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Here’s What It’s Like: Up Close and Personal


Crimes Against Children graphicOn any given day, Special Agent Cami Newey swears out search warrants, issues subpoenas, makes arrests, and interviews crime victims. Then in the afternoon she takes on the persona of a 12-year-old and trolls the underbelly of the Web, posing as one of the 14 million child Internet users who will be sexually solicited in 2005. Cami has been a Special Agent for eight years; half of that time has been spent in the FBI’s Cyber Division and the Innocent Images National Initiative tracking down criminals preying on kids from Florida to California.

Q. Cami, can you describe some of the cases you’ve worked on?
The most interesting cyber cases I’ve worked on involve “travelers” who lure children into meeting with them for sexual trysts. In these cases, I’ll pose undercover as a 12-year-old girl in online chat rooms and wait to be approached. Within 30 seconds I usually get at least one instant message, and within minutes I’ll have more people contacting me than I can manage, so I try to determine who might be child predators. It’s so eye opening to see how much perversion is on the Net, and so gratifying to know that, at least in some cases, guys who think they are saying disgusting things to children are unwittingly speaking to undercover agents. Sometimes the cases are heartbreaking, but it is incredibly gratifying to arrest someone who thinks he is actually about to have sex with a child.

Q. What is a typical day like?
There really is no typical. A day may include anything from interviewing child victims to examining records from computers and Internet Service Providers to presenting evidence to prosecutors. My afternoons are spent doing undercover work and I set aside some evenings to run community awareness workshops for parents’ groups. I’m also a lawyer, so some of my time is spent on legal matters or working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute cases in other investigative areas.

Q. What do you like best about the job?
I love the people I work with and the children I work for. There is no better feeling than knowing that you have helped make children in your community a bit safer. I also enjoy working with local law enforcement officers on investigations. I have had a great time and have seen and done things I never could have done anywhere else.

Q. Do you have any advice for prospective FBI recruits?
Patience! Working for the FBI may mean moving to a place you’ve never even visited or working a violation you might not find all that interesting, at least at first. But put your time in and work hard and you will find a facet of the FBI you’ll truly enjoy.

Links: Apply today | Find out more about cyber investigations and our Crimes Against Children program | Read our Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety