June 29, 2022, AOM Williams attended the Women in National Security Forum hosted by the National Counterintelligence Task Force (NCITF) located at the Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence Studies in College Park, Maryland. AOM Williams socialized T-TOP with senior leaders from the National Security sector, which led to the discussion and sharing of T-TOP with the IC through the NCITF.

On September 9, 2022, an updated version of Information Bulletin (IB) IBTDU-22-2628021 titled Thousand Talents Open-Source Pool (T-TOP) was published. Post analysis research of biological encounters have revealed U.S. advisors, Chinese advisors, Non-Immigrant Visa application (NIV) points of contacts have been past members of the TTP. The discovery of this information prior to inspection results in joint inspections between CBP, HSI, and FBI.

Additionally, AOM Williams has provided CBP wide Chinese Counterintelligence Training where T-TOP was briefed and demonstrated on best practices of how to utilize T-TOP for prevetting and post analysis research. T-TOP is a valuable resource in identifying subjects that are likely to carry biological materials, pose potential national security risks, and act as nontraditional collectors of data and trade secrets.

Outstanding Advocate for Women in Federal Law Enforcement

This award recognizes the contributions of an individual toward the elimination of systemic barriers to career opportunities for women in law enforcement. The award recognizes a person who is an advocate, advisor, and leader in the continued support of women in law enforcement.

Employee Engagement and Organizational Culture Division

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations

In 1995, Ms. Tinesha L. Cherry began her career as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) in Detroit, Michigan. Ms. Cherry has sustained a superior level of performance, which has excelled her through various positions of leadership throughout CBP. As a wife and mother of two,


Ms. Cherry is an outstanding role model for women in law enforcement and sets the example that you can balance work and family.

Ms. Cherry is a core member of the Task Force for Women (TFW), established within OFO to advance the female workforce across CBP by ensuring they are empowered to lead and contribute, equipped with the necessary skills to succeed, and can attain unrestricted access to opportunities and resources. Ms. Cherry serves as the Communication Committee Lead and was responsible for the development of an agencywide Communication Plan, designed to enhance the recruitment, retention, recognition, and resiliency for women in federal law enforcement.

Ms. Cherry’s passion, dedication, and drive to inspire others resulted in her being selected as the Director of the newly established Employee Engagement and Organizational Culture (EEOC) Division with CBP’s OFO. Established in December 2021, the EEOC Division promotes a workplace culture where growth opportunities are afforded to all employees regardless of position, sexual identity, race, or tenure.

In 2022, Director Cherry led the EEOC through the development and expansion of numerous initiatives across multiple CBP components to promote a workplace culture where respect, fairness, trust, transparency, teamwork, accountability, empowerment, and effective communication are the driving force behind agency actions. Director Cherry and the EEOC established the following initiatives, processes, and programs:

» Developed the New Employee Outreach, which reached over 94% of all new uniform and non-uniform employees in 2022.

» Established the Women’s Leadership, Empowerment and Development Training to provide attendees with knowledge, skills, and resources in leadership development to nurture their professional growth reaching over 70 in-person and nearly 1100 virtual participants.

» Led Women’s Empowerment Workshops created to identify challenges and propose solutions to address issues faced by women, discuss best practices to advocate for women, and create pathways to support the continued advancement of women in our workforce. In 2022, over 250 female and male participants were reached.

» Supported the Resume, Interview, and Development Training throughout OFO to engage employees, provide tips and information to enhance their resumes and prepare them for structured interviews as they position themselves for career progression and success. Delivered to more than 300 participants in various forums, including 2022 WIFLE, that reached multiple federal, state, and local agencies.


» Re-energized the OFO Mentoring Program permitting the benefits of mentoring programs to expand nationwide, resulting in the participation of over 3,000 employees.

» Hosted several in-person all-female SES interactive leadership panels to gain valuable insight from some of the top female leaders within OFO.

» Maximized OFO’s participation in the 22nd Annual WIFLE Leadership Training by supporting OFO participants. The EEOC lead an 8-hour Resume, Interview, and Development Training and supported OFO’s cadre of senior female leaders to serve as flash mentors providing attendees with one-on-one career advice.

» Led listening sessions and focus groups throughout OFO to gather input and solicit creative ideas to overcome challenges faced by CBP with recruitment, retention, recognition, and resilience of a diverse and inclusive workforce.

» Strengthened the 3L (Leadership, Legacy, Law Enforcement) Alliance Training, created to cultivate a culture of long-term fellowship, mentorship, and sponsorship opportunities by empowering our female workforce to openly discuss successes, challenges, and other significant career moments. Currently, the training is deployed to 100% of CBP’s field locations.

» Established the Men Empowered by Women focus group consisting of male OFO SES leaders to recognize that the challenges of gender equality do not exclusively rest with women. The male advocates amplify the voices and perspectives of men who support gender equity.

Ms. Cherry has brought her skills, knowledge, experience, and passion to CBP has had an astounding impact on the present and future workforce of CBP. She has been an advocate for recruiting and retaining women in law enforcement through Federal initiatives like the 30x30, aimed at increasing female representation in law enforcement to 30% by 2030.

Ms. Cherry has held a formal leadership position within her organization for over 21 years. As a 5th level manager, Ms. Cherry serves as a role model and the impact of the programs she has shaped and developed will have widespread impacts on the future for women in law enforcement.

Social Security Administration

Office of the Inspector General

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Dawn Nolan has been a consistent and strong advocate for women in federal law enforcement throughout her


nearly two decades of service with the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG). This nomination focuses on SAC Nolan’s advocacy efforts over the past year to specifically address the safety of SSA OIG female Special Agents; to improve SSA OIG hiring efforts to advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) priorities; and to serve as a role model and mentor for her female colleagues.

Advocate and Advisor: SAC Nolan offers continued support as an advocate and advisor to women in law enforcement. As a longtime WIFLE member, SAC Nolan routinely attends the annual WIFLE Conference on behalf of SSA OIG. During the 2022 Conference, SAC Nolan attended a briefing by the FBI’s Ballistic Research Facility (BRF) where she learned of a deficiency in most body armor that left women significantly more likely to have their body armor fail if they were shot in the upper chest. The deficiency resulted from a failure to test the body armor on women. Immediately upon returning from the conference, SAC Nolan alerted OIG headquarters of the deficiency and arranged an FBI BRF briefing for SSA OIG executive leadership. Following this briefing, and to immediately address the safety of female Special Agents, SAC Nolan led efforts to identify a new vendor to provide replacement body armor that corrected this deficiency for all SSA OIG female Special Agents. SAC Nolan also partnered with the SSA OIG Office of Investigations Training Division to contract with this vendor for future body armor at a reduced cost by coordinating SSA OIG orders as part of a larger agency’s existing contract.

Diverse Recruitment Efforts: SAC Nolan has been instrumental in advocating for and implementing more diverse recruitment efforts within SSA OIG over the past year. SAC Nolan volunteered to be a charter member of the new SSA OIG DEIA Council in 2022 and agreed to serve as the recruiting chair. In this role, SAC Nolan coordinated SSA OIG attendance at 11 in-person and 24 virtual recruiting events, including those at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions. SAC Nolan and others collected dozens of resumes from well-qualified women and encouraged many women to apply for entry-level Special Agent vacancies.

Additionally, SAC Nolan supported 30x30 goals and helped make interviews and hiring more inclusive by proposing and establishing and Interview Panel Pool (IPP) at SSA OIG. IPP is a DEIA best hiring practice that increases hiring continuity by including individuals with different perspectives, professional experiences, and life experiences in the hiring process. IPP panel members support SSA OIG hiring managers by screening best qualified applicants and leading panel interviews of the final candidates. Historically, SSA OIG generally had only one individual review a list of best qualified candidates to select interviewees. By establishing the IPP,


three individuals now contribute to the decision, bringing more voices and perspectives into the hiring process. In FY22 alone, the IPP screened over 560 applicants and helped hire more than 30 new Special Agents. Thanks to SAC Nolan, the IPP is now a core component of SSA OIG hiring practices and has been highlighted as a model for other OIGs.

Role Model and Leader: SAC Nolan has and continues to be a role model and mentor for other women within SSA OIG. As one of SSA OIG’s senior female law enforcement leaders, SAC Nolan regularly attends the annual WIFLE Conference on behalf of SSA OIG and leads our delegation in group discussions during the event. She has also served as a mentor to many of female Special Agents and has helped develop several of them to take on leadership roles within the agency, two of whom have recently been promoted to the position of SAC.

SAC Nolan’s leadership and advocacy for hiring, developing, and protecting women in federal law enforcement has been of great value to SSA OIG and should be commended.

