St. Louis FBI Leader Steps Down

The leading federal crime fighter in the St. Louis region has stepped down, KMOX reports.

Special Agent in Charge Dennis L. Baker put in his last day on Friday, having reached the bureau's mandatory retirement age of 57.

Baker took over the St. Louis Division in November of 2010 after his predecessor, Roland Corvington, stepped down to become the public safety director for Saint Louis University.

A native of Oklahoma, Baker had served in the FBI since 1988, moving between North Carolina, Washington, Phoenix and Sacremento before taking the reins in St. Louis. Prior to his appointment he'd investigated violent crime, bank robberies, drugs and cybercrime, and he worked on international terrorism operations as a supervisory special agent in the Counter Terrorism Division at FBI Headquarters. Before joining the bureau he was a police officer for the Tulsa Police Department. He also majored in English at the University of Tulsa, thought about joining academia and is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association.

KMOX reports that Tom Metz has been appointed interim special agent in charge.

During his tenure in St. Louis Baker took over high-profile cases such as the ATM Solutions heist -- the largest armed robbery in St. Louis history -- and the conviction of a Somali national who pleaded guilty to funneling money to the terrorist organization al-Shabaab.

Last year Baker told St. Louis magazine: "St. Louis has a great reputation. From the headquarters perspective, you can look at the 56 field divisions, and St. Louis is known because they have a great reputation in this community for law enforcement working together, sharing information. For a combination of reasons--maybe it's historic; I haven't quite figured it out--it seems like all of the law-enforcement agencies here work well together."

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