Federal police raided the office of a high ranking intelligence official with the Department of Homeland Security, and escorted the man from his Washington, D.C. office for questioning, according to a report published on Wednesday. The official reportedly heads the homeland security office that tracks cartel activity, fentanyl smuggling, human trafficking, and related crimes along the U.S. border.
The incident was first reported on Wednesday by Rolling Stone.
The outlet identified the official as Brian Sulc, executive director of the Transnational Organized Crime Mission Center at DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis.
Sulc has not been charged with a crime, sources said. The incident was related to an alleged security violation connected to bringing a personal electronic device into an area where they are prohibited, according to Rolling Stone.
READ MORE about fentanyl trafficking into the United States.
“If this is true, just that it happened is alarming as hell,” a border security source told Soldier of Fortune. “Someone in that position should never be escorted out by security. I haven’t known this to happen with someone who holds a position of that nature.”
Soldier of Fortune was not able to independently confirm the report.
The alleged raid came a day before Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas began back-to-back appearances before Congress, where Republican lawmakers tore into the embattled official.
“You have not secured our borders, Mr. Secretary, and I believe you’ve done so intentionally,” Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), chair of the Homeland Security committee, said during a Wednesday budget hearing. “There is no other explanation for the systematic dismantling and transformation of our border into a lawless and dangerous open border.”
Crimes along the border came further into focus last week, when the Justice Department announced charges unsealed against 28 members of the Sinaloa Cartel, including the sons of drug trafficker Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, as part of an extensive investigation into fentanyl trafficking.
Employees at DHS, meanwhile, discussed privately what they said happened in Sulc’s office on Monday.
Three squad cars from the Federal Protective Service arrived with flashing lights at the DHS Northwest Washington complex late on Monday afternoon, according to Rolling Stone. The FPS and other security officers escorted Sulc out of the building, while others searched his office, the outlet said.
Sulc is in charge of the office that produces intelligence assessments on border security, the opioid epidemic, human trafficking, and other issues.
“He is a big deal,” one source with direct knowledge of events told Rolling Stone. “He does the border, all the big issues and crises. This is why this is all so shocking.”
A LinkedIn profile for Sulc states that in addition to his work for DHS, he is a certified personal fitness trainer, and runs an early morning fitness bootcamp on weekday mornings in Virginia.
Sulc and the DHS could not immediately be reached for comment.