Nine years after she was abducted, raped and tortured, Elizabeth Smart will finally get a chance to stand up to her attacker at his sentencing hearing scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, 2011. This will be her first opportunity to publically confront 57 year old Brian David Mitchell, the street preacher who was convicted of the brutal crimes against the then juvenile. Mitchell faces a possible life sentence-a sentence which has been strongly recommended by federal prosecutors in US District Court.
Because Mitchell transported Smart over state lines in which to perpetuate his crimes against her, the case was handled by federal authorities. Field agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) meticulously worked on the Smart case and finally their hard work paid off with the arrest of Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. Barzee struck a deal with prosecutors which reduced her sentence to 15 years in exchange for her testimony against Mitchell.
The FBI investigates crimes of this nature when offenders transport the victim from one state to another (or over several states) in the commission of the crime. The agent most credited with locating the missing girl is Agent Mick Fennerty who bypassed agency channels in order to get the needed pictures to the Washington FBI office so they could be aired on “America’s Most Wanted.” His efforts caused supervisors to take him off the case; however, it was his actions that created the leads necessary to capture Mitchell two weeks later-a capture that also insured the safe return of Smart to her home and family. He was a driving force in the prosecution of Smart’s attacker and helped her find her voice in court.
FBI agents secure our nation by enforcing over 300 federal statutes across the country. Some of the areas of investigation for FBI special agents include white collar crimes, counter-terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking, civil rights violations, public corruption, organized crime, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, and interstate criminal activity. In order to become an agent with the FBI you must meet the following qualifications:
- At least 23 years old, but younger that 37 at time of appointment
- Minimum of a bachelor’s degree
- Three years professional work experience
- Valid driver’s license
- Ability to travel
- Pass a physical and mental evaluation
- Clean criminal background check
- Successful complete the FBI Agent training program
- Individuals that meet one of the needed critical skills areas are given priority
A career with the FBI can be very challenging and rewarding. As an agent, you are charged with the formidable task of keeping the country safe from harms both domestic and foreign. Read more about how to become an FBI Agent.