Former Secret Service agent is new head of FBI office in El Paso

Border Crime

Jeffrey R. Downey brings experience in organized crime investigations as well as crisis prepardness

FBI Director Christopher Wray has named Jeffery R. Downey, above, as special agent in charge of the El Paso Field Office in Texas. Most recently, Downey served as a section chief for the Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG). (FBI)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A former Secret Service agent who has been investigating gang and criminal enterprises since at least 2006 is the new leader of the FBI field office in El Paso.

Jeffrey R. Downey on Monday took over for Special Agent in Charge Luis Quesada, a Florida native who came to El Paso less than two years ago and left for a new assignment in Virginia earlier this year.

Downey, an FBI agent since 2003, was last section chief at the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group. The CIRG shares intelligence, trains agents and assists field offices in managing crises including terrorist threats.

The new FBI leader in El Paso completed an 18-month stint at the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Fusion Center Task Force in Washington, D.C., in the mid-2000s, worked public corruption and civil rights cases in Detroit in the early 2010s and was appointed senior supervisory resident agent in charge of the FBI in Oakland in 2013.

Luis M. Quesada

Downey returned to Detroit in 2016 as assistant special agent in charge, overseeing criminal cases, crisis management and mission-specific teams like SWAT, bomb squad and evidence response, the FBI said in a news release.

He was assigned to CIRG in 2020.

Quesada, coincidentally, is the new deputy assistant director of the CIRG in Quantico.

His tenure in El Paso was marked by community outreach, setting up weekly public talks by his staff on fraud prevention, internet crimes and safeguarding children from online sexual predators.

Prior to joining the FBI, Downey was a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service. He earned a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University. 

Downey comes to a Far West Texas city that consistently ranks among the least violent in the United States but is nonetheless part of one of the busiest drug and migrant smuggling corridors on the U.S.-Mexico border.

El Paso is one of 11 in the country where the Drug Enforcement Administration is running Operation Wave Breaker to disrupt the growing Mexican drug cartel trafficking of the potentially deadly drug fentanyl into the United States.

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