U.S. Customs Service

The Commissioner of Customs

Mr. Raymond Kelly

Ronald Reagan Bldg., Room 4.4A

1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20229

February 11,1999

James L. Roxby

U.S. Customs Service

Office of Investigations

Miami, Florida

W-305-597-6068

Dear Sir,

I am a current employee with the Office of Investigations, Miami, Florida. You may be aware of my name and situation due to the Miami Herald article that appeared on December 13,1998. I was named as one of the Whistle blowers in that article.

Please forgive me for contacting you directly. I would have properly gone through the chain-of-command but the Managers named in my current and past Congressional inquiries are part of the chain-of-command.

Since 1993, my career was devastated due to my disclosure of an abuse of authority, the unlawful use of a government undercover equipment for parties and fishing, and the directed destruction of evidence by retired Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge, Dennis Fagan.

The Customs Service in South Florida had officially denied my disclosure of a misuse of the undercover yacht and the subsequent cover-up to protect the Managers/employee's involved.

 

OPERATION CARIBE

During 1992, I was directly supervised by Group Supervisor, Robert Kammer. Mr. Kammer managed the Air Smuggling Investigations Group at the Homestead Air Force Base, Homestead, Florida. The SAIC South Florida Marine Undercover Group that I was assigned to, worked in close coordination with the Air Smuggling Group due to air drops of contraband at sea.

 

I was involved in the seizure of 300 kilograms of cocaine. 150 kilograms of which was eventually ordered lost on the streets of Miami by high SAIC/MI Managers. Mr. Kammer claimed his group was ordered to lose the cocaine in a "loose surveillance." SAIC Managers claimed Mr. Kammer acted on his own to lure the violators into a larger cocaine seizure.

After this incident, both Washington Management and Washington IA blamed the Agents after the loss of the 150 kilograms of cocaine (see attachment 1, Office of Special Counsel FAX and Unsworn Declaration of Regional Director of IA, Leonard D. Freedman). I was not involved in the loss of cocaine but I did transfer the original 300 kilograms of cocaine to shore with the violator.

MISUSE OF PETER GIRARD‚S UNDERCOVER YACHT

As a collateral duty while assigned to the Marine Undercover Group, I was chosen to operate and maintain Supervisor, Peter Girard's undercover yacht by Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge, John McGhee.

It was common for Supervisor Girard's agents to show up at the undercover yacht on Friday afternoon and weekends with their girlfriends or family. At first they used the yacht for drinking after work. Later after I had the yacht repaired, the agents started using the yacht for fishing trips. I was advised by my first line Supervisor Joseph Goulet that, "If you get caught out with those agents, I will have your job."

As the assigned undercover yacht Captain, I was never called upon to operate the yacht on an undercover mission. The engine hours on the yacht did not warrant that it was used on long range undercover missions as it was intended for. The yachts‚ engines were never operated for more than four hours. For example, an undercover mission to the Bahamas would require 10 or more engine hours to complete.

I had frequently discussed the misuse of the undercover yacht to the other undercover marine officers, MEO Michael McMahon, SMEO Charles McCall, and MEO Matt Fulmer. MEO‚s in the undercover group said I was no more than "GIRARDS BOAT NI--ER."

Before Hurricane Andrew in 1992, I also reported an incident that almost compromised GIRARDS‚ undercover yacht. The undercover yacht was observed entering Coco Plum Marina by my maintenance crew and picked-up the dock master, Harris Schupman. Mr. Schupman is well known for his reputation as a sport fishing captain in South Florida.

 

 

Supervisor Girard had advised me earlier in the week that "the dolphins are hitting" and to make sure the boat is ready for the weekend.

The maintenance crew did not know the yacht belonged to Customs. They observed the yacht enter Coco Plum Marina and exit with the dock master aboard. Later I was asked by the maintenance crew, why (myself) a paid "Captain" was never on board the yacht during the weekends.

When I returned to the undercover yacht the following week, it was in disarray with beer/wine bottles on the yacht. A foul/rotten smell was evident inside the yacht. Bait had been thrown in the garage and the air-conditioning system was turned off by the Agents. The bait had spoiled in the heated yacht for days.

Supervisor Girard was upset that the undercover yacht was unusable the following weekend due to the rotten smell had gotten into the carpets, window coverings and the furniture. The yacht had to be steam-cleaned to get rid of the smell.

MY REASSIGNMENT TO MARINE INTERDICTION, 1993

After hurricane Andrew had heavily damaged the U/C yacht, I was transferred out of the undercover group to Marine Interdiction, supervised by Dennis McLean.

On July 6,1993, I had a general conversation with two Marine Enforcement Officers about the misuse of the undercover yacht. The MEO‚s were interested why GIRARDS yacht was not used on undercover missions. I believed at the time it was well known that Supervisor Girard and his investigative group were misusing their assigned undercover yacht for parties, fishing and their families/girl friends.

