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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Missing FBI Agent Stephen Ivens and Accused Child Porn Ex-Agent Donald Sachtleben: A Connection?

     Most of the comments directed at my blog about the May 11, 2012 disappearance of FBI agent Stephen Ivens take issue with my opinion that Ivens, who is still missing, walked into the Verdugo Mountains near his Burbank, California home to kill himself. The 35-year-old agent, a former Los Angeles police officer, had been in the bureau three years, and worked counterterrorism cases out of the Los Angeles field division. According to reports, the agent had been struggling with depression, and left his house carrying his service revolver.

     The blog commentators who consider my theory of Stephen Ivens' disappearance the height of naivete (or worse), believe he has been the victim of foul play. They think Agent Ivens was murdered, and that his killing is connected to his work in the FBI. One of the commentators also believes there is a connection between the Ivens case and the arrest, on the day Ivens disappeared, of a former FBI agent named Donald Sachtleben.

Donald Sachtleben

     On January 9, 2012, investigators with the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children task force searched two computers in Rosco, Illinois owned by a man who admitted trading child pornography via email with people all over the country. One of the porn exchanges involved a person with the email address pedodave69@yahoo.com (why would anyone include the letters "pedo" in their email address?). The last known IP address for pedodave69 belonged to Donald John Sachtleben, a 54-year-old former FBI agent. Sachtelben lived with his wife in Carmel, Indiana, a town just northeast of Indianapolis.

     Donald Sachtleben left the bureau in 2008 after a 25-year career as an explosives specialist and bomb scene investigator. Special Agent Sachtleben had worked on a number of high-profile cases including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the terrorist attack on the USS Cole in 2000, and the crash of Flight 93 in central Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. He also led the team that processed unabomber Ted Kacznski's Lincoln, Montana cabin where the schizophrenic manufactured his package bombs. After leaving the FBI, Sachtleben became a visiting professor and Director of Training at the Oklahoma State University for Improvised Explosives Research and Training Center.

     On May 11, 2012, the day Stephen Ivens left his house in Burbank never to be seen again, FBI agents and officers with the Indiana State Police showed up at Sachtleben's house with a federal warrant to search his computers. The former agent had just returned home from the Indianapolis airport.

     On Sachtleben's computers, the searchers discovered 30 images and video files of child pornography featuring girls under the age of 12. Sachtleben's wife told the officers she had no knowledge of her husband's possession of this kind of material. FBI agents took Sachtleben into custody. That night he was incarcerated in the Marion County Jail.

     The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana charged the former FBI agent with the federal crime of possession and distribution of child pornography. If convicted, Sachtleben faces up to 20 years on the distribution count, and an additional 10 years on the possession charge. He could also be fined up to $250,000. At his arraignment on May 15, Sachtleben, in custody without bail, pleaded not guilty to both charges. He resigned his position at Oklahoma State University.

     So, how are Stephen Ivens and Donald Sachtleben connected? They couldn't have worked together at the FBI because when Ivens became an agent in Los Angeles in 2009, Sachtleben had already retired from the Indianapolis office. While there is obviously a lot I don't know about these two men, the fact Ivens disappeared on the day agents arrested Sachtleben doesn't convince me these two men, and the events involving them, are related.

     Conspiracy buffs are adept at weaving coincidences into foul play and intrigue, especially when the federal government is involved. Instead of connecting the dots, people with active imaginations and a taste for spy v. spy scenarios, create their own dots. Of course anything is possible, and if I'm wrong about this I will be quick to admit it. Although I'm a former FBI agent myself, I've never carried water for the bureau. (See: "FBI: Tarnished Badges," January 3, 2012.)


  1. OK, maybe no connection.. but after the huge public announcement about the massive manhunt on May 13... can you explain why not a peep about it was ever heard again? According to his wife's Facebook page, he is still missing.

  2. There's been nothing in the news, I guess, because they haven't found Ivens. Although, I must admit, that not finding him after all of this time should be a story in itself.

  3. riddle me this

    ivens, bishop, chan

  4. FBI agents are brilliant and high level educated person. They are working knowledge to soul every problem of the customers.