Outstanding Federal Law Enforcement Employee

These awards honor outstanding employees in the field of law enforcement. The objective is to recognize individuals who have shown sustained superior level of performance throughout their career and who serve as role models for women in law enforcement.

Jess Earle Special Agent

Drug Enforcement Administration

Since joining the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2006, Special Agent Jess Earle has dedicated herself to stopping violent drug cartels in Mexico as well as the flow of fentanyl from China to the United States. SA Earle’s superior performance as a former Intelligence Analyst and Special Agent with DEA make her an excellent selection for the 2023 WIFLE Outstanding Federal Law Enforcement Employee.

Prior to converting to a Special Agent (SA), SA Earle served as a DEA Intelligence Analyst (IA) for 12 years in Washington D.C. and Mexico City. SA Earle was a subject matter expert on Mexican drug trafficking as well as a regional drug trafficking expert for China. She supported the Mexican Fusion Center in the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to track and arrest top


cartel leaders and worked diplomatically to establish anti-drug policies in both Mexico and China. At the pinnacle of her law enforcement intelligence career in 2019, SA Earle was acting as DEA’s global strategic intelligence unit chief responsible for DEA’s worldwide strategic reporting within the U.S. intelligence community. SA Earle represented DEA to the White House and National Security Council during this period, resulting in favorable policy decisions for U.S. drug enforcement. SA Earle authored numerous intelligence community papers that were recognized for excellence by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, including National Intelligence Estimates and binational estimates, but one specific accomplishment in fiscal year 2019 included SA Earle’s development and leadership of a special operation to determine the current role of drug trafficking in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The operation included SA Earle interviewing defectors from North Korea under a veil of secrecy to determine the regime’s state-sponsored role in drug trafficking. Later that year, at the age of 37, and as a single mother of two, SA Earle decided to embark on a new opportunity and passion in becoming a DEA Special Agent, returning to Quantico, Virginia once again for basic agent training, and, ultimately, thriving as her class’s Outstanding Academic Achievement award recipient. Since that time, SA Earle has set herself apart as both an outstanding agent and a mentor and role model for other agents. In 2021, SA Earle was hand-picked by Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Cheri Oz to be a founding member of the DEA Phoenix Field Division DEALERS (DEA Law Enforcement Response Squad) Task Force.

DEALERS is a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) initiative tactical response unit targeting the most dangerous drug traffickers in their respective Area of Responsibility (AOR). SA Earle’s contribution and commitment to the task force has been an integral part in their success. During the past year and a half, the task force has been responsible for the following: 183 arrests; 187 firearms seized; 1,222 pounds of methamphetamine seized; 6,509,810 of fake M/30 fentanyl pills seized; 87.99 kilograms of fentanyl powder seized; 34.6 kilograms of heroin seized; 57.41 kilograms of cocaine seized; 69.07 pounds of marijuana seized; 30.29 kilograms of Xanax, ecstasy, and anabolic androgen steroids seized; $2,312,744.01 in U.S. currency seized; $102,793 in jewelry seized, and 76 vehicles seized valued at $2,380.105.

Furthermore, SA Earle’s task force led the DEA’s Phoenix Field Division in arrests, as well as assets and firearms seizures for Fiscal Year 2022. The task force, which regularly participates in weekly operations, were also responsible for one of the largest fentanyl powder seizures (36 kilograms) in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as the second largest fentanyl pill seizure (1.78 million pills) in the state of Arizona.


As part of the DEALERS taskforce, SA Earle’s case work has flourished. One such accomplishment was in June 2022 when SA Earle initiated and led the takedown of a meth lab and cock-fighting operation in a residential neighborhood in Phoenix, seizing 109 pounds methamphetamine and 5 firearms and arresting one individual, who has since been indicted. In this investigation, SA Earle seized a total of 6 firearms, 1 vehicle, 23.2 kilograms of fentanyl, 65 pounds of methamphetamine, 131 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, 1.3 kilograms of heroin, and approximately $20,000 in U.S. currency. This investigation was tied to the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, and, as a result, SA Earle stopped a prolific methamphetamine distribution hub for the cartel in Phoenix. Taking the case one step further, SA Earle cultivated a Confidential Source (CS) to launch a new investigation into the Sinaloa Cartel which has continued to flourish, resulting in record-level drug seizures for the DEA. In just a matter of months, SA Earle seized more than 3 million fentanyl pills in three separate takedowns.

In October 2022, SA Earle led a buy/bust operation resulting in the seizure of approximately 600,000 fentanyl pills, 0.5 kilograms of cocaine, 3 vehicles, 4 handguns, and U.S. currency. This operation led to a source of supply (SOS) in Mexico and a courier network in California. From that intelligence, SA Earle led another operation in January 2023 yielding the seizure of approximately 1.48 million fentanyl pills, 2 tractor trailers, and 1 handgun. A month later, SA Earle led another buy/bust operation resulting in the seizure of approximately 1.1 million fentanyl pills and $44,000 in U.S. currency. In total, six individuals were arrested and four have already been indicted. The approximate street value of the seizures in this case is approximately $15,364,237.00 USC. This investigation was tied to a SOS in Mexico working for the Sinaloa Cartel. SA Earle was able to coordinate with multiple agencies and DEA’s Special Operations Division (SOD) to develop this investigation in two different judicial districts, as well as support a judicial wire which is expected to yield millions more in pill seizures and multiple arrests. Overall, SA Earle’s work has had a crippling effect on the Sinaloa Cartel’s drug trafficking operations in the State of Arizona and beyond. Special Agent Jess Earle is a true role model for both women and men in law enforcement and is the epitome of federal law enforcement excellence.

Special Agent

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Special Agent Julia S. Hanish achieved 19 years of federal service in April of 2023. While she began her professional life as an accountant, SA Hanish decided to channel her passion for finance and her desire for justice into government service. As such, throughout her law enforcement career, she


has served in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), putting her skills to work by uncovering complex financial crimes. We were fortunate to receive SA Hanish in our district after she was reassigned from the SDNY where she worked on the Bernard L. Madoff Investigation.

SA Hanish not only serves a model agent within the FBI, but she serves as a role model for women in federal law enforcement. She has led and participated in complex interstate financial investigations. She leads the conversation about what is to be done on an investigation.

Three cases illustrate SA Hanish’s talent and ability:

» U.S. v. Stephen C. Peters: On September 16, 2019, Stephen Condon Peters was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $15,063,624.30 in restitution to victims, on charges of Investment Advisor Fraud, Fraud in the Sale of Unregistered Securities, Wire Fraud, Conducting Monetary Transactions in Criminally Derived Property, and Aggravated Identity Theft. The evidence showed that Peters, in his role as a Registered Investment Advisor, defrauded his numerous clients by steering them into investments in which Peters had a direct financial interest. He then compounded his crimes by attempting to defraud the SEC with false documents and statements. According to the Court, Peters’s crimes were “breathtaking,” but were proven with a “tsunami of evidence.” SA Hanish then served as the case agent during the twoweek trial, testifying twice to summarize the Government’s voluminous evidence. She also testified in support of the Government’s forfeiture of the defendant’s residence, Costa Rican luxury home, cars, horses, watches, and other possessions. The jury returned a verdict of guilty on all counts and forfeited millions worth of possessions for the ultimate benefit of fraud victims.

» U.S. v. Latisha and Timothy Harrone: On May 18, 2021, Latisha Harron was sentenced to 170 months in prison and ordered to pay $13,396,921.63 in restitution to the N.C. Medicaid Program on Charges of Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Wire Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering. On September 3, 2021, Harron’s husband, Timothy Harron, was sentenced to 144 months in prison and ordered to pay $4,321,590.39 in restitution to the North Carolina Medicaid Program on the same charges. Forfeiture of various possessions were also ordered as a part of the sentences, including a British Aerospace Bae 125-800A Aircraft, a 2017 Aston Martin DB 11 sports car, and various other assets. SA Hanish played a critical role in bringing about this result in this significant healthcare fraud case. She then compiled and synthesized the information in such a compelling fashion that the Harrons both pled guilty to their offenses.


U.S. v. Jorge Alberto Garcia: On January 24, 2022, Jorge Alberto

Garcia was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $4,043,397.52 in restitution on charges of Wire Fraud and Failure to File Tax Returns. SA Hanish was instrumental in bringing about this result by coordinating complaints and reports from multiple jurisdictions. She also interviewed more than 50 victims at the height of the pandemic; analyzed and synthesized volumes of bank records; and performed extensive loss investigations for victims. SA Hanish’s investigation showed that from September of 2015 through April of 2020, Garcia approached elderly, retired individuals at their private residences, offering home improvement services using various company names. Many of the victims that Garcia approached had physical or mental infirmities. To carry out the scheme Garcia, who never had a general contractor’s license, would offer to perform home improvement projects but Garcia would not complete the work or repay loans in full, often leaving the elderly or mentally infirm victims financially ruined.

