FBI Director Christopher Wray, at right, visits the Portland field office on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of FBI

FBI Director Christopher Wray visited the FBI’s Boston Division Portland office on Tuesday morning, meeting with the field office staff and Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta.

Wray’s visit, which had been scheduled months ago, comes in the wake of threats made against federal agents following the FBI’s Aug. 8 search for classified documents at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. The FBI said Wray’s visit to Maine was routine and had nothing to do with those threats against agents or Maine law enforcement.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned in a joint bulletin on Friday that there has been an increase in threats to federal law enforcement officials since the search at Mar-a-Lago took place, NBC News reported.

The purpose of the visit to Portland was to give Wray the opportunity to meet with local, state and federal law enforcement officials and “to affirm the FBI’s commitment to help local police agencies combat violent crime, hate crimes, homegrown violent extremism, and racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism, among other criminal and national security threats facing communities in Maine,” the FBI said in a statement about Wray’s visit.

“In today’s dynamic threat environment, we either win, or lose as a team,” Wray told those in attendance. “Focusing our investigations on the most violent offenders, extremists and gangs to get the worst criminals off the streets, sharing analytical and investigative resources, and proactively engaging with the community are shared strategies that will make the neighborhoods of Maine safer. We are committed to being a strong partner with you in that fight.”

The media was not invited to attend Tuesday’s meeting in Portland.


The visit to the FBI’s Portland office on Middle Street was Wray’s first visit to Maine since he was sworn into office as the eighth director of the FBI five years ago. Wray was nominated by Trump.

Kristen M. Setera, spokesperson for the FBI’s Boston bureau, said Wray routinely schedules visits with FBI and law enforcement officials to stay in touch with FBI employees and to reinforce his agency’s support for helping fight local crime. He visited the FBI’s Boston office in June, and Omaha, Nebraska, last week, Setera said.

“He likes to get out and to talk to people, to get to know the people in the FBI,” Setera said.

The FBI said there was nothing unusual about Wray’s rip to Maine and that he regularly makes visits to the FBI’s 56 field offices.

The group that met Tuesday morning talked about matters of mutual interest to the local, state and federal law enforcement community.

Among the topics that were discussed was an FBI Boston initiative targeting gang members in Maine and New Hampshire, who have been capitalizing on the higher resale value of illegal drugs and firearms. The FBI’s Southern Maine Gang Task Force is working with the FBI on curbing a surge in opioid-related gang violence in the New England region.

Since February, the initiative has led to the identification and arrests of 30 individuals, the seizure of 36 firearms, and the seizure of methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine.

The FBI also is supporting the newly formed New England Prescription Opioid Task Force, which will help to address one of the root causes of the opioid epidemic, the unlawful prescription and diversion of opioids by corrupt medical professionals and others.

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