Articles

Accounting Professor and Former FBI Special Agent Kerry Myers Provides Security for Relief Trip to Puerto Rico

By Keith Morelli

Group ready to go to Puerto Rico

TAMPA (November 28, 2017) -- When the "Flight of Hope" was being planned to bring 23,000 pounds of much needed supplies to hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico earlier this month, a security officer was needed. So they asked around and settled on ... an accounting professor at the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy.

Seems a bit unusual, but not so for Kerry Myers. The clinical professor who teaches forensic accounting and business law is a former FBI agent who is authorized to carry a firearm in Puerto Rico. So, he volunteered to undertake the 12-hour job of security for the Nov. 16 trip.

"Approximately 20 volunteers took a chartered jet loaded with 200 generators, water filtration systems, medical supplies and pharmaceuticals to the western end of Puerto Rico," Myers said. "I was requested to provide security for the flight and the ground team."

The flight departed at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 16 and arrived at the Aguadilla Airport just over four hours later. The cargo was unloaded and a medical team who made the flight provided a free health-care clinic in the community and distributed medical supplies and pharmaceuticals to local medical facilities.

Refugees boarded for the 5:30 p.m. return flight.

"We loaded 44 Puerto Rican residents in need of critical medical care," Myers said. "These were passengers suffering from health issues like heart failure, cancer, kidney failure and neonatal pediatric problems. They were in need of advanced medical care and had family in the Tampa Bay area who could provide shelter and support."

The aircraft arrived in Tampa at 8:30 p.m. and by 9 p.m. Myers said, the detail ended.

"It was an honor for me to be invited to be a part of this charity flight," he said. "I cannot think of a better way to start the Thanksgiving season which is all about giving, not receiving."

Though Myers teaches graduate classes on forensic accounting, including topics of white-collar crime, fraud, anti-money laundering and financial investigations, he's well versed in the nitty gritty of law enforcement.

Prior to joining USF, he worked for 25 years as both an attorney and an accountant with the FBI and served on the Tampa Joint Terrorism Task Force. He also was one of the original members of the Tampa Bay Bank Fraud Task Force.

Myers was certified as a bomb technician with the FBI. He worked the Oklahoma City bombing and testified against the bomber Timothy McVeigh and his accomplice, Terry Nichols, during their respective trials. Myers also helped investigate the Centennial Park bombing in Atlanta and the TWA Flight 800 crash off of Long Island Sound.

He received the Federal Law Enforcement Officers' Association Annual Award for Bravery in 2008 for his work in Afghanistan with improvised explosive devices and a Director's Award from then-FBI Director Louis Freeh for leading a national terrorism undercover operation.

"I believe that being a professional includes a civic duty to provide community service to those less fortunate," Myers said. "I was pleased to participate in a charitable operation that could help so many people in dire need of basic necessities such as power, clean water and medical care because of a natural disaster. Another flight is on the drawing board and I am ready to go back again."