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Baltimore FBI director gets Washington post; He will investigate violent crimes, drugs


David R. Knowlton, special agent in charge of the FBI's Baltimore field office, has been named deputy assistant director at the agency's Washington headquarters, where he will lead investigations of organized crime, drugs and violent crimes, and supervising criminal intelligence.

Knowlton, 46, who took over the Baltimore office two years ago, has been with the FBI for 28 years. No successor has been named.

In Baltimore, Knowlton supervised the investigation of several cases of national interest, including one that led to the successful prosecution of Thomas Capano, the Wilmington, Del., lawyer convicted of the 1996 murder of his mistress, Anne Marie Fahey. A Wilmington jury found Capano guilty last month.

Knowlton's staff assisted Delaware State Police and the Wilmington police in their investigations of the case.

"We used a vast number of resources to bring this case to its conclusion," Knowlton said yesterday.

This month, Knowlton and Lynne A. Battaglia, U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland, reacted to a botched local prosecution in Baltimore City Circuit Court by ordering his agents to arrest a man suspected in a robbery and carjacking.

FBI agents arrested Christopher Wills, who was charged with committing a federal crime because the East Northern Parkway Super Pride market in the Ramblewood section of Northeast Baltimore he allegedly held up is involved in interstate commerce. Wills was arrested Feb. 5.

Jail drug bust

Last year, Knowlton set up wiretaps and worked with prosecutors to help round up 11 members of a suspected jail-house drug ring linked to Baltimore narcotics dealer John Edward "Liddy" Jones. Federal investigators discovered the drug-distribution network within the Baltimore City Detention Center. Federal authorities alleged that Jones used a local mattress dealer to smuggle into the jail drugs packed in bedding.

The FBI's Baltimore office also led a federal task force, Operation Innocent Images, a national effort to investigate child pornographers and sex offenders working through the Internet.

In the Baltimore office, which has responsibility for Maryland and Delaware, Knowlton supervised a staff of about 440, including 210 agents.

"It's hard to lose the special agent here," said Battaglia, "but it's great to see that Baltimore is held in such high regard. It shows the importance the director places in the Baltimore division."

'Nobody does this alone'

Born in Flagstaff, Ariz., Knowlton is a 1975 graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park. He has also served with the FBI in Richmond, Va., Sacramento and San Francisco, Calif., Washington and New Orleans.

His wife, Ellen Bolinger Knowlton, who is also an FBI agent, was recently named special agent in charge of administration in the Washington field office.

"I am most proud of working with other law enforcement officers," Knowlton said. "Nobody does this alone."

Pub Date: 2/27/99

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