THE BIG SCREW-UP BY CUSTOMS MANAGERS ON JULY 6,1993

The Customs Managers in Miami were out to condemn Supervisor Robert Kammer for the loss of the 150 kilograms of cocaine and wanted to show him as a liar.

On July 6,1993, Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge (DSAC) Dennis Fagan and Arthur Stiffel believed that my comments to the other MEO's were in reference to Robert Kammers‚ undercover yacht (Kammer and Girard were the only two supervisors with U/C yacht assigned to them). They ordered me to the SAIC office through my prior Supervisor, Dennis McLean. That afternoon, Supervisor McLean ordered me to have a memorandum ready about the conversation I had with the other MEO's earlier that day. Supervisor McLean also asked if I had an attorney because they're (Fagan and Stiffel) after your job.

When I arrived at the SAIC Office late that afternoon, DSAC Fagan and Stiffel discovered that the information was not about Supervisor Kammer but about Supervisor Girard. I attempted to give Supervisor McLean the document about Girard and he put his hands in the air as a gesture not to touch it. DSAC Fagan motioned toward the shredder. Supervisor McLean advised me, "get rid of it." I shredded the document and a computer diskette.

While I was still at the SAIC Office, I called IA and advised them of what had just occurred. I was ordered to IA the following day on July 7,1993.

Supervisor McLean later told me that, if the misuse of the undercover yacht had been about Kammer, it would have been the "nail in Kammers coffin." He also asked me if I was an IA plant.

Supervisor McLean openly talked poorly of Supervisor Kammer because in McLean words "Kammer had ratted out Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge, John McGhee due to the loss of the 150 kilograms of cocaine.

From that point on, I knew career was ruined. DSAC Fagan was involved in every administrative action concerning me. Most Customs employee's will confirm DSAC Fagan‚s reputation of reprisal.

THE BOTCHED INTERNAL AFFAIRS INVESTIGATIONS

In my opinion, The Office of Internal Affairs (IA) in South Florida is unable to remain impartial. IA Senior Special Agent, Thomas Howe in 1993/1994 neglected his investigative responsibility. He never re-interviewed me or any MEO in the marine undercover group. No one was required to submit to a polygraph "normal IA procedure." He determined his findings based on the violators (Girard's Group) statements.

Internal Affairs and Regional Counsel misrepresented information to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) in 1997/1998. The Agency advised that they did not know of the allegations of the shredding until my public disclosure in July 1997.

Former Internal Affairs SSA, Thomas Flynn testified that his IA Supervisor, Tom Rybczyk advised him about the shredding incident before SSA Flynn was transferred in 1994 (see attachment 2). SSA Flynn also stated in deposition that, his transfer from IA in 1994, was in part, due to Washington IA did not approve of his investigative findings in the CARIBE investigation.

IA INVESTIGATION AFTER MY PUBLIC DISCLOSURE, 1997

During 1997, IA Senior Special Agent, Michael Consavage advised me that, I was not a target of an IA investigation. I later found out that, SSA Consavage had gone to the Assistant United States Attorney for possible legal action against me. The Assistant United States Attorney declined any action.

It was obvious that SSA Consavage was protecting Management. SSA Consavage had advised me that the duty log for IA during July 6 and 7,1993 was missing (July 6,1993 was the date I reported the shredding incident to IA). SSA Consavage later advised me that, the IA duty log was found in a vault in Washington containing the Operation CARIBE (Kammer) investigation. SSA Consavage asked leading questions in order to suppress facts.

INFORMATION LEADING TO MY CURRENT SITUATION

I had injured my back (L5-S1 disc) on an interdiction mission to the Bahamas due to rough seas. The Office of Workers Compensation (OWCP) physician advised me that, I should discontinue working only on vessels in rough or choppy seas. Mr. Fagan decided that if I could not work as an MEO, I could not work as a 6-C employee in the 1801/1811 series. Customs Management would not allow me to submit to a fitness-for-duty exam for any other C-6 position.

The Customs Service had accommodated many other injured 6-C employees. This includes, employees that had been shot, wheel chair bound, injured in arrests, and one with an amputated weapon arm. A all were accommodated and remained in their prior 6-C positions. I was singled out by Mr. Fagan.

At the end of 1996, my Resident Agent-in-Charge (RAC), William Biossat advised me, Mr. Fagan decided to release me as an MEO and urge me to submit paperwork for a disability retirement. Mr. Fagan, Management Program Officer (MPO), Beatrice Moore, and Personnel Specialist, Yvonne Bynum advised OWCP that there were no other positions available to offer me in the Customs Service.

