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2011 News Releases

Longwood alum honored by U.S. Justice Department

June 16, 2011

Michael Conklin

Michael Conklin, a 2002 Longwood graduate and special agent with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security, was recently recognized for his outstanding efforts in a document fraud investigation.

Conklin was recognized by Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, for his work on an investigation that focused on the so-called "Sovereign Nation" organization, which created its own diplomatic identification cards.  Agent Conklin provided essential assistance in the case that led to the successful prosecution of Richard Jaensch, a member of "Sovereign Nation" and a plumber from Annandale, Va., who produced fake diplomatic credentials that stated that he was a ADiplomat@ and AHead of State@ of the United States.  The documents were enclosed in a leather credentials holder and 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 videotaped, 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.

Conklin graduated from Atlee High School in Mechanicsville, Va. in 1988. He earned bachelor's degree in business management from Longwood University in 2002 and worked for six years as a deputy sheriff with the Stafford County Sheriff's Office before joining the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.  He is currently serving a tour of duty 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.

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.