The public is indebted to SA Hanish for her efforts to promote respect for the law in the realm of white-collar crime, and for her efforts to advance the interests of victims.

Cristin M. O’Malley Special Agent Department of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations

For over 17 years, Special Agent Cristin O’Malley has sustained a superior level of performance while serving as a role model for women and men alike in federal law enforcement. Her talents proved invaluable in the protection of U.S. national security.

SA O’Malley supervises the Office of Special Investigation’s (OSI) largest European unit consisting of 35 active duty, civilian, and host nation personnel tasked with conducting criminal, fraud, and counterintelligence investigations and operations across seven countries in support of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the largest population outside of the U.S. of U.S forces, Department of Defense personnel, and their families.

As a Senior Enlisted Leader within OSI and the Air Force, SA O’Malley continuously serves as a mentor and leader. Over the last five years, she organized symposiums to educate and develop members of all ranks within the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force. She serves as a Master Resiliency Trainer and an advocate for mental health and suicide


awareness and prevention efforts. In 2022, SA O’Malley spearheaded Ramstein Air Base’s inaugural Suicide Prevention and Awareness 5K event, managing a team of volunteers to highlight mental health resources and helping agencies available across the Kaiserslautern Military Community, which serves over 57,000 Department of Defense personnel.

In 2022, SA O’Malley’s commitment to the mission and protection of the Department of the Air Force enabled the multiple successes achieved by OSI Detachment 515. Overcoming a 50% manning gap, she managed the OSI’s European theater’s largest criminal mission and initiated 113 investigative files, resulting in 9 Court-martial convictions, 8 years of jail time, 19 military discharges, 20 non-judicial punishments, and over $10,000 in forfeitures. SA O’Malley fortified relationships with Air Force Security Forces Operations Investigations and the installation legal office for over 30 joint investigations, culminating in a 14-hour drug operation unraveling a ten-member drug ring and obtaining nine confessions. She also enabled a 19-member joint task force, teamed with three German law enforcement agencies and Defense Criminal Investigations Service, to conduct 11 search warrants simultaneously across seven locations in support of a one-million-dollar government purchase card investigation. Additionally, her team identified a $628 million Department of Defense fraud threat and product substitution inquiry resulting in contract personnel debarment. Furthermore, she swiftly deployed six personnel in response to the Ukraine crisis, enabling synchronization with allied partners and securing $1.2 billion assets across four countries. Lastly, she oversaw counterintelligence support for two Secretary of Defense-led Ukrainian summits through the vetting of 536 personnel from 46 nations, mitigating 8 security threats, and securing 30 foreign Ministers of Defense to enable multinational support for Ukraine. She steered Agile Combat Environment (ACE) missions safeguarding 9 operations, 7 joint and multinational military exercises, over 500 sorties, and 1,200 personnel across 8 Air Wings.

From 2019 to 2021, SA O’Malley served as the Superintendent of OSI Detachment 810, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, where she directly supported the Space and Missile Systems Center and the newly formed U.S. Space Force. In this role, she revived a stagnant counterintelligence program by refocusing training and priorities, resulting in an increase of operational activities by 62%, which enabled the protection of a $7 billion per year strategic space and technology portfolio. She directed the unit’s technology protection mission for eight Secretary of the Air Force priority programs, producing more than 30 detailed reports identifying foreign intelligence entities’ tactics, techniques, and procedures, thus securing a $68 billion dollar space portfolio. As a result of her efforts, joint investigations were initiated with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and Homeland Security Investigations resulting in the deportation of all four


subjects. Moreover, SA O’Malley coordinated and guided a highly visible and sensitive child pornography and extortion investigation, conducting 106 investigative activities, which identified 72 victims across five states. In 2018, SA O’Malley served as the Chief of Travel Security and Force Protection at the White House Military Office Security Directorate. She directly supported and safeguarded the President of the United States by orchestrating collaboration between more than 50 law enforcement agencies to provide on-site and real-time intelligence and security support to safeguard National Security Special Events. SA O’Malley also served as the lead White House Military Office liaison officer to the United States Secret Service, the Department of State, the Diplomatic Security Service, and several other U.S. and international law enforcement partners while coordinating and executing foreign travel conducted by the President of the United States.

SA O’Malley’s leadership and dedication to law enforcement, her team, and the mission garnered numerous awards across the years to include: Detachment 515’s selection as OSI’s 2021 Large Detachment of the Year, the 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Team award, the 2020 Intelligence Community National Counterintelligence and Security Professional Supply Chain Protection Team Award, the 2020 Department of Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Supply Chain and Risk Management Team Award. Individually, SA O’Malley was recognized as the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for 2019, 2021, and 2022, the 2020 Chief Master Sergeant Herbert L. Hall Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Special Agent of the Year, and the 2020 Senior Enlisted winner of the Lance P. Sijan Award U.S. Air Force leadership award. SA O’Malley’s exceptional performance continues to inspire and motivate the next generation in OSI and beyond as she continues to walk her path as a servant leader.

Maria E. Thomas Special Agent in Charge

U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Maria Thomas’ devotion to duty, manner of performance, and professional credentials are impeccable. SAC Thomas has over 20 years of federal law enforcement experience and has served with distinction in numerous law enforcement positions, including as the Assistant Director of the Human Resources Directorate at Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) where she had oversight of hiring, recruiting, disciplinary action, training, and professional development of agency personnel. She served as an Ombudsman, providing an informal, confidential, and neutral way to resolve work-place issues.


SAC Thomas began her career with the Department of Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) on March 28, 2022. SAC Thomas became the first ever female SAC of the Central Texas Field Office (CTFO) of CID. SAC Thomas’ assignment as the SAC of the CTFO came at a critical time for the Army and CID as consequences of previous insufficiencies in law enforcement at Fort Hood necessitated substantial leadership change and a requirement for an experienced law enforcement professional. The findings and recommendations of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee report and other subsequent assessments documented a significant lack of law enforcement experience, partnerships, and preventative policing by CID.

CTFO’s area of responsibility is expansive, covering the majority of Texas. CTFO is comprised of two offices located at Fort Hood and Joint Base Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. Fort Hood alone has an on-post population of over 57,000 personnel of which 35,000 are active-duty soldiers. When taking command, SAC Thomas focused on four areas: partnership, community engagement, investigative success, and prevention/ education of crime.

Shortly after taking the role as the SAC of the CTFO, SAC Thomas identified an opportunity to redesign the CTFO approach to criminal offenses, specifically targeting noted problem sets impacting soldiers and family members at Fort Hood and the surrounding community. These efforts included targeting fentanyl distributors on Fort Hood and the surrounding areas as well as the theft and sale of restricted items listed on the United States Munitions List and regulated by the International Trafficking in Arms (ITAR) regulations. SAC Thomas’ vision for proactive operations has led to the recovery of hundreds of thousands of dollars of sensitive and restricted United States Government property and the seizure of large amounts of illegal drugs, to include fentanyl.

In July 2022, CTFO investigated a sexual assault report of a soldier occurring in the barracks at Fort Hood. SAC Thomas established a task force to solely focus on the sexual assaults to identify the subject and to take additional steps to educate the soldiers and prevent others from being victimized. CTFO participated in both covert and overt barracks safety checks, safety briefings with barracks personnel, provided guidance to senior mission commanders on steps to take to ensure soldiers’ safety, and hosted a self-defense class for females on post. Although these efforts did not prevent the serial sex offender from striking again in October; the investigative tools in place and awareness campaign were key in keeping soldiers vigilant and directly led to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the sex offender.


One area of concern at Fort Hood was suicides by soldiers. SAC Thomas noted a trend in suicides during the spring of 2022 which indicated a spike in soldier suicides. After researching the trend, it was determined the commonality was the soldiers had all been subjects of a command investigation, a military police investigation, CID investigation, or were pending involuntary removal from the Army. About nine months later, another spike was noticed in suicides. An analysis of the investigations determined the six individuals who committed suicide had all recently gone through significant problems in a relationship. This information was shared with senior leaders and family advocacy professionals to discuss ways to ensure support systems are in place for soldiers, highlighting the need for leaders to be involved and know their soldiers to identify when they are suffering.

SAC Maria Thomas’s leadership and eye towards proactive crime prevention are unparalleled in law enforcement and have led to the early identification of victims and suspects of criminal incidents.

TRSS/WIFLE Leadership Award

This award honors an individual who has led the way to developing an effective strategy and initiated an effective partnership with a private sector entity in creating a system or model that prevents crimes. This model may have been developed as a result of learning from past crimes, or as a result of thinking proactively and creatively about what can be done to prevent certain crimes from recurring. The objective is to recognize effective affiliations between federal law enforcement and the private sector, which result in successful proactive crime prevention in the community.

