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Charles Cunningham Appointed Special Agent in Charge of the Richmond Field Office

Washington, D.C. July 10, 2006
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III today announced the appointment of Charles J. Cunningham as Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Richmond Field Office. The Richmond Division is made up of a headquarters city and six resident agencies in Bristol, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Lynchburg, Roanoke, and Winchester, Virginia.

Mr. Cunningham is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1972 until 1976. Before joining the FBI, he was a local police officer in Pennsylvania from 1978-80 and a State Trooper with the Pennsylvania State Police, from 1981-86.

Mr. Cunningham brings to the position extensive management experience, informed by over 20 years of service in the FBI. He has worked in Albany; New York City; Washington D.C.; Miami; and New Orleans Field Offices. He joined the FBI as a special agent in January 1986; he completed his agent training at Quantico, Virginia, and was subsequently assigned to the Albany, N.Y. Field Office where he worked a variety of criminal matters including bank frauds, gangs, drugs, and white collar crimes.

Mr. Cunningham transferred to the New York Field Office and was assigned to Queens, New York. He worked on the squad handling the Luchese Organized Crime Family and assisted in the famous "Windows" case, which brought down the hierarchy of the Luchese family. Mr. Cunningham was later assigned to a Colombian Drug Squad where he worked many large scale drug investigations. He was the case agent on several cases, utilizing extensive wiretaps and undercover operations to advance the investigations which resulted in large seizures of money and drugs.

In April 1995, Mr. Cunningham was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent (SSA). He was transferred to FBI Headquarters and was assigned to the Criminal Investigative Division. He was later transferred to the Special Operations Division (SOD), a joint DEA, FBI and USCS effort aimed at addressing the largest Mexican Drug Cartels.

Mr. Cunningham subsequently transferred to the Miami Field Office in October 1997 and assumed supervisory responsibilities of an Italian Organized Crime Squad. He was later given the duties as the Miami Drug Program Coordinator and supervisor of a Colombian Drug Squad in 1999 until October 2001. In 2002, he was awarded the OCDETF Case of the Year Award for his supervision of the Colombian Drug investigation entitled, "Operation Resurrection".

In October 2001, Mr. Cunningham was promoted to Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) of the New Orleans Field Office. In the aftermath of 9/11/2001, he was assigned to oversee all FBI counterterrorism, counterintelligence, cyber crime, public corruption, white collar crime and administrative matters for the FBI in the state of Louisiana. He expanded the Joint Terrorism Task Force, formed the first Field Intelligence Group (FIG) and Counterintelligence Squad, and oversaw sensitive public corruption matters. He also supervised the recovery efforts related to the Space Shuttle Discovery after it exploded over parts of Louisiana.

Mr. Cunningham was promoted to Senior Executive Service in June 2004 and assumed the duties of Section Chief in the Bureau's Violent Crimes Section (VCS), which had national oversight regarding bank robberies, fugitives, transportation crimes, kidnapping, crimes against children, and Indian Country matters. In November 2004, he was reassigned as the Section Chief of the FBI's Organized Crime Section (OCS) which has national oversight of all organized crime matters to include the La Cosa Nostra (LCN), Italian OC, Eurasian/Balkan OC, Middle Eastern Criminal Networks, and Asian/African criminal enterprises. He was instrumental in establishing several new initiatives, and he oversaw several overseas missions that included the Pantheon Project, Southeast Asia Initiative, Budapest Project, and the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI). In addition, he hosted numerous international working groups that included FBI/RCMP; Japanese; Russian; Chinese; Central European Working Group; Thailand; Vietnam; and the Italian National Police Working Group.