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FBI selects counterterrorism executive to lead L.A. division

May 10, 2012 |  5:19 pm

Ralph S. BoelterThis post has been clarified. See the note at the bottom for details.

A veteran agent who has been involved in wide-ranging investigations from counterterrorism to a CIA leak scandal has been appointed as the new head of the FBI in Los Angeles, the bureau announced Thursday. 

Ralph S. Boelter, a native of Wisconsin, has been an agent since July 1991 and most recently served as assistant director of the FBI’s counterterrorism division at headquarters, according to an FBI news release.

He has also served as special agent in charge in Minneapolis, where he oversaw the case of Somali American youth recruited by terrorist groups and a $3.6-billion corporate fraud case. He also previously supervised violent crime and criminal enterprise investigations in Long Beach and Los Angeles.

As an agent, Boelter investigated white-collar and violent crime and criminal enterprise in Boston, and oversaw violent crime and fugitive investigations out of FBI headquarters. 

In 2005, he was assigned to help direct the investigation into the leak of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity.

Boelter replaces outgoing assistant director in charge Steven M. Martinez, who has been appointed executive assistant director of the Science and Technology Branch at FBI headquarters. Martinez was appointed to head the Los Angeles bureau in late 2009. 

Boelter, who is married with one daughter, will assume his new post by the end of summer, a bureau spokeswoman said.

For the record, 9:45 p.m., May 10: A previous version of this post misstated the time by which Boelter will assume his post.


L.A.'s top FBI agent arrives by way of Iraq and Las Vegas

U.S. Says 8 lured Somali terror recruits

Fugitive rapist returns to a waiting prison cell

-- Victoria Kim

Photo: Ralph Boelter. Credit: Federal Bureau of Investigation