ATF Supervisory Special Agent/CFI (Retired), IAAI-CFI, ACFE-CFE
Eric Peña is a retired Supervisory Special Agent/Certified Fire Investigator with 27 years of experience with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). His experience stems from complex local, regional and international fire and explosives investigations.
Eric served in a leadership role as the Group Supervisor of the Baltimore I Field Office (Arson/Explosives Field Office) for 3 years. In that capacity, he directed a group of Special Agents and Task Force Officers, carrying out all the federal arson and explosives investigations throughout the State of Maryland. He acquired full responsibility in the monitoring and review of over 100 active investigations involving hundreds of properties, million-dollar assets, and dozens of suspects in various stages of prosecution and investigation. He regularly briefed senior officials on highly sensitive and complex cases being handled. Eric played a pivotal role as the deciding official in determining whether an investigation has prosecutorial merit to be approved and forwarded to the United States Attorney's Office for prosecution. Eric worked in partnership with various federal and local organizations throughout the course of investigations, including ATF, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Postal Service (USPS), Montgomery County, Prince Georges County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Annapolis City and the Maryland State of Fire Marshal’s Office. He investigated various cases, such as murder, arson for profit, houses of worship, suspected domestic terrorist, and intentional and accidental explosions. He led efforts in facilitating and implementing training within United States Attorney’s Offices, FBI Academy, Baltimore County Police, State Prosecutors, and countless local agencies. Prior to becoming a supervisor, Eric served for six years as the CFI Program Manager at the ATF Fire Research Laboratory (FRL) in Beltsville, MD. In this capacity, Eric served as the conduit between the ATF National Laboratory Center (i.e., scientists and engineers) and the field ATF CFIs, their state and local counterparts (including homicide detectives, fire investigators, federal and/or state prosecutors). He was the gatekeeper for all property submitted for full-scale reconstruction or scientific fire data analysis testing. Prior to becoming a CFI Program Manager at the FRL, Eric served for 10 years as the Senior Special Agent/CFI for the ATF Washington Field Division. He led a multi-agency task force in charge of responding to major fire and/or explosives scenes within the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. Eric provided technical support, analysis, and assistance to ATF and its State and local partners. He organized, coordinated, and executed extremely complex, delicate and high-risk warrant service, undercover support, invasive arrests, and other law enforcement operations. He provided expert input in the planning and coordination of tactical operations, including organizing intelligence and evidence, selecting equipment, developing tactical deployment plans and personnel management. Eric developed operating procedures, tactical strategies, and contingency plans in support of high-risk operations. Eric developed and maintained working relationships with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. Eric has also served for 6 years on the ATF National Response Team (NRT), which is a highly trained and skilled team of veteran fire and explosives investigators. Eric has responded to scores of fire and explosives scenes across the country including the terrorist attack on the Pentagon in 2001.