My Resident Agent-in-Charge (RAC), William Biossat had attempted to accommodate me as a 6-C employee at the Ft. Lauderdale RAC Office. Mr. Biossat stated that, I was an asset to his office. I also carried credentials and a weapon for transporting prisoners, questioning suspects and surveillance. It was Mr. Fagan again that declined the offer to accommodate me.

I submitted my disability retirement paperwork as urged by Mr. Fagan during December 1996. I was led to believe by Mr. Fagan that, I would not return to Customs because there were no positions available.

After Mr. Fagan put me on a leave without pay status, I began seeking employment in North Florida as directed by OWCP regulations. I also entered the Broward County Police academy. I was already in the vocational stage with OWCP. An employee can not enter the vocational stage with OWCP until the Agency claims there are no position to offer the employee.

I entered into a contract to purchase land in Tallahassee, Florida for $5,000 dollars and build a home. I had passed all the physical requirements for a police officer in the State of Florida and graduated in April 1997.

During March/April 1997, Mr. Fagan notified me in writing that I was being offered the position of the Evidence Custodian. This position was re-created for me in hope that I would turn down the position and they could terminate me (see attachment 3).

After I received this offer in the mail, I called MPO Beatrice Moore. MPO Moore acted very surprised that I was accepting the position. If I had not accepted the position, I would have lost my OWCP benefits and any consideration for a disability retirement. I also would have been terminated as described in attachment 3.

At this point, I had to terminate my non-refundable contract for the land in North Florida and loss my deposit of $5,000. Mr. Fagan and MPO Moore openly found amusement in my loss and stated "its not their problem".

Before I found attachment 3 in my OWCP file during May 1998, SAIC, Bonni Tischler had testified that she was unaware of the Evidence Custodian position being offered to me. The memorandum clearly shows that she had knowledge of the meager job offer and conspired with DSAC Fagan to terminate me.

PURGING OF MY OWCP FILE

During 1998, I had discovered that Customs Managers, C.C. Savuage and Personnel Specialist, Yvonne Bynum had purged my OWCP file of anything that could come back and haunt them later. The purged information could have helped me in returning to a 6-C or another equitable accommodation (see attachment 4).

Two employees came forward with information concerning the purging of my OWCP file by Customs Managers, C.C. Savuage and Personnel Specialist, Yvonne Bynum. Senior Intelligence Analyst, Kevin O‚Riordan actually overheard the conversation of C.C. Savuage and Ms. Bynum and testified to it under oath.

 

OPERATION OVERLORD

Supervisor of "OPERATION OVERLORD" during 1997, was Norris Dahl. He signed a sworn statement indicating that, due to my public disclosure during July 1997, (in ref. to the misuse of the undercover yacht and the shredding incident) I endangered Operation OVERLORD and undercover officers.

In reference to Operation OVERLORD SECURITY, documents (see attachment 5) were mailed to my home from an unidentified Customs employee. Attachment 5, Reauthorization Request states, "At present there are no investigations being conducted, which pose any financial or legal threat to the U.S. Customs Service or innocent third parties." I also have OVERLOAD documents relating to officer safety.

This Reauthorization request clearly demonstrates that two months after my public disclosure in July 1997, there was no threat to the operation or safety as sworn by Supervisor Dahl. I had asked Assistant Regional Counsel, Maria Capo for this information during the discovery process at a Merit Systems Protection Board pre-hearing. It is obvious why she did not provide me a copy. The Customs Managers provided deceptive information to the Discipline Review Board (DRB) in order to suspend me for 30 days late last year. The DRB was only provided with biased information. Clearly, the DRB was not provided impartial and detailed information to base their determination upon.

 

THE REASON FOR MY REASSIGNMENT FROM OF THE EVIDENCE ROOM

During 1998, Washington had ordered an audit of SAIC Miami due to SAIC Lopez past problems in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Before the Audit Team arrived at Miami, an article appeared in the Miami Herald. The Article described how the SAIC Miami office had scrambled to get ready for the audit and shredded documents.

Before that audit, I was still assigned to the evidence room. Many packages entered the evidence room that had been kept in Agents lockers, cars, or work stations. Many Agents were complaining about having to bring their evidence to the evidence room. Approximately 200 pieces of evidence was brought to the evidence room during the week before the audit.

It was obvious to everyone that, the Customs Managers actions were to indicate to the auditors, evidence had always been properly maintained. Many employees entered the evidence room asking questions about the audit and if the audit had anything to do with SAIC Lopez evidence problems in Puerto Rico. Later, the Audit Team Leader advised me that "there were no discrepancies found in the evidence room."

