- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - An FBI agent in New York has been accused of keeping in touch with an informant after their professional relationship ended and then claiming that he “squashed” a drug trafficking investigation involving the source, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday.

William H. Shirk III, 37, surrendered Wednesday to face charges of using a confidential FBI database without authorization. He was released without bail and suspended without pay.

The complaint in Manhattan federal court accused Shirk of using the database without permission to gather information about the informant, who was not unidentified. The complaint said Shirk then told the informant about an anonymous tip given to the FBI and claimed that he had “squashed” a money-laundering investigation involving the source by the FBI and the Miami-Dade Police Department.

It said Shirk’s professional relationship with the informant had ended in the summer of 2005, but Shirk later asked the source for tickets to football games, which the two attended together.

Shirk also was accused of using the FBI database to track a corruption investigation from his old job in the FBI’s Tucson, Ariz., office even though he had been warned by superiors to stay away from the case.

The complaint alleged that he tried to recruit a potential target of that probe to “work for him as a confidential informant in New York.”

A message left with his attorney was not immediately returned Wednesday.

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