The streets of Dallas are rife with danger, as evidenced by the new Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas FBI Office, Chad Yarbrough. A native of Van Zandt County and a former IRS Criminal Division special agent, Yarbrough is determined to tackle the criminality in North Texas.
“It’s humbling and frankly surreal to be able to lead this office,” said Yarbrough. “When you have drug trafficking in your area, and you have violence it goes hand-in-hand. It’s really all about the profit and the profit margin, and when you have a low cost of entry and low cost of production and high profitability then they are going to continue to push that.”
Indeed, the proliferation of fentanyl-laced drugs has been a major concern for the FBI, especially with recent overdose cases at schools in Carrollton earning national attention. From this ground-up approach, the FBI and Drug Task Forces have sought to push back against the cartels and facilitators who are bringing the deadly substances into North and East Texas.
In addition to tackling the drug problem, Yarbrough is also focused on cyber threats. China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran are seen as the primary forces in this regard, with China posing the greatest threat to taking research, development, and intellectual property from the United States. The popular social media platform TikTok is at the center of this debate, with congressional hearings and state governments banning the app on official devices.
“You’ve seen all the reporting on TikTok, all I will say is that China continues to be aggressive when it comes to obtaining information on individuals in the U.S. and it’s at an alarming rate,” said Yarbrough. “China alone is conducting operations against the U.S. and its allies and targets more than any other countries combined.”
The FBI is also dealing with hack attacks against government agencies. Yarbrough acknowledges that “everyday is a new challenge, because variants change from day to day. We have new ransomware popping up every day and again, that’s why we have to stay ahead of the threat.”
Fortunately, Yarbrough is confident in the 600 agents who work in the Dallas FBI Office, many of whom find their morale and joy in saving kids and recovering firearms that have been converted to fully automatic and seizing thousands of fentanyl-laced pills.
“We are dedicated to combating the criminality that plagues North Texas and beyond,” said Yarbrough. “It is a challenge, but one that I believe we can overcome.”