Helen Luong Special Agent

Department of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations

Special Agent (Master Sergeant) Helen Luong has served in the U.S. Air Force from 2009 to present. Since 2013, she has also served as a federal law enforcement officer with the Air Force Office of Investigations (OSI). During 2022 while serving under the 11th Field Investigations Squadron (FIS), Detachment 402, SA Luong was hand-selected to fill a nine-week leadership gap at OSI Detachment 404 as the Senior Enlisted Leader, where she led nine personnel and oversaw 26 investigations. SA Luong trained 19 Agents in criminal investigations and confidential informant management. She also facilitated the recruitment of three informants, which spawned three proactive investigations and a counterdrug operation. By


using collected intelligence, SA Luong led her team’s identification of 20 active-duty troops involved in drug use, with subsequent discharge of six military members. SA Luong also directed a domestic extremist terrorist investigation alongside the Federal Bureau of Investigation that was directly connected to the January 6th Insurrection. She quickly gathered the intelligence that verified an active-duty military member whose extremist ideology threatened Department of Defense assets. The member faced federal charges and was ultimately discharged. Through her leadership, oversight, and guidance while serving two units as a detachment leader, SA Luong’s 11 FIS won the 2022 Squadron of the Year Award for her wing.

SA Luong volunteered to deploy for an atypical nine months as the Senior Enlisted Leader at OSI 25th Expeditionary Field Investigations Squadron (EFIS), Expeditionary Detachment 2506, Camp Simba, Manda Bay, Kenya. In that role, she led 26 personnel; guided over 50 outside the wire missions; and safeguarded over 700 joint service personnel and $700M U.S. dollars of resources. She developed counterintelligence training plans, trained four Agents and guided them on the management of 15 informants to enhance the unit’s counterintelligence collections. Her effort led her team’s production in over 100 intelligence information reports, answering priority collection requirements for the Africa Command area of operational responsibility. Her leadership also empowered the team’s first debrief of a terrorist captive, where her unit gleaned critical information on terrorist hostage tactics, techniques, and procedures. The vital information her team collected answered strategic intelligence gaps for the U.S. Joint Personnel Recovery Agency and saved lives. Additionally, she led a terrorist targeting operation; identified three suspects with extremist affiliations; and enabled host nation partners to neutralize two extremists and mitigate other insider threats.

SA Luong spearheaded an electronic warfare operation that exploited terrorist communications and actionable intelligence, which significantly increased an outside the wire mission threat detection network. Lastly, she represented OSI superbly at two Nairobi, Kenya U.S. Embassy DoD intelligence syncs, where she briefed the U.S. Embassy country team (a combination of multiple federal agencies and law enforcement agencies) on OSI operations and coordinated counterintelligence efforts.

The culmination of all SA Luong’s deployed efforts resulted in her 25 EFIS winning the 2022 Squadron of the Year Functional Award for all OSI, the 25 EFIS being selected as OSI’s nomination for Counterintelligence Collection Team of the Year to compete nationally, and her deployed detachment being selected as OSI’s 2022 Small Detachment of the Year runner-up.



Department of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations

Special Agent (SA) Jessica Sunkamaneevongse is the incumbent Commander, Office of Special Investigations (OSI) Detachment 439, United States Air Force (USAF) Academy, CO since summer 2022. In her current role, she leads, mentors, and supervises a 14-member team to conduct over 25 criminal, fraud, and counterintelligence investigations and operations resulting in courts-martials and administrative discharge actions. She ensures her team legally applies principles of criminal and counterintelligence investigations along with proper documentation from case initiation to closure and trial. Furthermore, SA Sunkamaneevongse provides mission-critical briefings to Department of Defense (DoD) senior executives and recommendations to Department of the Air Force (DAF) senior leaders on time-sensitive security, law enforcement, and counterintelligence issues.

Since arriving at Detachment 439, SA Sunkamaneevongse has implemented two systems aimed at preventing crimes: establishing open lines of communication with USAF Academy leaders, and monitoring and publishing data for trends analysis.

Communication: In summer 2022, SA Sunkamaneevongse identified and corrected deficiencies in her unit’s counterintelligence program via a manpower reset. Following the manpower reset, she contacted her counterparts at the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Colorado Springs Resident Agency to communicate her intent and her team’s objectives in seeking an enduring partnership with the FBI moving forward. In doing so, SA Sunkamaneevongse soon enabled her team to open a national security investigation with the FBI, publish 12 intelligence reports with two positive evaluations from the intelligence community, and grew productivity by 95% within five months in-seat. This open communication with the FBI also enabled increased intelligence information sharing and threat awareness monitoring.

Similarly, upon arrive to Detachment 439, SA Sunkamaneevongse briefed all USAF Academy leaders on the OSI mission and services that the agency may provide in support of criminal, fraud, and counterintelligence investigations and operations. In doing so, SA Sunkamaneevongse was able to bridge communication gaps with the Cadet Wing in order to keep senior leaders appraised of changes (new developments) to investigative policies to prevent the inadvertent disclosure of restricted sex assault reports.

Data Analysis: In fall 2022, following senior USAF Academy leaders’ raised concerns of increases in sexual assaults within the Cadet Wing,


SA Sunkamaneevongse researched, gathered, and compiled data on historical trends. In doing so, she was able to identify a 33% increase in overall crimes at USAF Academy from 27 felony cases initiated in 2021 to 36 felony cases in 2022. Additionally, her research identified 71.4% of total cases opened were related to sex crimes with 65.7% involving the Cadet Wing. She presented her findings to the entire USAF Academy Cadet Wing leadership team in December 2022 to best understand trends surrounding sexual assault aimed at preventing them from occurring.

Prior to SA Sunkamaneevongse’s arrival to OSI Detachment 439 (first half of 2022), she was the Chief of the Counterintelligence Branch at OSI Detachment 621, Yokota Air Base, Japan. She led four Special Agents and two Special Investigators (Japanese contractors) to provide investigative counterintelligence and counterterrorism support to the 374th Airlift Wing, 5th Air Force, and Headquarters U.S. Forces in Japan. She oversaw two open base events (vetted 178.5K for foreign intelligence affiliation), four operations and investigations, and 10 Protective Service Operations to include the President of the United States. She spearheaded a five-member security team for the U.S. and Ukrainian Ambassadors to Japan, enabling a smooth press event advocating for democracy and securing military equipment delivery to Ukraine’s war with Russia.

Furthermore, SA Sunkamaneevongse directed 80 high-level strategic liaisons with the Japanese Air Self Defense Force, Japanese Self Defense Force, Japanese Coast Guard, Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, and the Japanese Saitama Prefectural Police. From those liaisons, she researched, analyzed, and published 33 intelligence reports (managed 84 total publications), which received 12 positive evaluations from the intelligence community, for senior leaders’ considerations of assets and missions across the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Theater. She bested 2021 second quarter reports by 115% with 50% less personnel.


Top Prosecutor Award

The Top Prosecutor Award recognizes a career federal prosecutor for exemplary achievements in prosecutions of federal crimes involving trafficking of women or children; trafficking of human beings for forced labor; commission of crimes of violence against women or a minority group; a civil rights violation; any terrorist-related violation against the United States; or commission of any corporate or government fraud.


Southern District of New York

U.S. Department of Justice

Amanda Houle serves as the Co-Chief, National Security and International Narcotics Trafficking Unit for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York and was the former Co-Chief of the Narcotics Unit. She has played a crucial role in guiding complex and impactful cases in the narco-terrorism and national security space.

In 2022, Ms. Houle served as the lead prosecutor in a five-month long capital trial against Sayfullo Saipov, an ISIS terrorist who murdered eight innocent people and severely injured many more, including children, during an attack in New York City. Throughout the trial, Ms. Houle presented complex, and at times, delicate witness testimony (including by experts, law enforcement, and victims of the attack); delivered impactful and impassioned jury addresses; and briefed and argued dozens of motions (including with respect to capital issues of first impression in the Second Circuit). During closing arguments in the penalty phase, the jury and the gallery were moved to tears as Ms. Houle described the impact of the defendant’s heinous attack. Following this successful prosecution, Saipov was convicted of all charges (8 counts of murder in aid of racketeering, 12 counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, 1 count of providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, and 1 count of violence and destruction of a motor vehicle) for which he will be sentenced to life imprisonment. Although the jury did not reach a unanimous decision on the death penalty, the victims and their families uniformly expressed overwhelming gratitude for the way Ms. Houle assisted them in presenting their testimony and advocating for them.


