NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced that Andrew McLees has been selected to assume command as the agency's top investigator in New Jersey.
McLees was the acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Newark; the announcement confirms his permanent posting to this position.
As special agent in charge, McLees supervises HSI operations throughout the Garden State. Encompassing the area of responsibility includes one major international airport and the metro area seaports. McLees manages more than 200 employees and is responsible for supervising investigations involving more than 400 criminal and administrative statutes in the federal code.
"Mr. McLees is a superb HSI special agent and leader," said James Dinkins, executive associate director of HSI. "His experience throughout his law enforcement career will enable him to continue leading HSI investigations and operations in New Jersey while protecting our homeland and communities from transnational criminal organizations."
"My selection as the special agent in charge for HSI Newark provides me an extraordinary opportunity to work with our cadre of special agents as they continue to enforce the HSI mission to protect our homeland." said McLees. "HSI will continue to be in the forefront of premier investigations and work with all of our law enforcement partners as we address the threats facing New Jersey."
McLees was born and raised in Philadelphia and holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from LaSalle University and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University. McLees began his law enforcement career in 1989 as a special agent with the legacy U.S. Customs Service in Newark. From 1998 to 2002 he worked at their headquarters, where he held several key positions, including special assistant to the commissioner. In 2006, McLees was named assistant special agent in charge for HSI Philadelphia. In 2008, he served as the chief of staff for the director of ICE during the U.S. presidential transition. He fulfilled that role until May 2009, when he became the deputy special agent in charge in Philadelphia.
HSI investigates a wide range of domestic and international activities arising from the illegal movement of people and goods including: human trafficking and smuggling; smuggling of narcotics, weapons and other types of contraband; financial crimes like money laundering and wire fraud; and child predator, counterfeiting and immigration crime.