By the early 1950s, Miami was staffed by more 150 special agents and support personnel. Resident agencies were located in Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Orlando, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Tampa, and West Palm Beach.

The division continued to investigate a wide range of crimes. In 1952, Miami agents apprehended Ten Most Wanted Fugitive George Heroux, who was sought for an alleged bank robbery in Kansas. Clues obtained during the investigation also led to the capture of another Top Ten Fugitive—Gerhard Arthur Puff—in New York.

Because of its proximity to Cuba, the division has long been responsible for liaison (at least before communist revolution in the country in 1959) and cases involving the island nation. In 1950, for example, Lt. Sigfredo Diaz Biart, Chief of the Cuban Bureau of Investigation, visited Miami to observe the Bureau’s firearms training. Later, as revolution brewed, Miami agents thwarted an attempt to deliver stolen government submachine guns to revolutionary forces in Cuba in violation of U.S. neutrality laws.


1960s

During the 1960s, the Miami Division investigated cases of fraud, bribery, extortion, illegal gambling, and theft. A growing number of cases involved Cuba. Whether it was a hijacked plane flown in the direction of Havana or potential terrorist attacks against Cuba from groups operating on American soil—such as the MIRR (the Movimento Insurreccional de Recuperacion Revolucianaria) in 1964 and 1968—the division was kept busy with investigations involving its island neighbor.

In one case, a Bureau agent who was operating undercover prevented a scheme by a Cuban national that involved kidnapping an anti-Castro leader to discredit the United States. The plan was to put the leader in a boat loaded with arms and ammunition. Upon his arrival to Cuba, he would be arrested and charged with directing an invasion against the Cuban people for the U.S. government.

In 1966, the division investigated a case involving another foreign nation. On November 2, the Bureau learned of a plot to destroy a railroad bridge in the Republic of Zambia later that year. An American citizen named Franklin Boyd Thurman had been offered $50,000 as payment for the job. Miami agents located Thurman in a local motel and later uncovered evidence of his plan and associates. Thurman pled guilty, and another defendant was convicted.

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