St. Louis FBI agent dies suddenly at Florida conference

2012-12-10T15:52:00Z 2012-12-12T11:00:25Z St. Louis FBI agent dies suddenly at Florida conferenceBy Robert Patrick rpatrick@post-dispatch.com 314-621-5154 stltoday.com

ST. LOUIS   •   A St. Louis FBI special agent died suddenly while at a training conference in Florida, the agency said Monday.

Jarrod M. Petrelli died Dec. 6 of natural causes, the agency said, just three days shy of his 35th birthday.

Petrelli, who had been combating violent gangs during his four-year career with the FBI, was attending a gang conference in Boca Raton at the time, they said. An official cause of death has not yet been determined, a spokeswoman said.

Petrelli was lauded by the U.S. Attorney's office in October for leading the two-and-a-half year “Operation Scorpion King,” the FBI said. That investigation  resulted in the indictment of 16 men and women and dismantled a violent heroin trafficking ring in St. Charles and Madison counties, officials said last year.

Petrelli was a police officer before becoming an agent and was also in the U.S. Army Reserves. He worked for four years with the West Palm Beach Police Department, two with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and one year at the Amherst Police Department in his home state of Massachusetts.

“Jarrod was an outstanding agent. Professionally and personally, he was selfless, dedicated, and reliable,” said Tim Feeney, acting head of the St. Louis office, in a prepared statement. Supervisory Special Agent Tom Blades said Petrelli “was an agent devoted to the FBI's mission. He served as a mentor to others and represented the FBI in the highest light. His investigative skills were exemplary and creative.”

Petrelli left behind his wife and their three young daughters. Visitation will be Tuesday and Funeral Mass Wednesday in his home town of Weymouth, Mass. The FBI said that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Petrelli’s memory to the American Heart Association.

Robert Patrick covers federal courts and federal law enforcement for the Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter: @rxpatrick.

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