FBI director picks new leader for Chicago field office

Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler Jr. will replace the former FBI head in Chicago, Emmerson Buie Jr., who retired in August.

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Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler Jr., the new head of Chicago’s FBI field office.

Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler Jr., the new head of Chicago’s FBI field office.


The head of the FBI has chosen a new leader for the agency’s field office in Chicago. 

Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler Jr. will serve as the FBI’s next special-agent-in-charge here, the office announced Tuesday. The selection was made by FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Wheeler will replace the FBI’s former leader in Chicago, Emmerson Buie Jr., who retired in August after three years in the role.

Wheeler joined the FBI more than two decades ago. He most recently served as chief of staff to the executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch at FBI Headquarters.

He began his FBI career in 1999, working a variety of criminal matters in Texas. Then, he was assigned counterterrorism duties and served with the North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force. In 2006, he joined the attorney general’s protection detail and transferred to Washington, D.C.

A year later, he began teaching new agents at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Wheeler deployed to Afghanistan for several months in 2009 to work kidnapping matters as a member of the Major Crimes Task Force. Back at FBI Headquarters in 2012, he joined the Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices Section of the Critical Incident Response Group. He was promoted to chief of the Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices Readiness Unit in 2015 and served as chief of the National Explosives Task Force.

In 2017, Wheeler became the supervisory special agent over the National Capital Response Squad in the Washington Field Office. In 2018, he led an international terrorism squad there focused on the continental United States and threats based in the Middle East. He was promoted in 2020 to the role of assistant special-agent-in-charge of that office. He returned in 2021 to FBI Headquarters as a section chief in the International Operations Division.

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