MUSEUM ORAL HISTORY

Richard DesLauriers
Interviewed by Brien Williams

 “One of my happiest moments is when I could get on the phone and call the director of the FBI to tell him we had Dzhokhar Tsarnaev under arrest.”

Richard DesLauriers spent most of his career in the counterintelligence community. As a young FBI agent stationed in New York City in the 1990s, DesLauriers tracked foreign operatives working in the United States. He rose in the FBI’s ranks moving between the Washington FBI Headquarters and the field offices in New York and Boston.

In 2008, DesLauriers was named Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division where he was responsible for nationwide counterintelligence operations and espionage investigations. One of his biggest tasks was to roll-up Operation Ghost Stories, the real life inspiration for FX’s The Americans. The decade long investigation had documented ten deep-cover Russian foreign intelligence operatives living and working in the United States. In a coordinated operation on June 27, 2010 the Russian spies were arrested in several cities simultaneously.

Days later DesLauriers took command as the Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office, and within a year had managed the capture of one of Boston’s most notorious criminals, James “Whitey” Bulger. In April 2013, Boston was celebrating Patriot’s Day when two brothers bombed the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The FBI was quickly made the lead investigating agency and DesLauriers put in charge of coordinating all local, state, and federal resources. In less than 100 hours the team had identified, located, and captured the bombers. DesLauriers retired from the FBI in July 2013 after twenty-six and a half years with the Bureau.

Read Oral History Transcript
Witness to History page

The Museum's Witness to History program is generously funded by the Target Corporation©.