Meet the Special Agent in Charge

Official photo of Special Agent in Charge Celinez NunezCelinez Nunez was appointed to the position of Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in November 2016. SAC Nunez is responsible for ATF operations throughout Illinois and the Northern Judicial District of Indiana, with executive oversight of approximately 180 special agents, industry operations investigators, intelligence research specialists, task force officers and support staff.  Under her administration, the Chicago office of ATF will continue to successfully disrupt and dismantle some of the most violent street gang factions and illicit firearms trafficking networks in Chicago and expand partnerships with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. 

ATF is a key law enforcement agency within the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products. The men and women of ATF perform the dual responsibilities of enforcing federal criminal laws and regulating the firearms and explosives industries to protect against crime, violence, and other threats to public safety.

Ms. Nunez began her law enforcement career as an ATF special agent in 1999 in the Chicago Field Division. As a special agent in Chicago, she worked on investigations focusing on violent crime, firearms trafficking and gang cases on the north side of Chicago.

In 2005, she transferred to the Miami Field Division where she was located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Ms. Nunez partnered with federal, state, and local law enforcement to identify the organizational structure of the Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO) and worked firearms and narcotics trafficking cases, where multi-defendant conspiracies were developed and federally prosecuted. Nunez was appointed as the Resident Agent in Charge in San Juan in 2009. She aggressively and proactively targeted the DTO enterprises as a whole, and focused on complex federal violations.

Ms. Nunez transferred to ATF Headquarters in Washington, DC, in 2012, where she was the Special Operations Division-Enforcement Support Branch Chief. She also led DOJ’s ESF-13 Disaster Response Team as the Deputy Chief and responded to and managed significant critical incidents throughout the United States.

In 2014, Ms. Nunez was named as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle Field Division where she managed ATF’s criminal enforcement operations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam. She was instrumental in the development of Seattle’s first Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC).  The Center then successfully collaborated with the Seattle Police Department, Washington State Patrol and Washington Department of Corrections to establish the Puget Sound Regional Crime Gun Task Force (PSRCGTF) which combats violent gun crime, determines the sources of crime guns, and identifies suspects. The immediate results were successful in linking of violent firearms crimes, reducing unsolved gun cases, and developing new leads in what were once classified as “dead end” cases.

Ms. Nunez holds a Master’s degree in Safety Security and Leadership from George Washington University. She is a native of the Chicago area and received a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from St. Xavier University in 1998.

Last Reviewed August 3, 2017