Lynne A. Hunt, a 21-year FBI veteran who joined the agency out of law school because she loved a good mystery, has been tapped to head the FBI's Maryland-Delaware office.
Hunt, 46, is the first woman to serve as special agent in charge at the office in Baltimore. She previously served in the Baltimore office from 1996 to 1998 as an assistant special agent in charge -- also the first time a woman held that post here. For the past two years, she was the section chief of the financial crime division at headquarters in Washington.
"I'm very excited to be going to Baltimore and working with everybody there," Hunt said yesterday.
Hunt will supervise 390 agency employees, including 209 special agents who work in field offices across Maryland and Delaware.
She will replace Special Agent Richard M. Mosquera, who is leaving Baltimore to head the FBI's Houston office. Mosquera, who has worked in the FBI for 22 years, started his law-enforcement career as a city police officer in Baltimore in 1974. At one point, he served as bodyguard for then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer.
Hunt joined the agency in 1978 as a young law school graduate. "Born and raised on Nancy Drew" mystery books, Hunt specialized in criminal law while studying at the University of San Diego. She was drawn to the FBI out of a sense of adventure and an interest in solving crimes.
A college friend happened to be dating an FBI agent, who told her she would find all of that in the agency.
"I decided I was going to do it," said Hunt, who joined the agency when she was 25. She planned to stay only a few years, then return to her native Southern California to practice law. But Hunt said she loved the job and made a career of it.
After training at the FBI Academy in the late 1970s, Hunt was assigned to the agency's Chicago office. She helped investigate drug cases and organized crime, particularly mob activities on the city's north side.
"What better place to work organized crime, in my opinion, than Chicago?" she asked.
The work had its moments of levity. In one instance, Hunt was listening in on a wiretapped conversation when the suspects suddenly switched from discussing their criminal activities to talking about the best way to cook a rooster.
"Not a chicken -- a rooster. I never did find out what happened with that rooster," Hunt said.
After Chicago, Hunt worked at headquarters in Washington as part of the legal counsel division and, later, supervising white-collar crime investigations.
Hunt also supervised white-collar crime cases as part of the Washington Metropolitan Field Office beginning in 1989 and in Phoenix beginning in 1991.
In 1995, Hunt returned to Washington, where she supervised the agency's health care fraud unit before arriving at the Baltimore office in April 1996.
Hunt said she expects to start work again in Baltimore by June. She is married to retired Special Agent Richard Hunt. They have two daughters, ages 13 and 16, and are deciding where they will live.