Simultaneously, while preparing and litigating the Saipov case, Ms. Houle served as Co- Chief of the National Security and International Narcotics Unit. In that role, Ms. Houle closely supervised significant cases, including the extradition and prosecution of the former President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernandez for narcotics and weapons offenses; the unsealing of charges against leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel for a vast fentanyltrafficking enterprise; the conviction at trial of a CIA officer for espionage and cybercrime offenses; the conviction at trial of a Chinese government employee for fraud offenses; the prosecution of Russian officials for sanctions violations; the prosecutions of Chinese and Iranian officers for efforts at transnational repression; and the prosecution of foreign terrorists captured overseas seeking to attack the United States.

In 2021, as the Co-Chief of the Narcotics Unit, Ms. Houle supervised investigations addressing the opioid overdose epidemic. Her guidance led to successful indictments and convictions of 10 individuals involved in a drug delivery service that sold cocaine laced with fentanyl. Their activity has been connected to multiple overdose deaths. She also oversaw the successful trial and conviction of a former opioid distribution company CEO for narcotics and fraud offenses. Additionally, she served as the Regional Director for the New York/New Jersey Region of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces.

Prior to her supervisory roles, Ms. Houle made significant contributions through her casework. Notably, in 2020, she led the team that secured indictments against Nicolas Maduro and top Venezuelan officials on narcoterrorism charges, exposing corruption within Maduro’s regime. In 2019, Ms. Houle convicted at trial former Honduran Congressman and brother of the president of Honduras, Tony Hernandez, on charges of cocaine importation, weapons, and false statements offenses. Mr. Hernandez imported at least 185 tons of cocaine into the United States as the leader of a violent, statesponsored drug trafficking conspiracy. Also in 2019, Ms. Houle convicted at trial a Hizballah terrorist operating in the United States, who had conducted pre-attack surveillance of federal buildings (and one that housed a daycare), in New York City. Separate from her work in national security prosecutions, Ms. Houle has also advocated for victims of sex trafficking and sexual abuse, including but not limited to convicting a former U.N. employee who drugged and raped more than 20 victims, and convicting eight members of a violent New York City gang that was sex trafficking minors.

These achievements are only a fraction of Ms. Houle’s work in recent years to ensure justice and safety in the Southern District of New York and the United States. Additionally, her contributions to the Office’s Disclosure Committee have helped shape new practices in the face of discovery challenges. Her extensive trial and investigatory experience, leadership


abilities, and management skills are invaluable to the Office. Despite her demanding supervisory roles and busy caseload, she remains a soughtafter mentor and source of guidance for junior Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs).

Assistant United States Attorneys District of


U.S. Department of Justice

Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) Melinda Williams and Laura Provinzino from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota have served as public servants for 19 and 15 years respectively. Together, they have achieved nearly 50 successful human trafficking convictions. Over the past 13 years they have won every trafficking case they encountered. Their relentless efforts in prosecuting traffickers and fighting for the rights of victims have set them apart as leaders in the field.

One remarkable example of their contributions is their successful dismantlement of a transnational sex trafficking organization that specifically targeted Thai women. Over the course of 2016 and 2017, AUSAs Williams and Provinzino led the indictment of 43 members of this criminal conspiracy operating across the United States and abroad. In presenting their case to the Grand Jury, they used compelling evidence to show how the organization recruited Thai women and forced them into commercial sex acts until they repaid a debt bondage of approximately $40,000-$60,000 to their respective traffickers. Furthermore, they uncovered evidence of rampant and sophisticated money laundering within the organization, facilitating illegal profits exceeding $40 million.

With AUSA Williams and Provinzino leading the law enforcement team, their primary goal was the identification and rescue of female victims ensnared by the criminal organization. However, this task was incredibly challenging as the victims were constantly trafficked across the country to evade detection and isolate them in a foreign land where language barriers added to their vulnerability.

Each victim presented unique challenges that AUSAs Williams and Provinzino diligently addressed. To ensure the victims’ comfort and understanding of their rights, they arranged for the victims to be flown to Minnesota accompanied by a Thai female attorney from the Thai Community Development Center. Throughout the process, a female Thai translator was present to facilitate communication. These compassionate prosecutors took great care in connecting with the victims, respecting their Thai culture, and creating a safe space for them to share their stories.


In 2016 and 2017, AUSAs Williams and Provinzino orchestrated two nationwide operations that targeted the sex trafficking organization, resulting in the arrest of 36 individuals on criminal charges and the seizure of $890,000 in assets. Thirty-one out of the 36 subjects chose to plead guilty.

The remaining five defendants stood trial in the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, in late 2018, facing charges of sex trafficking and money laundering. After nearly six weeks of trial, all 36 defendants were found guilty on all counts, with the jury taking less than eight hours to deliberate. In August 2020, one of the defendants received a 208-month prison sentence for his significant role.

Following the convictions, AUSAs Williams and Provinzino remained determined and pursued other foreign co-conspirators. In February 2021, with the full support of AUSAs Williams and Provinzino, a co-conspirator was successfully extradited to the United States to face conspiracy charges for her role in recruiting and trafficking Thai women as part of the criminal organization. This individual had previously been charged and found guilty in Belgium for similar crimes. After serving the required prison term in Belgium, she was transferred to the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service. Seven years after the case was initiated, she was finally extradited to face justice in the United States in February 2021. This is a true testament to the dedication and sheer perseverance AUSAs Williams and Provinzino exhibited throughout this extensive investigation. The extradited coconspirator entered a guilty plea in November 2022 to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

When questioned about why the investigation took place in Minnesota despite the criminal conspiracy operating in multiple cities across the U.S., the HSI St. Paul Special Agent in Charge (SAC) likened the agents and prosecutors to “lightning in a bottle.”

As strong and successful women, AUSAs Melinda Williams and Laura Provinzino have tirelessly advocated for impoverished, minority, and abused victims of trafficking, guiding them on the path to justice – from victim to survivor to warrior.

Mollie Bracewell, Lindsey Keenan, and Danielle Sassoon Assistant United States Attorneys Southern District of New York

U.S. Department of Justice

The prosecution team, composed of Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) Mollie Bracewell, Lindsey Keenan, and Danielle Sassoon from the Southern District of New York are deserving of the Top Prosecution award


for their work in securing the conviction of Lawrence Ray (Ray). Ray led a criminal enterprise spanning nearly a decade, which involved extortion, forced labor, and sex trafficking.

Ray used his apparent charm, inflated self-image, and intellect to manipulate a group of vulnerable young adults – his daughter’s college classmates and their siblings. He positioned himself as a father-figure and mentor, only to rob his victims of their finances, relationships, selfesteem, memories, and even their bodies. Ray accomplished this through psychological terror, manipulation, and the skills he acquired from studying textbooks on the subject.

Ray beat, tortured, and at times starved his victims. He enlisted several victims to perform forced manual labor depriving them of adequate food and sleep, forcing them to work through thunderstorms and at all hours of the night, and to reside outdoors. Ray’s crimes also involved forced sexual services and sex trafficking. Ray forced one female victim to perform sexual services with strangers and then used video recordings of those encounters to control her. He forced another victim into sex trafficking by forcing her into prostitution and then took every cent of profit from her amounting to millions of dollars in cash. To secure the continued obedience of his sex trafficking victim, Ray extorted and physically abused her, by tying her naked to a chair and suffocating her with a plastic bag repeatedly over the course of several hours of torture.

As a result of the prosecution team’s enormous dedication and diligence, Ray was indicted on fifteen charges including charges of racketeering conspiracy, violent crime, extortion, sex trafficking, forced labor, tax evasion, and money laundering and was ultimately arrested. To indict Ray – who was still living with a co-conspirator and one of his female victims at the time – the prosecution team moved swiftly to gather a variety of devasting evidence. The evidence against Ray included eyewitness and victim testimony, as well as evidence from iCloud, email, and cell site warrants, tax orders, financial records, and ultimately a search of Ray’s premises, which resulted in the recovery of more than a dozen electronic devices. At the time of his arrest, Ray’s crimes were ongoing and several of his victims were still under his sway and convinced that he was acting in their best interest. As such, the prosecution team utilized incredible empathy and professionalism with the victims in this case. Debriefing these victims, gaining their trust, and preparing them for trial was a delicate task that unfolded over a period of two years. The team effectively allayed these concerns by methodically combing through terabytes of data to find recordings, emails, and photographs that corroborated victim accounts and refreshed their memories, giving the victims the confidence to testify.

