1974-1979: SA Sayles worked primarily (UC), and other enforcement assignments, in Phoenix, New York City (NYC), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, New Orleans and Mississippi accomplishing many “Noteworthy-Firsts”, assisted by his Senior Partner, Fred Eisele and in concert with an African American UC, Case Agent, Mary Buckley: (A) purchase (1.8 pounds) 98% pure Heroin San Francisco Chinatown; (B) delivery (fronting) $50,000 cash to a top NYC drug lord, Robert Stepney, in New Orleans; taking receipt and arresting Stepney (2) weeks later of ½ Kilogram of Heroin in NJ; (C) attending 40th birthday party, Time Life Building Penthouse-NYC, for infamous NYC drug lord Nicky Leroy Barnes “Mr. Untouchable”.
1975 Operation Broad Base: SA Sayles was detailed for 90 days, with (8) other African Americans, (1) Latino male, female Agents assigned only to make UC purchases of drugs in NYC; which SA Sayles, and his partner, Vernon Ankton , did so exclusively in Harlem.
1979: SA Sayles assumed his first overseas assignment, Islamabad Pakistan Office, American Embassy, in Nov., as Assistant Country Attaché (ACA). The night before departing NYC, SA Sayles’ briefcase, containing a 9mm handgun, diplomatic passport, varied government- personal identifications, credit cards, keys and trench coat was stolen from his government vehicle in Harlem. SA Sayles and another Junior Agent, SA Lewis Rice, returned alone after midnight, jeopardizing their safety and careers, while identifying the thieves, and others involved, resulting in the return of ALL property, except the trench coat, within 48 hours.
November 21: (2) weeks after arriving at Islamabad and (3) weeks after the U.S. Embassy in Tehran Iran was attacked; with 50 plus Americans taken hostages, the U.S. Embassy Islamabad was attacked; set on fire killing (1) US Army Warrant Officer, (2) Pakistani Embassy employees, a US Marine by gun fire and trapping 90 remaining employees, including ACA Sayles and DEA Country Attaché (CA) Claude Powers, as the Embassy burned for (7) hours. ACA Sayles and CA Powers received the US Attorney General’s highest award for heroism and valor while assisting (4) US Marines inside the Embassy; saving the lives of ALL trapped with only 15 minutes of air left.
1980-1981: SA Sayles was reassigned to DEA Headquarters as a Staff Coordinator and Watch Officer, El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), respectively.
1981-1984: SA Sayles was assigned to the DEA Office, American Embassy, Brasília Brazil, as ACA, where again encountering violence his first (2) weeks when attacked by a group of Taxi Cab drivers, with tire irons and a gun, with one firing a bullet into the (clothing) stomach area of SA Sayles as he defended a US State Department employee illegally parked in a Taxi NO parking zone. Ultimately, SA Sayles’ most significant accomplishment was the capture of DEA fugitive Jose Antonio Fernandez and then discovering, cataloging hundreds of documents used successfully in Florida by DEA to seize the Sunshine State Bank, a Vero Beach FL Mansion, other properties, assets and initiation of Operation Grouper, Miami Task Force 330, Financial Investigation, as ACA Sayles remained in Basil. Prior to Fernandez’s return to Florida, US State, Justice Departments failed to timely submit extradition papers for his return. ACA Sayles researched, finding a legal loophole and coordinated with Brazilian authorities for Fernandez’s explosion, via a Brazilian commercial aircraft, insisting that he be arrested only after exiting the aircraft onto US soil versus attempts by US authorities to take custody within the aircraft upon landing; thus preventing a legal loophole for defense by Fernandez.
1984 -1995: SA Sayles assumed promotions, re-assignments, respectively, to Group Supervisor (GS-14) New Orleans; Special Assistant (SPA) to the Special Agent in Charge (SAC)-DEA Training, co-located with FBI Training, FBI Academy; Associate Deputy Assistant Administrator (ADAA-GM-15), Office Of Information Systems-DEA Headquarters; Executive Secretary (EXS) to the Career Board-DEA Headquarters; and Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) -Chicago.
SPA: SA Sayles recommended to SAC Robert Bryden, the construction of buildings allowing for Trainees to do vehicle, foot surveillances and arrests at the Academy versus driving to Washington DC; where local police continually complained of disruptions. SAC Bryden convinced FBI officials to finance the project, assigning SA Sayles and two (2) FBI Agents for development of what became “Hogan’s Alley”; a complex for realistic drug, bank robbery and other enforcement training. SA Sayles was promoted ADAA prior to completion and subsequently reassigned to EXS.
EXS: SA Sayles expanded administrative input to Senior DEA Leadership on the Career Board, resulting in female SA’s being assigned to overseas posts; first female, non Agent, promoted to Senior Executive Service (SES) rank; more Latino, African American Agents considered, promoted to Supervisory positions and overseas posts other then Latin American or the Caribbean, respectively.
Member of “Segar Committee”: Simultaneously, SA Sayles was selected by the plaintiff class to be a member of the monitoring committee, know as “Segar Committee”, mandated by a Federal Court, to ensure equality of promotions, assignments and other areas of employment; specifically, for African American Agents. SA Sayles, in a somewhat precarious position as the EXS and Member of the plaintiff class in the “Segar” lawsuit, balanced both assignments focusing on equality for ALL employees.
1990-1995-ASAC-Chicago: ASAC Sayles and GS Richard D. Barrett personally located a non-DEA Contractor in Florida to develop a Barrett proposed pass containing a long-range voice monitor (“bug”). ASAC Sayles and GS Barrett, subsequently spent two (2) years partnering with a key Illinois prison Executive, implementing issuance of visitors’ passes (without the monitor) throughout the Illinois State prison system and ultimately, selected passes with monitors capturing for the first time, elusive conversations of incarcerated gang leader, Larry Hoover-Black Gangster Disciplines, overseeing hundreds on the outside dealing drugs and committing murders. The “bugged” passes led to the first successful Federal arrest, transfer of Hoover from Illinois State to Federal Prison and subsequently Federal prosecution after years of failure to do so by DEA and other Federal agencies. ASAC Sayles and GS Barrett were reassigned, promoted to Panama and DEA Headquarters, respectively, before successful conclusion of Hoover’s prosecution.
1996-1998-Senior Narcotics Liaison Officer (SNLO): SA Sayles was selected personally by DEA Administrator Thomas Constantine to re-establish severed operational, intelligence efforts DEA and the US Army Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), headquartered Panama City Panama; with assignment to the personal staffs of US Army Generals Barry McCafferty and Wesley Clark (US Presidential Candidate), respectively; SA Sayles performance resulted in permanent restoration of the SNLO to SOUTHCOM.
1998-1999: SA Sayles successfully studied Turkish language at Department of State for assignment as Country Attaché, Ankara Turkey. However, was promoted to Senior Executive Service (SES) instead.
1999-2001-(SES) Lima Peru: SA Sayles performed as SES, Country Attaché Lima Peru Office before being reassigned to FBI Headquarters as a SES Section Chief in a newly created position in the Intelligence Division to enhance DEA/FBI drug intelligence.
2001-2003 DEA Deputy Assistant Administrator (DAA) DEA Headquarters: SA was promoted to DAA, newly created permanent position in the Intelligence Division; overseeing day-to-day operations of 900 employees worldwide before retiring in December 2003.
Languages Spoken: SA Sayles received State Department language training, speaking Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish, while learning conversational Urdu on his own. He also received numerous, varied awards for outstanding, exceptionally noteworthy performances.
Retirement 2003: SA Sayles retired after 35 ½ years of law enforcement (30-DEA; 5 ½ Denver Police officer, Detective) and makes presentations (re: Attack on American Embassy Pakistan) to DEA employees and families assigned overseas; as well as State, local, Federal agencies, Crime Commissions and Universities, upon request, for historical purposes; leadership, motivational and/or training. SA Sayles, a former Marine, also spends time traveling, taking digital photographs with his wife Frances (of 37 years), Giant Schnauzer dog, primarily to New York City and other cities along the Northeastern Coast.