Special Agent Robert “Bobby” Chacon entered on duty with the FBI in September, 1987, after graduating from Hofstra University Law School. SA Chacon was initially assigned to an FBI Organized Crime Task Force with the NYPD aimed at the Lucchese Organized Crime Family.
In 1989 SA Chacon transferred to a newly formed Squad targeting non-traditional organize crime. SA Chacon quickly developed a knack for developing and working confidential informants. Working with his partner, a seasoned NYPD Detective SA Chacon spent the next 12 years becoming the FBI’s foremost expert in Jamaican Posses. SA Chacon and his partner completed dozens substantial RICO/CCE investigations resulting in the prosecutions and convictions of hundreds of extremely violent Jamaican Posse members. SA Chacon oversaw wiretap operations, undercover operations, high risk search and arrest warrant executions, surveillance teams, consensual monitoring techniques and international liaison and operations with police in Jamaica, the U.K. and Canada. SA Chacon was called upon to testify before a criminal court in Montreal, Canada as an expert witness in Jamaican Posse investigations. SA Chacon also testified before a sub committee of the Canadian Parliament which was attempting to write a RICO type law aimed at narcotics trafficking organizations. SA Chacon’s investigative work was featured in a magazine article, a book and a documentary about Jamaican Posses. SA Chacon was interviewed for numerous television specials on Jamaican Organized Crime groups.
In 1995 SA Chacon became a part-time diver of the FBI New York Field Office’s Dive Team. At that time the NYO Dive Team was the only officially sanctioned dive team in the FBI. SA Chacon was deployed to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as an FBI diver and to the 1996 crash of TWA flight 800 in which 230 passengers and crew perished. It was the largest search and recovery effort in the history of US law enforcement and the dive operations lasted for more then four months. In 2000 SA Chacon became the full time team leader of the dive team making him the first full time diver in FBI history.
In 2001 the FBI Laboratory decided to use the New York dive team as the model for a national underwater forensic program. SA Chacon was tasked with helping the FBI Laboratory to setup similar teams in Miami, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. SA Chacon spent two years setting up the FBI’s national underwater forensic program. This included establishing the criteria for selection of the new divers, the protocols to be used to evaluate new diver candidates, the basic training of the new divers and the basic equipment inventories needed for each new team. During these two years SA Chacon spent significant time traveling around the US consulting dive specialists from the US military, the scientific and academic dive fields, specialists in diving medicine and diving equipment manufacturers. Simultaneous to this SA Chacon was still the team leader for the FBI NY dive team and conducted numerous dive operations including the 2001/2002 dives near Ft. Derrick, Maryland in the Anthrax investigation and 2003 underwater search for debris from the Space Shuttle accident.
In 2002 SA Chacon was assigned to a six month temporary duty assignment (TDY) in counterterrorism at the 2002 Slat Lake City Winter Olympic Games. In 2003 SA Chacon transferred to the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office and was assigned as the Rapid Deployment Team Leader and a part-time member of the FBI Los Angeles Dive Team (which he had earlier setup). This led SA Chacon to a nine month TDY to Athens, Greece to work out of the US Embassy and provide counterterrorism assistance to Greek Olympic security officials and to assist in the deployment of FBI and other US government security assets to the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics. In 2005 SA Chacon was selected by the FBI Training Division to be a training team leader to deploy to Baghdad, Iraq to conduct a four month counterterrorism course to Iraqi police and military officers. SA Chacon was in charge of four instructors and three translators and interacted daily with high ranking Iraqi police officials.
In late 2005 SA Chacon returned to Los Angeles from Iraq and was assigned as the FBI Los Angeles Crisis Management Coordinator and remained a part-time diver. In 2006 SA Chacon was selected to a team of senior FBI divers who were assigned to deploy to Yusafiah, Iraq and conduct dive operations in conjunction with the US military and Army CID.
In 2007 SA Chacon was selected to be the full time Senior Team Leader of the FBI Los Angeles Dive Team making him the first (and still only) Agent to lead two different FBI Dive Teams. SA Chacon was the Senior Team Leader from 2007 until his retirement in 2014. During this time the dive team, under SA Chacon’s leadership, conducted dozens of successful underwater search and recovery operations all over the U.S. and some overseas. SA Chacon was responsible for a multi-million dollar inventory of technical dive gear, numerous vessels and vehicles and an annual operating budget. SA Chacon manages a team of 15 highly trained FBI forensic divers under the auspices of the FBI Laboratory’s Evidence Response Team Unit. SA Chacon maintained close and highly effective liaison with his counterparts on the state and local level as well as those in military and commercial dive industries. In 2010 SA Chacon was selected by the FBI’s University Education Program to attend commercial dive school at the College of Oceaneering where he earned his A.S. degree in Marine Science Technology and his commercial underwater welding license. As the Senior FBI Diver in the FBI SA Chacon was an Master Scuba Diver Trainer and regularly taught diving inside and outside the FBI and both inside the US and overseas. SA Chacon conceived, established and taught the FBI’s 80 hour Basic Forensic Diver Course.
Over the last 14 years SA Chacon has been interviewed numerous times on the topic of underwater crime scenes and underwater search and recovery. SA Chacon’s teams have been involved in almost every major, high profile underwater search for the past 15 years and includes everything from major airplane crashes to body recoveries to underwater evidence collection. SA Chacon is a recognized expert in the field of underwater crime scenes and underwater search and recovery.