Mechanicsville Native Honored by U.S. Justice Department
Special Agent Michael Conklin with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security was recognized May 13, 2011, by Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, for his outstanding efforts in a document fraud investigation.
The investigation focused on the so-called “Sovereign Nation” organization, which created its own diplomatic identification cards (IDs). Agent Conklin provided essential assistance in the case that led to a successful prosecution.
Richard Jaensch, a member of “Sovereign Nation” and a plumber from Annandale, Virginia, produced fake diplomatic credentials, that stated that he was a ADiplomat@ and AHead of State@ of the United States. They were enclosed in a leather credentials holder, and they included an official-looking badge. After Jaensch provided the identification to a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge in a civil proceeding, the court confiscated it and held the defendant in contempt for refusing to provide discovery to the other side. Upon his release from detention, Jaensch immediately ordered a new identification from the same Internet Company that had made the first one.
During a video-taped, custodial interview of the defendant by Agent Conklin, Jaensch admitted using the fake credentials at TSA airport checkpoints.
Thanks in large part to the persistence and hard work of agent Conklin the United States was able to present a case in which a jury took only two hours to find Jaensch guilty of producing a false identification document.
Special Agent Michael Conklin
Special Agent Michael Conklin, 30, is currently serving a tour in Kabul, Afghanistan. His assignment following Kabul will be in Bogota, Colombia. He previously served at the Washington D.C. Field Office and at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.
Conklin’s hometown is Mechanicsville, Virginia, where he attended Atlee High School, class of 1998.
Prior to joining the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Conklin served 6 years as a deputy sheriff with the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office.
Conklin is a 2002 graduate of Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.
Conklin’s parents are Dave and Joan Conklin and they reside in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is the U.S. Department of State’s law enforcement and security arm. The special agents, engineers, and security professionals of the Bureau are responsible for the security of 285 U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world. In the United States, Diplomatic Security personnel investigate passport and visa fraud, conduct personnel security investigations, and protect the Secretary of State and high-ranking foreign dignitaries and officials visiting the United States. Additional information about the U.S. Department of State and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security may be obtained at www.state.gov/m/ds.
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