DECEPTIVE STATEMENTS OF CUSTOMS MANAGERS

I was advised by my current Supervisor, Gregory Cline that, I am still officially assigned as the Evidence Custodian. Yet I have not had any responsibility to evidence for several months. I have also been excluded from an audit of the evidence room beginning February 10,1999.

I do not have access to the evidence room and no pager that is required of the position. Management has permanently assigned injured Special Agent, Joseph Pangia to the evidence room. SA Pangia also advised Management that he intends to remain in that position for one year due to financial reasons.

I made a complete copy of all the evidence forms (CF 6051's) that were brought into the evidence room the week prior to the Washington audit. The reason I made the copies was I thought that Customs Managers may try to blame me if evidence discrepancies were found. The CF 6051's clearly show just how many pieces of evidence were mishandled. The poor accountability and direction of SAIC Miami supervisors was the reason Agents were able to improperly maintain approximately 200 pieces of evidence outside the evidence room.

If a defense attorney had found out that the chain-of-evidence and evidence security had been breached, many criminal cases could be dismissed.

The SAIC Miami office has used the same outdated computer for approximately ten years to track evidence. The old data base is unable to track evidence that had been taken out and then returned. There is no way to tell how many times a piece of evidence was removed or handled (opened) other than the original CF-6051.

In the EEOC report, Customs Managers actually blamed me for the mishandled/missing evidence at the SAIC evidence room. Remember that, the Audit Team Leader from Washington advised me that, no discrepancies were found in the Evidence Room!

 

 

 

PRESENT DUTIES

I have been assigned to some filing and lifting boxes when needed. I have not had access to the Customs database for 1 ł years. I do not have any Customs credentials and no access to employee information.

In a recent Miami Herald article, Miami Customs Managers advised the Miami Herald that I deal with "property management issues." Customs Managers also stated that, "he is lazy and we can‚t him to work"!

On the most part, I sit most of the day doing little or nothing as directed by Associate SAIC, Rodney Tureaud. I have kept a log of how many days I sit without any duties since November 1998. Management is aware of my situation and has condemned me to isolation. The same situation occurred to my past Supervisor, Robert Kammer in 1994.

**Please see attachment number 11**. On Thursday, February 11,1999, I received a complete copy of my current EEOC complaint from the Dallas Regional Complaints Center. Please notice the statement of SAIC Management Team Leader, Robin Schmidt. Ms. Schmidt stated, he was "DUMPED" upstairs and was given no specific duties. She also states that, she was told not to give him anything to do. She also believes that, Mr. Roxby is "overqualified" and that a GS-3 did what Mr. Roxby is doing now.

The SAIC Miami Managers position is, attempt to cloud their actions to Washington and mislead everyone about my duties, if any.

I understand that, the Customs Blue Lighting Operations Center located in Broward County is understaffed and is in need of assistance in the Cross-Training of Police Officers. I am sure that my assistance there would be greatly appreciated. This may not be the answer to my problems but its an assignment that would benefit the Government unlike my current situation.

SAIC LOPEZ ALLEGES THAT I AM THE REASON FOR MORAL PROBLEMS

On January 11,1999, Mr. Lopez stated in an open RAC/SAIC meeting that, the moral problems in this office are due to 4 or 5 disgruntled employees. Mr. Lopez openly named myself as one of the employees (see attachments 6). This was confirmed by two of the Managers that heard the statement by SAIC Lopez. I filed a congressional inquiry base on Mr. Lopez's statement. How could 4 or 5 disgruntled (if disgruntled) employees' cause all the moral problems in South Florida?

I am sure that you are already aware what problems exist in South Florida. The Customs employees in South Florida genuinely agree with your recent actions. Finally someone is trying to correct the problems!

CLOSING

I have never conveyed that I am perfect. I do not believe anyone is. But I'm sure that I have never slept with a convicted felon. I have not turned a "blind eye" to illegal acts. I have not been arrested for DUI in a government vehicle. I have not falsified government documents. I have not skimmed cash. I have not been involved in sexual harassment.

I have however come forward with information of internal corruption. I thought I was doing the proper thing. For that, I have suffered continued administrative retribution. In my case alone, a strong message was sent to Miami Customs employees by Managers. If an employee comes forward with corruption, waste or fraud, you will be treated like "Roxby."

I remain faithful to the Customs Service and a dedicated career law enforcement officer. I am not asking you for a reward for reporting corruption. However, request that my situation be treated impartially and fairly.

I have asked the administrative courts to restore me as a law enforcement officer and remove me from the abusive environment at the SAIC Office, Miami. In turn, I would drop my present and any future legal actions. Expenses that I have incurred trying to correct this mess has also been a factor.

If you wish, I would be pleased to meet with you or your staff in an attempt to resolve my predicament. If you need any other supporting documents, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Respectively Submitted,

 

James L. Roxby

 

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