Director Robert S. Mueller, III named James L. Turgal special agent in charge of the FBI’s Phoenix Division. Mr. Turgal most recently served as special assistant to the deputy director.
Mr. 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. Mr. 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.
Mr. 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.
Mr. Turgal was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He 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.