During the trial, the prosecution team wove together an abundance of disparate evidence into an effective trial presentation using sophisticated


summary charts. The charts included financial analysis showing the laundering of millions of dollars of sex trafficking and extortion proceeds; a summary of forced sexual services videos that spared the jury from viewing those disturbing videos directly; summaries of voluminous emails and text messages; a visually appealing timeline of important evidence; and a chart compiling the numerous scholarly articles regarding torture methods and mind control that were found in Ray’s possession. The team also skillfully defeated multiple mid-trial challenges. The admissibility of evidence was repeatedly challenged by the defense team before and during trial, requiring extensive briefing. Moreover, Ray suffered multiple purported medical episodes during the trial, which caused the loss of multiple trial days (and jurors), threatening a mistrial. In response, the team did extensive fact-finding and prepared a hearing with Ray’s medical treatment providers to establish that Ray was faking seizures to disrupt the trial and further torment his victims in the middle of their testimony. The team also successfully excluded Ray’s proposed expert after a Daubert hearing.

Following a comprehensive five-week trial in 2022, Ray was found guilty on all charges. He received a significant sentence of 720 months’ imprisonment on January 20, 2023. Ray’s conviction ensured that his victims will have an opportunity to heal and move forward.

In charging and trying this case, AUSAs Mollie Bracewell, Lindsey Keenan, and Danielle Sassoon overcame legal, evidentiary, emotional, and human challenges with professionalism and grace.

Outstanding Contribution of a State or Local Officer Serving on a Federal Task Force

This award recognizes the exceptional investigative work of a state or local law enforcement officer in a task force group or in a task force environment investigating individual(s) engaged in the trafficking of women or children for sexual exploitation or any individual for forced labor; crime(s) of violence against women or any minority group; civil rights violation(s); any terrorist-related violation(s) against the United States; or any corporate or governmental fraud.

Foreign Service National (FSN) Investigator Cochuain Sasha Zacarias is assigned to the United States Marshals Service (USMS) Dominican


Republic Foreign Field Office (DRFFO). The area of operations of the DRFFO includes Bahamas, Bermuda, Haiti, Turks & Caicos Islands, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. As a lead Investigator, Zacarias overlooks a team of 17 vetted unit members belonging to the Dirreccion Nacional de Control De Drogas making up what is known as the DRFFO Fugitive Investigation Unit (FIU).

Over the course of four to five years, Zacarias has established herself as a trusted liaison within the United States and Dominican law enforcement community as well as the Embassy Law Enforcement Working Group (LEWG) and numerous USMS, federal, state, and local agents. Her main goal is to locate violent offender fugitives who flee from the United States to the Dominican Republic and fugitives wanted in the Dominican Republic that are living in the United States. These offenders are usually considered to be some of the country’s most dangerous fugitives who tend to be career criminals with histories of violence or whose instant offense(s) pose a significant threat to public safety.

With the issues of criminal justice increasingly transcending national boundaries requiring the cooperation of foreign governments, Zacarias’ relationships have dramatically impacted the USMS ability to successfully conduct operations apprehending fugitives in foreign countries. Zacarias has become a subject matter expert among her peers and as a result, has been tasked to train and educate numerous Deputy U.S. Marshals, Task Force Officers, Local, State, and Federal Law enforcement officers, to include state prosecutors and federal U.S. attorneys in the techniques for investigating international fugitives with the Dominican Republic Government and various Dominican Law Enforcement agencies.

As a member of the USMS DRFFO, Zacarias exemplifies the international fugitive mission by developing reliable contacts with higher echelon authorities within several critical Dominican government agencies. As a result, she has been able to acquire intelligence, information, and operational support on U.S. fugitive cases in the Dominican Republic and DRFFO area of operations.

As lead investigator, Zacarias is also in charge of an intelligence unit within the FIU, consisting of four members of the DNCD, that are constantly working to provide as much intelligence as possible on wanted fugitives and their whereabouts. Through the working relationships she has built, several governmental agencies have also allowed her access to foreign databases which aid the fugitive investigation unit in successfully completing their mission. In 2022, with this intelligence and operational support, Zacarias was able to arrest and extradite 64 fugitives including six wanted for homicide, three for sexual assault charges, and 25 targets related to organized crime (OCDETF). Out of the 25 OCDETF targets that were


apprehended, three were Regional Priority Organization Targets (RPOT), and one was a consolidated priority organization target (CPOT).

Zacarias demonstrates outstanding character and professionalism by always planning ahead and suggesting new ways to improve processes and procedures which have been accepted, therefore improving effectiveness and efficiency. These personal traits and qualities have assisted in increasing the productivity, output, and performance of the DRFFO FIU. As a result of her leadership, assistance, and support to the USMS/DNCD vetted unit task force, the number of arrests for the DRFFO rank 3rd highest nation in the world behind Mexico and Colombia.

Because of her tenacity and willingness to clear high profile/high risk fugitive warrants in a safe and timely manner, Lead Supervisory Investigator Sasha Zacarias represents the USMS mission of finding and bringing to justice the most dangerous and violent criminals not only in the United States but in foreign countries as well.

WIFLE Foundation President’s Award

This award is the highest honorary award given by WIFLE to recognize and individual for outstanding achievement in government service. This award is presented by the Board of Directors of the WIFLE Foundation.

Dr. Jean Kanokogi, Ph.D. Senior Special Agent (Retired)

Food and Drug Administration

Office of Criminal Investigations

Dr. Jean Kanokogi, Ph.D., has made substantial contributions and had a broad impact on the mental health of all federal agents, especially women. During her career and advocacy, she elevated, worked on recruitment, and promoted women in law enforcement. She has been an advisor, mentor, and leader. She leads by example.

In the inaugural role as the voluntary Director of Mental Health and Peer Support for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), Dr. Jean co-authored a portion of the mental health language on bi-partisan supported bills that became Public Law. The passage of these bills helped all law enforcement; however, since there is a higher stigma on women in law enforcement obtaining mental health help, she ensured that the conversations about getting help became normalized; the stigma was getting removed; and the gap was being bridged between leadership and the ranks.


Additionally, she facilitates peer support programs to augment what is already in place for other agencies, to offset the horrific suicide rates in the federal law enforcement community. She works to ensure agents receive opportunities to be paired with culturally-competent counselors.

Dr. Jean toured substance abuse and rehabilitation facilities throughout our country to find facilities that will align best to support our officers in their respective trauma. In studies post-Katrina, there was a heavy correlation between alcoholism and our first responding officers to the front line of Katrina, with an underreported number of female officers stigmatized when asking for help. Dr. Jean is working to smash that stigma.

Dr. Jean is the FLEOA initial contact for all mental health calls, particularly calls from those in crisis. She utilizes her impeccable human contact skillset to determine the best way to help the caller get out of crisis and into care. Additionally, she facilitated a program that provides our federal law enforcement officers a first line of defense to handling traumatic event exposure.


Dr. Jean’s extensive accomplishments in the field of mental health and law enforcement have impacted the passage of the following legislation and Executive Order:

» COPS Counseling Act (Public Law No. 117-60. November 18, 2021): Provides confidentiality to federal law enforcement officers by restricting individuals who participate in a peer support counseling session from disclosing communications arising out of a peer support counseling session.

» Public Safety Officer Support Act of 2022 (Public Law 117–172–August 16, 2022): This bill extends death and disability benefits under the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program (PSOB) to certain public safety officers and survivors of public safety officers who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder or acute stress disorder following a stressful situation while on duty.

» Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices To Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety (Executive Order 14074 : (May 2022) - Section 4 (Supporting Officer Wellness): Responsible for ensuring that the Attorney General shall, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), develop and publish a report on best practices to address law enforcement officer wellness, including support for officers experiencing substance use disorders, mental health issues, or trauma from their duties.


During her tenure of over 25 years in federal law enforcement, she continually mentored and promoted women in law enforcement.

Dr. Jean was a Special Agent for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Criminal Investigations, General Services Administration (GSA), Office of Inspector General, and an Inspector with legacy U.S. Customs Service. She purposefully sought other female agents she could mentor and help navigate the tumultuous waters of a male-dominated field. Many of the female agents she mentored and advised have since secured leadership positions.

In addition to her collateral duties teaching control tactics to all agents, she stayed after hours on countless occasions to teach female-specific control tactic techniques. This was impactful so other women had the tools specific to their body type and strength to bring a hand-to-hand situation to a logical conclusion and always remain in a position of advantage. Given that she is a 6th-degree black belt in judo and a Judo Sensei (teacher), she shared these skills to teach and empower women to maximize using an opponent’s movements against them. She continues to teach women in law enforcement these techniques to supplement the skills they learned in basic training.

While still working as an agent, Dr. Jean was detailed for five years to the Behavioral Science Division of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center where she capitalized on mentoring all new agents and police officers; however, she recognized the importance to advocate for fairness and equality for the female recruits. She called meetings with stakeholders and agency representatives to ensure all inequities were addressed. On her own time, she mentored many students, especially those that were struggling with balancing the stress of being away from home, and the academic and physical demands.

