The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the U.S. government’s agency that investigates federal offenses such as attempted terrorist attacks on U.S. soil or violations of federal law. Agents of the FBI investigate over 200 categories of federal laws and share intelligence with other federal, municipal, and international agencies to assist in their investigations.
The Richmond FBI Division was founded in 1937 and has handled a wide range of criminal cases. The types of crime that have been investigated historically by Richmond FBI agents include:
- Bank Robbery
- Distribution of Illegal Recordings
- Drug Trafficking
- Misuse of Classified Information
- Motor Vehicle Theft
- National Security Violations
How to Become an FBI Special Agent in Richmond: Training and Degree Requirements
U.S. citizens in Richmond or those from the Mariana Islands who wish to fight crime and terrorism are encouraged to take part in formal training programs to then join the FBI. The basic qualifications to become an FBI agent in Richmond are listed below:
- Between 23 and 36 years old
- Bachelor’s degree or greater
- Minimum of two years of professional experience
- Willingness to travel where needed
Individuals with a background in the physical sciences or engineering in particular are encouraged to apply, as are those who have previous military or intelligence experience. Citizens who are interested in a job in Richmond can fill out an application at the main office or at one of the satellite offices in the area. They can also apply online. Once accepted, they will undergo a battery of tests to determine whether or not they are qualified for formal training.
FBI Field Offices and Jobs in the Richmond Division
Along with the main office in Richmond, there are FBI jobs available in six satellite offices that oversee operations in over 60 counties. They are:
This area is home to the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement (JADE) regional task force that has a special agent of the FBI as a liaison to help authorities fight drug trafficking and terrorism.
Efforts by the FBI in Fredericksburg led to the conviction of a man and his wife in 2012 for accepting over $350,000 in bribes to ensure that a subcontractor for the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) would be retained.
Following an FBI investigation, special agents found millions of dollars worth of marijuana in a Lynchburg storage unit in 2012, along with guns and over $100,000 in cash. As a result of another FBI investigation, a former bank branch manager pled guilty in 2012 to embezzling over $360,000 from customers of a Lynchburg bank.
The actions of FBI agents in Roanoke led the 2012 sentencing of a man for distributing child pornography. The Roanoke satellite office of the FBI is the location of the negotiation specialist for the region west of Charlottesville.
The FBI’s Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS) is located in Winchester and responds to all Freedom of Information Act (FIAT) requests received by the Bureau.
The top priority of the Richmond Division is the prevention of terrorism. The location of government and business installations along with a nuclear power plant in the area has led to its designation as one of the countries High-Threat, High-Density designation as a possible terrorism target. The state of Virginia has had the fourth largest number of terrorism-related convictions in the country from 9/11/2001 through March 2010.
The Joint Terrorism Task Force was assembled in the wake of 9/11, and there are centers associated with both the Richmond and Charlottesville offices. In 2003, a Field Intelligence Group (FIG) was created to oversee the analysis and dissemination of information on national security and criminal threats.
This training and coordination paid off with the identification and arrest of domestic terrorists of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) who had been active in a number of arson attacks in the Charlottesville area. The FBI worked closely with the Henrico County Police Department to prevent an additional arson attack by another ELF cell in 2004.
As part of the fight against terrorism, the Richmond Division of the FBI has a dedicated Counterintelligence Squad. They also have a priority of protecting the U.S. against high technology crimes such as cyber attacks and have a Computer Analysis and Response Team.
There are a number of specialties that provide careers for Richmond area FBI agents. The area has three Evidence Response Teams comprised of eight members each. There is also a SWAT team, three special agent bomb technicians, a hazardous materials expert, and a specialist in working with the victims of crime.
In January 2013 alone, the work of the Richmond FBI Division led to sentencing for child pornography, trafficking counterfeit diagnostic equipment, and using a firearm for murder.