Government Contractor Arrested, Stealing FBI Vehicle, Attempted To Enter Secure FBI Facility


Image courtesy of US Department of Justice

By Patrick D. Lewis

A government contractor working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been arrested after allegedly stealing an FBI vehicle from the agency’s downtown Washington headquarters, driving to another FBI facility, and trying to gain entrance by claiming to be the agent to whom the vehicle was assigned.

According to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, John Conrad Worrell III, 39, of Virginia has been charged with interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle and stealing government property, both of which are federal crimes. Worrell faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. 

The court filings state that Worrell, employed by an unnamed contracting business and working at the FBI headquarters in D.C., entered a sedan owned by the FBI that was parked in the garage at headquarters around 12:26 pm on February 6, 2024, and drove away in it. Vehicles in the garage are left unlocked with the keys inside to allow staff to move the vehicles as needed due to limited parking, according to an FBI Special Agent in the charging documents. 

Less than an hour later, the agent to whom the vehicle was assigned discovered his car was missing and searched the garage. When he realized it was missing, he notified the FBI Police, the security agency for the FBI responsible for patrolling and protecting FBI facilities, who checked security footage and confirmed the car had been stolen.

That same day, just after 2:00 pm, Worrell drove up to a security checkpoint at a secure FBI facility (which houses FBI counterterrorism offices) in Vienna, Virginia, a 40-minute drive outside of the capital. Worrell showed security officers an FBI ID card belonging to the agent whose car he was driving which he had discovered in a bag left in the car. However, he did not have other required identification and was refused entry.

Worrell then parked in the visitor parking lot of the facility and attempted to gain entry and was again refused. Security officers approached him multiple times requesting identification, and he finally showed them his driver’s license, which, of course, did not match the agent’s name. The officers notified the Town of Vienna Police Department (VPD), and VPD officers arrested Worrell without incident shortly after 3:00 pm. VPD officers searched the car and found a loaded handgun magazine, which also belonged to the agent who owned the car.

VPD officers transferred Worrell to the custody of the FBI Police once they arrived on scene. Worrell, during interviews with FBI agents, admitted to stealing the car and to driving it to Virginia. He told agents that he had received “coded messages,” including emails, whispering, and other communications over the past few weeks telling him that he was in danger; this, Worrell said, led him to seek safety in a secure facility.

The only prior criminal matter in D.C. or Virginia that Worrell was involved in was a citation for driving with an expired registration. However, a court document, submitted by the prosecution, cites his “history and characteristics” as one of several reasons to hold him in jail until trial, but this section is entirely redacted. Another reason, entitled “Danger to the Community,” is also largely redacted. It is not clear why these sections are classified. A representative for the D.C. Department of Corrections said Worrell is no longer being held.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *