Federal prosecutors are conducting an internal review of criminal cases involving an FBI agent facing a charge of public lewdness.
U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. ordered the review after Special Agent John A. Yervelli was arrested Friday night by state police.
Troopers said they received a report from a truck driver that Yervelli made lewd gestures toward him while not wearing pants and driving on the Thruway in Eden.
Yervelli, 48, of Lake View, faces up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine if convicted of the misdemeanor charge.
“At this point, no determination has been made as to the guilt or innocence of this individual,” Hochul said in a statement. “However, it is the obligation of this office to conduct an internal review to determine if, at all, this could impact any existing cases. That internal review has begun.”
A source familiar with Yervelli’s work as a FBI agent said he is involved in at least one pending criminal case.
He also was involved in a large-scale federal probe of narcotics, gun and gang activity on Buffalo’s West Side that resulted in federal charges against 27 people in 2010.
The FBI is likely to conduct its own internal review but so far has declined comment on Yervelli’s arrest.
“It’s an internal personnel matter for our office at this time," said FBI spokeswoman Maureen Dempsey.
State police said Yervelli’s arrest stemmed from a report from a truck driver who said he encountered the off-duty agent at about 9 p.m. Friday while driving east on the Thruway in Eden.
The truck driver told police that the driver of a passenger vehicle “pulled up next to his truck, turned on the dome light and displayed that he was not wearing pants, while making lewd gestures,” according to state police.
A trooper later stopped the vehicle at the Hamburg interchange and, after further investigation, arrested Yervelli on the public lewdness charge. He was later released on a ticket to appear in Eden Town Court.
In a strange twist, a Thruway trooper came under investigation by federal authorities in a sex case earlier this year. Then-Trooper Titus Z. Taggart – the son of a retired state police colonel – was fired from his job of 18 years in June as federal authorities probed allegations that he was involved in transporting prostitutes from Canada for parties in the U.S. while he was off duty.