QUANTICO, Va. –
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) has selected the first three civilian special agents-in-charge (SACs) to run the field offices in Fort Hood, Texas, Fort Carson, Colorado, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Each SAC will be responsible for the execution and oversight of CID’s mission in their specific geographic area of responsibility. They will also serve as the senior representative of CID to local / regional commanders and the executive leadership teams of counterpart law enforcement agencies. The first three SACs are: Maria Thomas, Central Texas Field Office in Fort Hood, Texas; Shane Watts, Atlantic Field Office in Fort Bragg, N.C.; and Misty Lakota in the Central Field Office located in Fort Carson, Colo. All three will be in place within the next month.
Misty Lakota: Central Field Office, Fort Carson, Colo. Lakota has 20 years of experience and comes to CID from the Department of the Interior (DOI) where she has had an extensive career in both the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Some of her assignments include Federal Police Officer, US Indian Police Academy Instructor; several assignments as a Senior Special Agent at various BIA controlled lands; Deputy Associate Director - Operations at BIA Oklahoma City; Supervisory Special Agent at DOI, Washington, DC; and Resident Agent-in-Charge, USFWS, Albuquerque, NM. Lakota has an extensive background working and supervising a wide variety of criminal investigations including death, sexual assaults, and general and drug crimes in multijurisdictional environments. She is also a legal administrator warrant officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Maria Thomas: Central Texas Field Office, Fort Hood, Texas Thomas comes to CID from the NCIS Headquarters where she most recently served as the Assistant Director of Human Resources. Her federal law enforcement career began in 2002 as a Special Agent assigned to the NCIS Field Office, Mayport, Florida. Thomas' investigative expertise includes sexual assault and child physical and sexual abuse with significant policy and program management experience. Her other NCIS field assignments included NCIS Europe and Africa Field Office, Naples, Italy; NCIS Atlantic Operations, Virginia Beach, Va.; and Supervisory Special Agent at NCIS Resident Agency Portsmouth, Va. She also has NCIS Headquarters experience as the Criminal Investigations and Operations Directorate Division Chief and as the NCIS Ombudsman.
Shane Watts: Atlantic Field Office, Fort Bragg, N.C. Watts joins the CID team with more than 25 years of experience as a law enforcement professional and most recently served as a GS-15 1811 Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge assigned to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Del Rio, Texas with a large geographic area of responsibility along the Southwest border. Watts has extensive experience conducting a variety of investigations including large scale narcotics smuggling, money laundering, and transnational gang activity. He has also served as a HSI Resident Agent-in-Charge in Fayetteville, Arkansas; several HSI headquarters level assignments including Section Chief of the Human Rights and War Crimes Unit, Special Assistant to the Deputy Director of National Security Programs, Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit Program Manager, and the HSI Office of Professional Responsibility.
As part of CID’s transformation, these long-term changes aligns CID criminal investigations to industry best practices, increases CID’s ability to effectively deter and investigate felony crimes across the Army. "The creation of the geographic GS-15 SAC positions within CID, will allow our field offices to better align with our federal law enforcement counterparts and create a structure that is more recognizable to the multitude of state and local law enforcement agencies we interact with on a daily basis," said Director Gregory D. Ford.
Ford, who has been leading CID for six months, identified the hiring of the SACs positions as a critical step in CID’s transformation. "Two key focus areas for the SACs will be ensuring operational excellence and succession planning,” said Ford. “With regard to succession planning, the SACs will be expected to lead the culture change in their area of responsibility to ensure we are developing personnel with a law enforcement mindset who demonstrate investigative curiosity and maintain a proactive victim focused mindset.”
Ford said, “CID will now have a single individual in each of our field offices who maintains overall responsibility for the execution of the operational mission in that area and possesses technical competency in the conduct and management of criminal investigations as well as program management, senior level partnering, and strategic planning skillsets."
In the near future, CID will be looking to hire additional SACs to staff the field offices listed below: West Field Office, headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Southwest Field Office, headquartered at Fort Bliss, Texas. Central Texas Field Office, headquartered at Fort Hood, Texas. South Field Office, headquartered at Fort Benning, Georgia. Southeast Field Office, headquartered at Fort Stewart, Georgia Atlantic Field Office, headquartered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. National Capital Region Field Office, headquartered at Fort Myer, Virginia. Northeast Field Office, headquartered at Fort Drum, New York. Mid-Central Field Office, headquartered at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Mid-West Field Office, headquartered at Fort Riley, Kansas. Central Field Office, headquartered at Fort Carson, Colorado. Europe Field Office, headquartered at Kaiserslautern, Germany. Pacific Field Office, headquartered at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Far East Field Office, headquartered at Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea.