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Sat, Oct. 19

FBI closes Kingman office

After almost 40 years in Kingman - most notably in the 1995 search of the bombers of an Oklahoma City federal building - the FBI office in Kingman has closed it doors, its two resident agents moving to Lake Havasu City.

The agents and their equipment have already moved into temporary quarters with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency at a government complex in Lake Havasu City.

A permanent location has yet to be determined, FBI Phoenix spokesman Ed Hall said.

"We're trying to consolidate the FBI and DEA to be housed together," Hall said.

"It is a change that's more suitable geographically.

Lake Havasu City is more centrally located."

Hall said the move was because Lake Havasu City is a better location along the Colorado River and nearby Indian reservations.

The FBI's priority have shifted south focusing mainly on organized drug trade along the river and on drugs being brought up from Mexico as well as felonies occurring on the reservations, he said.

The Lake Havasu City office will now cover an area just south of the Grand Canyon to Interstate 10, mainly encompassing Mohave and La Paz counties.

Agents from the Flagstaff FBI office will take over coverage of the Arizona Strip north of the Grand Canyon, he said.

The FBI has been stationed in several Kingman locations since 1962, manned mostly by agent Laird Hiestand until 1995.

Kingman agents covered Mohave County from the Utah border to just north of Parker Dam, Hall said.

Most recently they have been housed in a non-descript little office off Stockton Hill Road wedged in between a bookkeeper's office and a beauty salon, he said.

At its height of activity for several months after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P.

Murrah building, as many as 40 agents were stationed in Kingman in their search for former Kingman residents Timothy McVeigh and Michael Fortier, both convicted for their roles in the bombing that took the lives of 168 people and injuring more than 500, Hall said.

If needed locally in the future, agents could work out of either the Mohave County Sheriff's Office or at the Kingman Police Department.

Besides drug enforcement on federal lands like the reservations, the FBI also handled fraud cases, bank robberies and fugitive searches, he said.

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