He is a retired Senior Special Agent and Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) with the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). He has 34 years of law enforcement experience at both the local and federal level and also served as a volunteer firefighter. He has participated in the examination and investigation of over 900 fire scenes. These scene investigations involved fires in motor vehicles, residential and commercial structures in various locations throughout the United States. In addition, he has observed and participated in over 260 test fires for investigative, research, training and demonstration purposes. He is currently certified by the IAAI as a Certified Fire Investigator. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from George Mason University and a second bachelor’s degree in Fire Science from the University of Maryland University College.
He has testified as an expert witness in fire origin and cause in both Federal and State courts and has extensive experience investigating a wide range of fires and conducting research and testing in support of fire investigations. In addition, he has served as the lead agent in numerous arson investigations that were prosecuted at both the local and federal level.
In 1979, he began his law enforcement career with the Fairfax County Police Department as a police cadet and later attended the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy and was assigned to the Patrol Division. In December of 1987, he accepted a position as a federal criminal investigator with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and attended the Criminal Investigator School at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) as well as other specialized training courses while working for IRS. In September 1989, he transferred to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) as an ATF Special Agent and returned to FLETC to attend the ATF Academy. In 1993, he was assigned to the ATF Arson Group in Northern Virginia and began to specialize in fire and arson investigations. These investigations included fuel/air explosions & fires, arson fraud schemes, serial arsons, revenge-motivated arson, and arson homicides. He also participated in several bombing investigations in the Washington DC area.
In 1997, he completed the comprehensive two-year ATF Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) program and was recognized as an expert relating to fire origin and cause. From 1998-2000, he coordinated an ATF Arson Task Force in Washington, DC and worked on a daily basis with the DC Fire Department - providing fire origin and cause support as well as investigative support in arson investigations.
From 2000 to 2005, he was assigned to the ATF Fire Research Laboratory (FRL) in Beltsville, Maryland as the CFI Program Manager. While at the Fire Research Laboratory, he participated in the analysis of dozens of complex arson investigations from across the United States. Many of these cases lead to full-scale forensic fire testing at the FRL in an effort to evaluate ignition scenarios, fire progression, burn patterns and statements made by witnesses and others.
In 2005, he returned to the field and was assigned to ATF’s Baltimore Field Division where he worked as a Senior Special Agent and CFI until his retirement from ATF in January 2014. While in the Baltimore Field Division, he conducted numerous arson investigations across the state of Maryland, many of which involved arson for profit schemes in both commercial and residential properties. He worked closely with state and local investigators as well as state and federal prosecutors which resulted in numerous prosecutions.
As a collateral duty, he was also a member of ATF’s elite National Response Team (NRT) for nearly ten years and participated in the investigation of numerous large-scale fires across the United States which also included a response to the Pentagon in 2001. He also served as the Assistant Team Leader for the NRT (Northeast Team) for a period of four years.
From 2010-2012, served as the president of the Maryland Fire and Explosive Investigators Association (MFEIA) which also serves as the Maryland / DC Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI). He remains an active member of that association as the training coordinator. he has also authored documents related to fire investigations and taught at various fire investigation conferences, the ATF National Academy and the National Fire Academy.