New post is homecoming for FBI's special agent in charge of Phoenix

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azfamily.com

Posted on July 28, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 28 at 12:57 PM

PHOENIX -- Born and raised in the Valley of the Sun, James Turgal, the new FBI special agent in charge of Phoenix, says it's good to be home.

"I'm very, very blessed and excited that I get to come back here," he said.

Turgal sat down with 3TV's Kristine Harrington for a candid one-on-one conversation about what he hopes to do here.

Prior to coming home to take over the Phoenix office, Turgal served as special assistant to the deputy director.

Turgal entered on duty as a special agent in March 1996 and was assigned to the Houston Division. He primarily worked organized crime and drug investigations and was a Bureau certified pilot. Turgal was promoted to supervisory special agent at FBI Headquarters in the Office of General Counsel, then the Counterterrorism Division. Within hours of the September 11, 2001 attacks, he developed the PENTTBOM terrorist “No Fly/Watch-List,” which later became the basis for creation of today’s Terrorist Screening Center.

In 2002, he transferred to the Cincinnati Division. He served as the chief division counsel, media spokesperson, and supervisory special agent of the Cincinnati and Dayton Joint Terrorism Task Forces, Cyber Crimes Task Force, and the division’s domestic terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and aviation and surveillance programs.

Turgal returned to FBI Headquarters in October 2006. He was named unit chief of the Director’s Research Group with oversight for preparation of Director’s daily meeting, briefing, and presentation materials. After serving as unit chief, he was assistant special agent in charge of the administrative division at the Washington Field Office. He was responsible for the leadership of over 800 professional staff employees, supervision of three squads, and the financial management and daily operations and administration of the second largest field office in the FBI.

Born in Phoenix, Turgal earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business from Northern Arizona University. After undergraduate school, he received his Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law and a Master of Law from Georgetown University Law Center in the area of white-collar crime and securities fraud. Prior to working with the FBI, he was a partner in a Phoenix law firm.

Biographical information courtesy of the FBI.

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