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Faces of Homeland Security: Matthew Baechtle

Matthew Baechtle, Special Agent
ICE, The Hague, Netherlands

Matthew Baechtle, a Special Agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), initiated an investigation that led to the arrest and prosecution of Charles McArthur Emmanual, a.k.a., “Chucky” Taylor, the son of notorious warlord and former Liberian President, Charles Ghankay Taylor. Chucky Taylor headed Liberia’s infamous Anti-Terrorism Unit, which was responsible for the torture and murder of many of his father’s political opponents.

Federal investigations detected Chucky Taylor when he attempted to re-enter the United States presenting a fraudulently obtained U.S. passport. Alongside a team of ICE and FBI agents and Department of Justice prosecutors, Baechtle led an international investigation that culminated in Taylor’s indictment for torture. The charges marked the U.S. government’s first ever use of the torture statute since its 1994 inception.

Chucky Taylor was ultimately charged with five counts of torture, conspiracy to torture and two federal firearm offenses for his role in the torture and murder of several victims in Liberia during his father’s regime. He was convicted on all counts and sentenced to 97 years in prison.

In 2010, Baechtle received the ICE Director’s Excellence in Law Enforcement Award for his work on this investigation.

Special Agent Baechtle works in the ICE Attaché Office in The Hague, Netherlands, where he acts as a liaison to ICE’s foreign partners in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Nigeria. He is one of ICE Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) 7,000 criminal investigators who target transnational criminal enterprises seeking to exploit America’s legitimate trade, travel, and financial systems. HSI investigators also enforce customs and immigration laws at and beyond our nation’s borders. Last year, HSI made 34,251 criminal arrests.

Last Published Date: March 5, 2013
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