Dr. Jean works with Women’s Sports Organizations, mentoring highrisk youths through sports. During her mentorship, she encourages these young women to stay with sports and to consider a career in law enforcement. By having these conversations, she has given hope and restored dreams to many that did not even think they had a chance to be one of the “good guys.”


WIFLE Foundation Public Service Award

This award salutes the exemplary performance of career civil servants who consistently contributed to the public interests of our country. These distinguished careers extend over at least 20 years. The selections are made from nominations WIFLE receives each year from all award categories. The award winners are recognized for particular career achievement and serve as role models for all women in law enforcement.

Jennifer de Carvalho has had a distinguished career with over 34 years of Government service and 17 years of outstanding performance as a Forensic Accountant and mentor for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Office of Inspector General and the Department of Defense.

During her tenure with NASA, Forensic Accountant (FA) Jenny de Carvalho’s exemplary performance led to numerous convictions, settlements, and the recovery of millions of dollars at the NASA Office of Inspector General and the Department of Defense (DoD). FA de Carvalho is a mentor to special agents, auditors, and investigative partners. She is a role model for the law enforcement community. She has partnered with agents for hundreds of investigations impacting NASA, DoD, and the United States Government.

In February 2021, after a multi-year investigation by the NASA OIG, Department of Energy OIG, Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), Army Criminal Investigation Command, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the National Science Foundation OIG, a Delaware contractor pleaded guilty to wire fraud by intentionally making false representations in grant proposals and payment requests to several U.S. Government Agencies, including NASA. The contractor was sentenced to two years of probation and $50,000 fine. The contractor also entered into a civil settlement agreement for $700,000 and was debarred for three years. FA de Carvalho’s expertise conducting financial analysis and analyzing contractual documents was instrumental in resolving the case. In December 2021, a multi-year investigation by NASA OIG, AFOSI, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and Small Business Administration OIG, resulted in a settlement of $1,000,000 for a small business contractor, adding to a previous settlement


of $70,000 for Northwestern University Research Professor, to resolve allegations of falsified time sheets and certifications for work performed under U.S. Government contracts. Due to her outstanding performance, distinguished work and tireless efforts, FA de Carvalho was awarded the NASA OIG Million Dollar Club award for the total recovery to the U.S. Government. In June 2021, a senior NASA scientist was sentenced to 30 days of incarceration and fined $100,000 for participating in China’s Thousand Talents Program established by the Chinese government to recruit individuals with access to or knowledge of foreign technologies and intellectual property. In February 2022, a second individual, the CEO of a New York-based company, was convicted at trial of one count of securities fraud, one count of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud. Sentencing was scheduled for April 2023. FA de Carvalho’s financial and contractual analytical skills were indispensable in resolving the case.

Throughout her distinguished career, FA de Carvalho has established herself as the example by which a successful Forensic Accountant should be measured. She is a consummate professional, top performer, and has been a team player during her entire time with NASA OIG and DoD.

Kristen de Tineo Assistant Director Field Operations Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Kristen de Tineo has brought her exceptional leadership skills to her current position as the Assistant Director for the Office of Field Operations with oversight and responsibility for the largest ATF directorate. Field Operations carries out ATF’s mission in the field through enforcing Federal criminal laws and regulating the firearms and explosives industries. Considered an expert in her field, she was the first ATF Special Agent in Charge to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee Field hearing held in December 2021 entitled “Combating Gun Trafficking and Reducing Violence in Chicago.” In 2022, Ms. de Tineo launched the Chicago Field Division’s Inaugural Citizen Academy, hosting 32 community and religious leaders through a five-week course on ATF, incorporating all the major components of ATF’s mission, to increase openness through transparency to cultivate Open Government.

Ms. de Tineo began her career as a Special Agent with ATF in 2002 in the Washington Field Division and later worked in the Los Angeles Field Division, serving concurrently on the ATF Special Response Team as a tactical medic for 11 years. In 2013, she was promoted to a program


manager in ATF Headquarters and served in various headquarters assignments, prior to returning to the field in 2015 as the Resident Agent in Charge of the Baltimore Field Division - Hyattsville II Field Office in Prince George’s County, Maryland. In 2018, she was promoted to the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Division. In May 2020, she was promoted to be the Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division. She was directly responsible for executing ATF’s mission to fight violent crime and regulated the firearms and explosives industries in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois, and the Northern District of Indiana. In 2022, she was appointed to the International Association of Chiefs of Police Firearms Committee. As the SAC, Ms. de Tineo provided strategic oversight to the Chicago Field Division to assess and adjust to changing investigative priorities. An example of this includes the realignment of mission for the three Criminal Enforcement groups operating in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2022, Ms. de Tineo led efforts to gain two additional National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) sites, one in Racine, Wisconsin and one in Green Bay, Wisconsin. NIBIN utilizes fired cartridge casings from crime scenes and recovered firearms to link crimes to shooters and disrupt the cycle of violence. Ms. de Tineo realigned the mission of Milwaukee I to focus on the Green Bay and Fond du Lac area, building a task force with the Lake Winnebago Area Narcotics Team (LWAN), an existing major crimes collaborative unit, refocusing Milwaukee III to CGI and violence in the Racine, Kenosha, and Waukesha area and fully integrating Milwaukee IV into the homicide and shooting units within Milwaukee Police Department.

Ms. de Tineo is a role model to all women in the agency, irrespective of their job series, but particularly to other special agents. She is an informal mentor to everyone she encounters, always wanting to lift others up, and promoting what is best for her personnel and ATF.

Ms. de Tineo worked with the Diversity and Career Impact Program within the Chicago Field Division to identify best recruiting practices and events for the greatest impact. Recruiting events included military police and veterans career fair, Western Illinois University Career Fair (number one ranked criminal justice program in Illinois), and a National PanHellenic Council (collaborative umbrella of historically African American fraternities and sororities). She participated in the Chicago FBI Community Engagement Council speaking at multiple events and in the National Pan-Hellenic Council Law Enforcement Panel Discussion, all to not only share information about ATF’s mission but to recruit diverse candidates to ATF positions.

In 2022, Ms. de Tineo worked with the Chicago Federal Executive Board to develop an inter-agency mentoring pilot program, serving as an official mentor within the pilot and supporting an Intelligence Research Specialist within the Division as an interagency mentee.


In the summer of 2020, the Department of Justice initiated Operation Legend in the cities of Milwaukee and Chicago, which brought an influx of personnel to combat violent crime to the Division. With an average annual recovery of approximately 10,000 firearms a year in Chicago, Ms. de Tineo noted a challenge in prioritizing leads as well as in allocating resources to investigate the leads. As part of Operation Legend Chicago, in order to enhance mission success, she recruited an experienced supervisor and assigned Legend intelligence personnel and Special Agents to the Legend trafficking effort. After consulting with both the United States Attorney Office and with the Chicago Police Department, she gave the Division the priority of investigating the purchasers of crime guns recovered during the civil unrest in 2020 due to the police incidental death of George Floyd, followed by the crime guns recovered that had associated NIBIN leads. This shortterm strategy resulted in the generation of 88 leads associated with the civil unrest and 68 additional firearms trafficking leads, all of which remain in various stages of investigation with at least nine investigations accepted for prosecution. U.S. Attorneys John Lausch and Tom Kirsch highlighted this success during Attorney General Barr’s Legend visit to Chicago in September 2020.

Assistant Director Kristen de Tineo continues to be an outstanding Federal law enforcement employee. ATF is more successful at meeting its mission to combat violent crime due to her leadership, skills, and mentorship.

Special Agent Homeland Security Investigations

SA Hinckley has had an exceptional 20-year career with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and continues to constantly go above and beyond the call of duty to support the HSI mission.

Over the past two years, SA Hinckley has worked long hours as part of the state and local task force and has exceeded her duties under difficult and challenging circumstances. SA Hinckley has provided leadership and direction to other agents while displaying the highest level of professionalism, patience, and attention to detail.

In 2021, SA Hinckley successfully concluded an eight-year Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, which targeted multiple subjects of various citizenships in multiple countries who were involved in the transportation and smuggling of bulk narcotics on the Northern Border of the United States. As a result of SA Hinckley’s Investigative efforts, 16 individuals were arrested in connection with the Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO). In addition, there were six


interdiction events which resulted in the seizures of 71 kilograms of cocaine, 46 kilograms of MDMA, and 12 kilograms of methamphetamine.

The investigation revealed that the primary target began recruiting associates and friends to smuggle narcotics between California and Canada. As those subjects were encountered and arrested between the ports of entry, the primary target began to rely on a close associate to recruit additional couriers directly from her home country of Taiwan. This individual recruited eight individuals who were ultimately arrested while smuggling drugs at the U.S.-Canada border for the TCO.

