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Cactus Field

The Deadly Path

How Operation Fast & Furious and Bad Lawyers Armed Mexican Cartels




“Peter Forcelli is a courageous and experienced American Patriot who worked his way from s street cop in New York City to a Senior Executive in the ATF in Washington. His story highlights one of the critical, systemic issues law enforcement faces as they are trying to protect the public. Federal prosecutors are vital partners and must be committed in working side by side with law enforcement professionals. It's evident the prosecution system failed the taxpayers as criminal networks sent mass amounts of firearms and grenade parts to the deadly Mexican Cartels and operated with impunity.


Derek Maltz,

Special Agent in Charge (ret.),

DEA Special Operations Division


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Peter J. Forcelli is a retired Deputy Assistant Director from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Prior to joining ATF he served for 15 years with the N.Y.P.D., before retiring from the Bronx Homicide Task Force.

He is now an author, public speaker and advocate for law enforcement and government accountability. He is a volunteer at Empower Oversight, a government watchdog organization.


Mr. Forcelli worked his way up from "beat cop" to detective, before going on to serve as a Special Agent for ATF in New York City. There, he rose through the ranks of ATF, eventually becoming a Deputy Assistant Director at the agency. He has made over 1,200 arrests and has served over 300 search warrants in his law enforcement career. He was known for developing complex criminal investigations targeting armed gangs and criminal organizations.


Over the span of his career Mr. Forcelli served in a variety of leadership positions within ATF. He  was a Group Supervisor in Phoenix, Arizona; an Assistant Country Attaché in Eastern Canada; and both an Assistant Special Agent in Charge and eventually the Special Agent in Charge in Miami, Florida.

While serving as the Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Field Division, he oversaw ATF’s response to several mass shootings, including those at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland Florida. He also oversaw ATF’s investigation into Omar Mateen and his acquisition of the firearms that were used in the Pulse Nightclub shooting.


Mr. Forcelli is a survivor of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks on the World Trade Center, and the lung cancer that he later developed because of his work in the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero. 



I have provided presentations to many police, military and corporate organizations on the leadership lessons I have learned and used over the years. The lessons I speak of come from surviving the terror attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and from navigating the complexities of leading in a law enforcement organization though several complex events and investigations, after being a Whistleblower in a Congressional investigation into "Operation Fast and Furious" and several related matters where personal integrity and perseverance prevailed. 

-Law Enforcement, Government and Military Discounts available-

(Contact me at for information about these services)

Peter J Forcelli at the WTC Memorial

Surviving 9/11: Leadership & Resilience

I provide a presentation on the incredible heroism I saw on 9/11 that changed me as both a law enforcement officer and a leader. More importantly, I discuss how living with survivor's guilt shaped the way I made decisions from that day forward, with a focus on treating people right, while also learning how to put self and family in perspective.

Peter J Forcelli at HOGR June 15 2011

Operation Fast & Furious Deep Dive

Most people think that what happened with "Operation Fast and Furious" and some of the related cases was something that could never happen again.  I provide a presentation that describes how it can. The key component required for that to happen is a lack of leadership, particularly when it comes to making tough decisions. Find out why.  

Forcelli at Parkland

Leadership & Executive Coaching

I've had the honor of working with a number of existing and aspiring leaders as a coach. I enjoy helping people learn, not only from the major incidents that I managed or was part of, but from the mistakes I made along the way. Leadership is a journey. Not a destination. Let me help you on that journey.  It would be my honor to do so.

Upcoming Events

  • Mar 05, 2035, 9:00 AM
    My book, "The Deadly Path- The Inside Story of How Operation Fast and Furious Armed Mexican Cartels" will be available for sale here, in bookstores and on Amazon. Signed copies available here only.
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