Law Enforcement Expert John Iannarelli: Five True FBI Stories That Sound Like Sitcom Plots

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Shows like ‘Brooklynn 99’ paint the world of law enforcement as a wacky series of misadventures, and while the FBI likes to maintain an air of cool professionalism, sometimes the Bureau’s cases can be closer to sitcom plots than anyone might guess.

John Iannarelli, author of the book Disorderly Conduct: The Oddities of My 20-Year Life As an FBI Special Agent (2021, Indie Books International), showcases the lighter side of the FBI through his memoirs, the stories he says agents like himself cherish more than the types of cases that generally get media coverage.

“While most law enforcement matters are deadly serious, there’s another side to the job that every cop, agent, trooper, investigator, and detective knows is humorous,” says Iannarelli. “When we sat around after work in bars and at barbecues, it wasn’t the serious work we reminisced about. The conversation always turned to hilarious moments of who did what and to whom.”

Iannarelli served for more than 20 years as an FBI Special Agent, and was also the Bureau’s national spokesperson, and is well acquainted with high profile cases. His investigative work included the Oklahoma City Bombing, the 9/11 attack, the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the Sony hack, numerous bank robberies, kidnappings, and other assorted crimes.

While the images of the ultra-serious and ultra-cool FBI agent and the hardened, bloodthirsty criminal are real, Iannarelli also found humor and relatability in the quirks and eccentricities of his colleagues and suspects alike.

“Ask anyone in law enforcement, “What do you like best about your job?” and they won’t tell you it was solving crimes, catching criminals, or putting bad guys in jail,” muses Iannarelli. “They’ll tell you it was the people they worked with—which is code for funny stories about what someone did or how they screwed up.”

Here are some highlights of some of the zanier stories Iannarelli and his colleague’s got up to, some of which sound more like scenes from a ‘Naked Gun’ film than real life:

The time that an FBI agent triggered an exploding dye pack in the middle of the bank.

For some reason, this dye pack — filled with a red chemical dye and tear gas– didn’t detonate when the robber fled the bank. While agents were investigating, one of the squad agents walked inside the bank and said, “Hey, look what I found.” He had a wad of cash. “I found this in the parking lot.” BOOM!

The time an FBI agent got into a back alley gunfight… with an old refrigerator. He stopped suddenly in his tracks, took a few steps back, and squared off to face the appliance.
“Frost-free my ass,” I imagined the agent thought. Whereupon, the agent drew his service-issued weapon and proceeded to empty his gun into the refrigerator.

The time someone hacked the Super Bowl broadcast to air gay porn during the halftime show. When FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, took an interest in this high-profile hacking, a videoconference was held. During the conference, referring to the length of time the program interruption lasted, an FBI HQ executive asked how long it was.

“About six inches,” I answered instinctively.

The time that a check forger did every step right, except for the very last one. The check forger stepped up to the counter and handed his stolen check to a female teller. She took the check. Looked at it. And stopped. She just stared at the check. It was her check. He’d stolen it from her mailbox.

The time a suspect who came out with his hands up, and everything else hanging out. “No excuses. You are to exit the apartment immediately with your hands in the air. Come out! Come out!” To everyone’s surprise, the 350-pound subject emerged– stark naked. At the sight of this naked, obese hairy fellow I started yelling, “Go back! Go back!”

Iannarelli adds that dispelling some of the myth of the stoic, ultra-serious FBI agent is actually beneficial, humanizing those in the law enforcement profession.  The reality of an agent’s job is not to be standoffish and aloof, but actually to be engaging and personable.

“Whether it’s helping a victim recall specific details or developing rapport with a subject to gain a confession, the ability to communicate with others and treat them with respect is paramount,” he says.

About Indie Books International

Indie Books International ( was founded in 2014 in Oceanside, California. Similar to indie film companies and indie music labels, the mission of Indie Books International is to serve as an independent publishing alternative to help business thought leaders create impact and influence.

Henry DeVries


SOURCE John Iannarelli