Member Of President’s Secret Service Detail Found Dead

Well, you don’t read a story like this every day:

A member of the president’s Secret Service protective detail, who was being investigated for having an unreported romantic relationship with a foreign national, was found dead Saturday in an apparent suicide, according to law enforcement sources.

The official cause of Rafael Prieto’s death is still pending.

The investigation had led to the suspension of his access to Secret Service facilities, according to sources familiar with the case.

The Secret Service does not believe that Prieto passed any sensitive or classified information to the Mexican woman, according to a senior law enforcement official. Instead, Prieto was in the midst of an “administrative process” related to his ongoing relationship, the source said.

A well-liked veteran of the agency, Prieto may have violated security policy by not disclosing his close and continuing contact with the Mexican woman to his bosses, sources familiar with the probe said.

There has been a crackdown on such relationships in the wake of the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia earlier this year and ensuing reports of similar behavior in other places around the world over the course of many years.

If found guilty of violating Secret Service disclosure policy, Prieto could have faced sanctions including dismissal. In the past, the alleged affair might have garnered a slap on the wrist, according to the law enforcement source. But the prostitution scandal has heightened sensitivity to unauthorized contact with foreign nationals not only at the Secret Service but at the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the men and women who protect the president.

“Rafael Prieto had a distinguished 20-year career with the Secret Service that was marked by accomplishment dedication and friendships,” Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said. “The Secret Service is mourning the loss of a valued colleague.”

Prieto was married, but he and his wife had separated and she had moved back to New York at some point.

The most logical assumption here would be, sadly, that Prieto took his own life. However, that hasn’t been confirmed yet and the who “unreported foreign contact” angle certainly does add something to the story.

Update: The Associated Press is reporting that the death was an apparent suicide.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Obama is clearly behind the death of this selfless servant of sacrifice… (sarcasm)

    For the record? I am sorry for the loss of a human life.

  2. Janis Gore says:

    This sounds like a sad story. Maybe he’d been walking “The Appalachian Trail.”

  3. Anderson says:

    Vince Foster 2.0. Cue the flying monkeys.

  4. Scott O says:

    My thought exactly.

  5. WhiteFalcon1 says:

    If he was working 9/11/12, he didn’t ‘commit’ anything, more like had suicide committed ON him, huh?

  6. Arnonerik says:

    Because of the Obama administration’s record of lies and cover-ups, it is prudent to view everything they do and say, along with everything that happens, with a deep distrust. After seeing the White House go to extreme lengths to avoid political embaressment and Obama’s back door methods in trying to mold public opinion, it would not shock me to learn that this Secret Service Agent was murdered to avoid further scandle that reflects badly on Obams’s leadership (or lack there of).
    It is sad that so many Americans feel this way about Obama but he has earned our suspicions of his character, motives and actions.

  7. J-Dub says:

    @Arnonerik: Get back on your meds.

  8. History Channel spokesman says:

    It was aliens, or possibly Reptilians or whatever the Mayor of Crazy Town Arnonerik said.

  9. Arnonerik says:

    “Fast and Furious” and “Ben-Ghazi cover-up” are prime examples of the fact that people died while Obama lied. Some can’t see beyond their partisan blindness. I hope Obama’s hands are clean on this one, but as I said, I won’t be shocked to learn they are not.

  10. Janis Gore says:

    Sanford loved the Argentinian, you know.

  11. Janis Gore says:

    Why can’t I find my Pablo Neruda?

  12. Janis Gore says:

    And where is my Baudelaire?

  13. Janis Gore says:

    I’m serious. I can’t find the books. They should be here.

  14. Janis Gore says:

    Never mind. They were in the bird room.

  15. John Dodd says:

    Agent Rafael Prieto’s suicide is just the very tip of Secret Service scandals. A Baltimore law firm has very forcefully threatened me with “SEVERE CONSEQUENCES” if I tell anyone anything about any of the racketeering and corporate espionage crimes planned, directed and carried out by retired high-level USSS agents. Watch the 8/23/12 CNBC “Crime Inc. SECRETS FOR SALE”, google “In the Crosshairs of Justice–Corporate Dirty Tricks Exposed”, go to and look at chapter 6 of “Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy” by Eamon Javers to see more on former Secret Service saboteurs and predators of the corporate underworld. Multiple RICO actions were filed by Louisiana victims last year and a lawsuit was filed 10/7/11 in D.C. Superior Court. The cover-up of this horrific scandal has been massive!!!