An FBI counterterrorism supervisor is under internal investigation after a woman stole his gun following a night of heavy drinking in a North Carolina hotel, according to documents and government officials.
In July, Robert Manson, a unit chief in the FBI’s international terrorism section, had his Glock .40-caliber handgun, a $6,000 Rolex watch and $60 in cash stolen from his room at the Westin hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to a police report.
The episode is an embarrassing mishap for the FBI. As a unit chief assigned to the bureau’s headquarters, Manson oversees all terrorism investigations in the Midwest and the Carolinas. An FBI spokesman, Michael P. Kortan, said the incident was the subject of an internal investigation and declined to give additional comment.
Manson and other senior agents were in Charlotte for training, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the episode. The agents later told police that they had been drinking with women who said they were exotic dancers, according to a second person who was briefed on the investigation but, like the first, was not authorized to discuss it publicly.
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“Investigators determined that the victim, Robert Manson, met a woman in the hotel bar the prior night and took her back to his hotel room,” Robert Tufano, a spokesman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, said in a statement.
At 6:30 the next morning, police officers for the department were called to the hotel. Manson was incapacitated because of alcohol, according to the police report, which he did not file himself. A fellow agent, Kevin Thuman, gave the report, which says the theft happened from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. The hotel bar closes at 2 a.m.
The gun was identified in the police report as a Glock 27, a compact model that is easy to conceal. Federal law allows agents to carry concealed weapons while off duty, but not while they are intoxicated. It is unclear where Manson kept the gun. FBI rules prohibit agents from leaving their guns in unsecure places. Every room in the Westin is equipped with a safe.
No arrests have been made and police officers have not recovered the gun. The report provides scant details and identifies the thief only as “an unknown suspect.” The report does not mention Manson’s work for the FBI. Tufano said Manson “was not acting in a law enforcement capacity at the time of the incident.”
One FBI agent was cited in an internal review this year after a family member accidentally shot him. Last year, an assistant special agent in charge was charged with drunken driving, and an internal review found that he had improperly carried his gun while intoxicated.