  5. What is David Richy writing about? I can't figure it out!

  6. On May 11, 2012 Russian Envoy Vladimir Vinokurov, the Consulate General of San Francisco, was approached near his hotel room during a visit to Los Angles by an agent of the United States FBI identifying himself as Stephen Ivens, who warned that he and a former FBI agent named Donald Sachtleben had uncovered evidence of an impending terror attack on US soil. Before Ivens was able to finish his "message", three American Diplomatic Security Agents, who trail all Russian diplomats in the US, began to "surge" towards Ivens causing him to flee, return to his home in Burbank, whereupon he then fled into the rugged Verdugo Mountains, after which a massive manhunt for him ensued involving 100 FBI agents, 40 sherriff's department rescuers, and a dozen local police officers. Acording to media reports, the manhunt failed to find any trace of Ivens.

  7. Having lived in Burbank at the base of the Verdugo Mtns since the early 90's, I too find it interesting that nothing at all has turned up. That is an urban and popular mountain area. Lots of homes, trails, bike paths. The fact he disappeared completely and the story died fast, should indeed be the story.

    The website reporting the Russian storyline is pretty out there - a very strange website -interesting theory though.

    My guess, they found him and the result was not good for him. As to who "they" are...I have no idea nor do I ever want to find out. 152 total law enforcement personnel head to the mountains to find a depressed guy? Nah, they wanted that agent found and found fast.

  8. FBI agent Steven Ivens who had worked for the Los Angeles Police Department in counterterrorism for many years before joining the Bureau three years ago in Burbank, especially since the airport had its own police force which needed to be informed about what was afoot, and what its feedback was. Seems Ivens was well informed about the airport’s problems, and the potential that Sukhoi sales had in solving them. Ivens may have even heard about this from licensed pilot, and sales consultant Peter Adler who, though he lived in central California’s Oakley, was often on the scene for flights and possible purchases. Adler was a most affable fellow who made friends most easily, and would talk their ears off about what he was doing.

    Of course, Boeing was quite aware of what was going on, and took steps to stop it. As Britain and France had helped it and themselves in the crash of the Tupolev Tu-144, it was now Washington’s turn to put Russian aviation back in its place. Seems that the plane’s air conditioning system was sabotaged, either to break down while in flight or start emitting smoke which would understandably alarm any potential buyers on a demonstration flight - what Adler was scheduled to do on May 9th for Indonesian Sriwinjaya Airlines as a pilot and consultant.

    As with most plots though, things did not happen just as planned. When the cabin started smoking up, the pilot asked immediately the air traffic controllers to descend from 10,000 feet to 6,000 feet, and they simply left the decision up to him. He continued the flight plan at that attitude until the plane crashed into the volcano, Mount Salak - a notorious danger, and in an almost impenetrable environment – killing all 45 passengers on board.

    When the full passenger manifest was released the next day, Agent Ivens, who had been becoming increasingly depressed about what might occur, was shocked to see that Adler was one of the victims.The news made Ivens recall some of the rumors that had been flying around about the demonstrations, and since Adler was an innocent American, Ivens decided to contact former Bureau agent Donald Sachtleben about what he thought about the alleged accident. Sachtleben had a long history of investigating such incidents, going all the way back to the Unibomber’s smoke bomb attacks on American carriers, and culminating with the 9/11 attacks in which thousands of Americans were needlessly killed. They arranged to meet on the morning of May 11th to discuss the matter further.

    The only trouble was that the National Security Agency (NSA) picked up the conversation, and its Special Collection Services (SPS) apparently arranged the fixing of the problem. It is the continuing service that William King Harvey started for the CIA’s Division D to carry out assassinations, and the only real change is that it has much more sophisticated electronic equipment for locating targets. In this case, SPS agents seem to have kidnapped Ivens while on his way to meet Sachtleben, and then took him to the mountains nearby where he was kept until he could be killed, and his body placed where it could finally be found. Sachtleben, not knowing what had happened to Ivens, finally made his way back to Indianapolis where he was arrested by police when he returned home for possessing child pornography on his computers – what NSA had also located.

    To put the icing on the cake, The Bureau and agents of the Diplomatic Service played a charade where stand-ins for Ivens and Sachtleben acted out a little scene for the benefit of the Russians’ Chief Consul in San Francisco Vladimir Vinokuro while he was staying in an L.A. hotel. The stand-ins acted as if they were reporting a domestic act of terrorism in which the perpetrators were “all insane”, and then the alleged Ivens ran off to the hills where the authorities were warning the public that he is armed, and possibly dangerous.

    The stand-in for Sachtleben simply disappeared, along with all the evidence about what really happened to the Sukhoi Super Jet 100.