Top FBI agent for NM outlines his priorities - Albuquerque Journal

Top FBI agent for NM outlines his priorities

Six months into the job, the top FBI agent for New Mexico says strengthening relationships with other law enforcement agencies across the state – including tribal and local police departments – has emerged as a top priority.

TERRY WADE
TERRY WADE

The state’s national laboratories, vast reservations, public lands and 180 miles of border with Mexico together create a unique landscape for the federal agency.

They also come with a wide-ranging mandate on the New Mexico division now overseen by Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade, who was appointed to the position in December. Counterterrorism programs remain the agency’s number one priority across the country, including in New Mexico. Meanwhile, the agency has also launched a renewed push this year to combat opioid abuse, which remains an especially tough problem in New Mexico, where the overdose death rates are among the nation’s highest.

Still, investigations on both of those fronts and others depend on cooperation from local and tribal authorities and other federal agencies, said Wade, who circled back several times in a recent interview with The Associated Press to how building partnerships has been one of his most critical tasks since he was appointed to his new position in December.

“Not that in any way, the relationships were fractured or broken. But we can never stop improving our relationships with all of our partners,” he said.

In some cases, those relationships with other agencies have paid off, including with the investigation into a prison gang that authorities say targeted top officials within the Department of Corrections. The probe has recently yielded charges against numerous defendants.

State corrections officials were helpful in providing needed information to the FBI for the investigation, Wade said. He declined further comment on the investigation, citing ongoing court proceedings.

Wade – whose career with the FBI began in Montana in 1996 and has included moves from Oklahoma City to Washington, Baghdad and Los Angeles – returned in December to Albuquerque, where he previously oversaw several programs, including the SWAT team and counterterrorism efforts starting nearly a decade ago.

During his first stint in Albuquerque, he also had a part in establishing a forensics laboratory and training center at the University of New Mexico campus for handling digital evidence for investigations into child pornography, fraud, terrorism and other crimes. U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez said the lab has helped with investigations over the past several years by allowing agencies to process evidence locally.

Any law enforcement agency in the state can access training and use the lab to examine digital evidence, according to the FBI.

“With him here previously, he’s familiar with New Mexico, the issues and a lot of the leadership in a lot of agencies,” Martinez said.

Home » News » New Mexico News » Top FBI agent for NM outlines his priorities


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Sandia research park helps boost the local economy
ABQnews Seeker
Contribution to gross regional product from ... Contribution to gross regional product from 2020-21 was more than $1 billion
2
Cemeteries lament bathing, camps on grounds
ABQnews Seeker
Administrators say homeless people cause additional ... Administrators say homeless people cause additional challenges, expense
3
Artist unveils message of peace in Albuquerque
ABQnews Seeker
Kyle Holbrook hopes to bring awareness ... Kyle Holbrook hopes to bring awareness to gun violence during national tour
4
Navajo presidential hopefuls select running mates from NM
ABQnews Seeker
Picks represent a strategic move to ... Picks represent a strategic move to expand appeal within large reservation
5
Suspect says teen girl's death was 'all an accident'
ABQnews Seeker
Police note the victim was 'not ... Police note the victim was 'not a target,' but there was 'careless activity'
6
ABQ attorney files suit seeking MDC records
ABQnews Seeker
Someone tried to get recorded conversations, ... Someone tried to get recorded conversations, lawyer says
7
Third man charged in shooting that left 1 dead, ...
ABQnews Seeker
The 28-year-old faces an open count ... The 28-year-old faces an open count of murder in the May 8 incident
8
Sheriffs back Ronchetti in new TV ad
ABQnews Seeker
Crime has emerged as a top ... Crime has emerged as a top issue in race for governor
9
Accused killer had been asked to leave mosque
ABQnews Seeker
Incident of slashed tires in the ... Incident of slashed tires in the parking lot in 2020 led to the request