By Tara Molina


CHICAGO (CBS) — Emmerson Buie Jr. will be the first African-American head of the Chicago FBI Field Office, the FBI announced Monday evening.

Buie, a Chicago native, had most recently served as the special agent in charge of the El Paso, Texas Field Office.

Buie joined the FBI in 1992, and was first assigned to the Colorado Springs Resident Agency of the Denver Field Office, where he investigated criminal issues, the FBI said. He became a supervisory special agent in 1999, and was assigned to the Weapons of Mass Destruction Operations Unit in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., according to the FBI.

Buie moved up in 2002 to a senior supervisory post at the Fairview Heights Resident Agency under the Springfield, Illinois office. He moved to London as the assistant and acting deputy legal attaché for the FBI in 2006, and returned to the Springfield Field Office in 2008.

Buie was named the special agent in charge of the El Paso Field office in 2017, chosen by former FBI Director James Comey. He took the call last month when a mass shooter killed 22 people inside an El Paso Walmart.

Before joining the FBI, Buie served four years in the Army as an infantry officer and served in Desert Storm, the FBI said. He graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in 1987.

Buie, 54, will take over the Chicago’s field office next month, replacing Jeffrey Sallet, who’s led the office since 2017.

Buie is considered an expert in cyber security, human smuggling and corruption investigations. He could see some of those investigations here in Chicago, where the FBI’s raid of Ald. Ed Burke (14th) office in city hall led to a racketeering indictment.

Danny Solis, a former alderman turned alleged FBI mole, is cooperating in that investigation.

Tara Molina