After 26 years of enforcing federal immigration and customs laws, Newark Special Agent in Charge Terrence S. Opiola is retiring from federal service, effective Sept. 30.
In 1991, Opiola joined the U.S. Customs Service as a special agent, conducting narcotics smuggling, money laundering and commercial fraud investigations. He was based at the former Customs House located at 6 World Trade Center in New York.
During his 26-year career, Opiola rose up the ranks from a special agent, to supervisory special agent, then assistant special agent in charge, and finally special agent in charge. In nearly three decades of service, he amassed vast experience in investigating counter-terrorism and homeland security, financial crimes, narcotics enforcement, counter proliferation, cybercrimes, trade enforcement, transnational gangs, human trafficking/smuggling, identity/benefit fraud and general smuggling.
Prior to his current position, Opiola served as the SAC for ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), Northeast Region. In that capacity, he oversaw investigations of allegations of public corruption, employee criminal and administrative misconduct, ICE detainee sexual assaults, and civil rights violations. At OPR, Opiola was responsible for more than 19 states and approximately 17,000 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees.
Between 2003 and 2010, Opiola held several key investigative leadership positions within ICE OPR’s field and headquarters units, including as the resident agent in charge, JFK International Airport, the deputy assistant director of Investigative Support Unit, and deputy director of Investigations. As deputy director of Investigations, he provided worldwide oversight of workforce integrity investigations, servicing over 75,000 employees and contractors within the Department of Homeland Security.
Opiola has made significant contributions to the agency and HSI Newark and his efforts will not be forgotten. The personnel at HSI Newark thanked Opiola for his service to the country during an office visit Sept. 28, and wished him much success in his retirement.