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Retired Federal Agent, Bestselling Author To Speak At SHSU

Feb. 20, 2014
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt, Kelli Arena, Emily Binetti

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He says his government—the same government he risked his life for while working as an undercover agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—betrayed him.

Jay DobynsJay “Jaybird” Dobyns, as he is known in the law enforcement community, had been working undercover with the notorious Hells Angels biker gang for two years when his true identity was exposed.

His life, as well as those of his wife and children, were put at risk, as a hit list with his name on it reportedly circulated through the prison system, soliciting groups including the Aryan Brotherhood and the MS-13 gang.

When he needed the government the most, he says, it turned its back on him.

Dobyns will discuss those experiences on March 4 as part of the Sam Houston State University Global Center for Journalism and Democracy spring speaker series.

His presentation, “Raising Hell,” will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Dance Theater.

Dobyns has said he was betrayed by the very agency he served because ATF management failed to take reasonable measures to protect him and his family from numerous validated threats and attempted murders.

As the ATF allegedly continued to ignore his pleas for protection, Dobyns said his only hope was to turn whistleblower and his only ally was the press, so in 2007, while still in hiding, he told his story to CNN reporter Kelli Arena, now executive director for SHSU’s GCJD.

Dobyns has since filed a $22 million dollar lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for breach of contract. Closing arguments in that case were heard on Feb. 18.

“This has been what is characterized as a law enforcement horror story," Dobyns said when leaving the courthouse.

Dobyns in front of Hell's Angels banner
Dobyns, while working undercover with the Hells Angels biker gang.

Born in Hammond, Ind., in 1961 and raised in Tucson, Ariz., Dobyns graduated from the University of Arizona in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in public administration.

After college, he decided to become a federal law enforcement agent and was critically injured by deadly criminals within his first few years on the job.

“This decorated agent will share an amazing story with us about successfully infiltrating some of the world’s most violent and illegal criminal enterprises,” Arena said. “He operated among vicious street and prison gangs, gunrunning groups, drug trafficking organizations, bomb makers and home invasion crews.”

In February 2009, Dobyns became a New York Times bestselling author following the release of his book, "No Angel—My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels."

Arena, the first reporter to break the story, will introduce Dobyns on stage at the SHSU campus during the lecture, which is free and open to the public.

For more information, call the GCJD at 936.294.4399.




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