After several encounters with the U.S. Border Patrol at the U.S./Canadian land border, the TCO moved its operations westward along the border utilizing different smuggling routes in rural areas and the cover of darkness and inclement weather. Ultimately, the TCO’s smuggling activities migrated to the maritime environment, where the primary target organized a smuggling event via maritime vessels involving kilogram quantities of MDMA and cocaine which were interdicted by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) in the San Juan Islands, Washington.

In July 2022, SA Hinckley initiated an investigation relating to the importation of equipment to produce fentanyl-laced pills. This investigation led to the service of multiple federal search warrants authored by SA Hinckley, which resulted in the discovery of a fentanyl lab and the ultimate seizure of 28 kilograms of fentanyl, 28 firearms (including 8 long arms), 200 magazines, 50,000 rounds of ammunition, 1 pill press, 2 vehicles, $100,000 worth of jewelry, and over 50 kilograms of chemicals used to manufacture pills. The case ultimately resulted in the indictment of two subjects for Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking.

During the same period, SA Hinckley worked with state prosecutors and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and adopted an investigation which led to the federal indictment of three convicted felons for narcotics trafficking after the individuals were found in possession of multiple firearms, 10 kilograms of fentanyl laced pills, and 2 kilograms of methamphetamine. In FY 2022, Special Agent Hinckley’s efforts led to 19 criminal arrests, 16 criminal indictments, and the seizure of 85 pounds of fentanyl, 7 pounds of methamphetamine, 2 pounds of ketamine, 28 firearms, and approximately $22,000 in U.S. currency.

In November 2022, the Mount Vernon Police Department (WA) requested the assistance of SA Hinckley in locating a five-year-old foster child after he was kidnapped by his foster mother. While the Mount Vernon Police Department issued nationwide arrest warrants for the foster mother and foster grandmother for kidnapping, SA Hinckley was able to determine the foster mother had obtained a false birth certificate for the child which she


used to obtain a real U.S. passport in the child’s false name. SA Hinckley then determined the child, foster mother, and foster grandmother departed the U.S. on an international flight to Vietnam.

SA Hinckley was able to track the foster mom’s location in Vietnam. SA Hinckley then worked with the HSI Attaché office in Vietnam, the FBI, and the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Safety (MPS) to locate the foster mother and the child to have them returned to the United States. On December 15, 2022, the HSI Country Attaché for Vietnam and the FBI Assistant Legal Attaché for Vietnam took custody of the child when both the child and the foster mother arrived at the U.S. Consulate in Hanoi to obtain notary services for their visas. On the same date, the HSI and FBI Attachés departed Vietnam with the rescued child and flew to Seattle, Washington where the child was reunited with his birth mother.

On December 28, 2022, SA Hinckley received information that the foster mother and foster grandmother both were scheduled to fly back to the U.S. the following day, and they were arrested on the outstanding arrest warrants at the airport in Seattle. Upon their arrival at the Seattle Airport, both were taken into custody and turned over to state officials.

In addition to her investigative successes, SA Hinckley has contributed significant time and effort as a recruiter for the HSI Seattle area of responsibility, while also serving as a key member on the HSI Blaine and HSI Seattle Advisory Councils.


2023 WIFLE Scholarship Winners

The WIFLE Foundation, Inc. through the WIFLE Scholarship Fund offers scholarships to talented individuals to meet the demand in the field of law enforcement and to foster the professional development of those engaged in law enforcement. Scholarships are awarded based on the student’s academic potential, achievement, and commitment to serving their local communities.

This year, WIFLE is proud to announce WIFLE scholarships are being awarded to the following:

Sydney Browning

WIFLE Scholarship – Virginia

Piper Caravella

WIFLE Scholarship – Utah

Amber Carbo

WIFLE Scholarship – California

Jennifer Martinez

WIFLE Scholarship – Florida

Kaylee Russell

WIFLE Scholarship – Virginia

Jessica Earle - Arizona

WIFLE Members Only Scholarship

Congratulations to our 2023 WIFLE Scholarship Winners!

Walking the Talk of InclusiveWIFLELeadership STRONG Walking the Talk of InclusiveWIFLELeadership STRONG Walking the Talk of InclusiveWIFLELeadership STRONG Walking the Talk of InclusiveWIFLELeadership STRONG Walking the Talk of InclusiveWIFLELeadership STRONG Walking the Talk of InclusiveWIFLELeadership STRONG Walking the Talk of


Administrator Anne Milgram Drug Enforcement Administration

Anne Milgram was sworn in as DEA Administrator on June 28, 2021, after being confirmed by the United States Senate by unanimous consent on June 24, 2021. As Administrator, she leads an agency of more than 10,000 public servants – including more than 4,000 Special Agents and nearly 900 Intelligence Analysts – who work in 241 offices across the United States and 93 foreign offices across the globe.

Prior to assuming her duties at the DEA, Milgram served as New Jersey’s Attorney General from 2007 to 2010. In that role, Milgram was New Jersey’s chief law enforcement officer, led the 9,000-person Department of Law & Public Safety, and had oversight responsibility for state and county prosecutors and more than 30,000 local law enforcement officers. During her tenure as Attorney General, Milgram also oversaw, and significantly transformed, the Camden Police Department, leading it to today being viewed as a model for effective, data-driven policing. Most recently, she served as a Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at New York University School of Law where she developed programs on using data, analytics, and technology in law enforcement.

Milgram began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. She then served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice, where she was the Special Litigation Counsel for the prosecution of human trafficking crimes. Milgram was awarded the Department of Justice Commendation for Outstanding Service and the Department of Justice Director’s Award for her work.

After graduating summa cum laude from Rutgers University, Milgram received a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and a law degree from New York University School of Law. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Anne E. Thompson of the District Court for the District of New Jersey.




Catrina M. Bonus

President, WIFLE Foundation, Inc., and Executive Director, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, Inc.

Jessie L. Lane

Vice President, WIFLE Foundation, Inc., and Deputy Executive Director, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, Inc.

Catherine W. Sanz

Immediate Past President, WIFLE Foundation, Inc., and Immediate Past Executive Director, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, Inc., Treasurer, WIFLE Foundation, Inc.

Melissa Lucio Secretary, WIFLE Foundation, Inc.

Margaret M. Moore

Chair, Board of Directors, WIFLE Foundation, Inc.

Sheree L. Mixell

Chair, Board of Directors, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, Inc.

Elizabeth M. Casey

Board Member

Dorene F. Erhard

Board Member

Amy Jo Lyons Board Member

Lynda R. Williams Board Member

Barbara D. Linney Partner, BakerHostetler

General Counsel, WIFLE Foundation, Inc. and Women in Federal Law Enforcement, Inc.




Jessica McTigue

Supervisory Special Agent

Diplomatic Security Service

U.S. Department of State

President, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, Inc.

Amber R. Jordan, Esq.

Office of Counsel, Inspector Attorney

Labor and Litigation Group

U.S. Postal Inspection Service

Vice President, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, Inc.


Janice Ayala

Director, Joint Task Force Investigations

Homeland Security Investigations

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Retired)

Heather C. Fischer

Senior Advisor for Human Rights

Thomson Reuters Special Services

Dr. Jean Kanokogi, Ph.D.

Senior Special Agent (Retired)

Food and Drug Administration

Office of Criminal Investigations

Carolyn Jean McMillon, MA, ACC

Owner, ASK-Coaching-Training-Consulting, The Power of 3, LLC.

Office of Equity and Employee Support Services Executive –

U.S. Secret Service (Retired)

Dr. Helen H. Yu Associate Professor

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa



Carol A. Paterick

Administrative Technical

Assistant Chief - INTERPOL U.S. (Retired)


WIFLE is the only non-profit organization in the United States dedicated to identifying barriers to the recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion of women and recommending solutions to address the underrepresentation of women in federal law enforcement. WIFLE’s scientifically-based research provides advice and guidance for agencies to consider in their recruitment and retention strategies. WIFLE scholarships offer monetary assistance to women pursuing careers in law enforcement.

Today, at our Annual Awards ceremony, you witnessed WIFLE’s dedication and commitment to honoring women and men for their professional achievements in the presence of their families, friends, and colleagues.

We are extremely proud of the work we do at WIFLE. Come join our organization and be an integral part of shaping the future of law enforcement.

To all of our 2023 WIFLE Foundation, Inc. Award Winners, Congratulations!

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Thank you for your continued support of WIFLE!

We look forward to seeing you in 2024 as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary.

Walking the Talk of Inclusive Leadership

Walking the Talk of Inclusive Leadership

Walking the Talk of InclusiveWIFLELeadership STRONG

Walking the Talk of Walking the Talk of Inclusive Leadership WIFLE Awardees 2022

WIFLE Foundation, Inc.
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