Maria Michel-Manzo is the Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), McAllen area of responsibility.
As the ASAC, Ms. Michel-Manzo is responsible for managing, directing, and coordinating all operational and administrative activities for HSI for the Hidalgo and Starr Counties. Prior to her ASAC appointment, Ms. Michel-Manzo held the key position of Unit Chief at HSI Headquarters in Washington, DC and oversaw the HSI daily operations in North and Central America. Currently she serves under the SAC San Antonio which is the largest HSI SAC district that covers 2 Federal Judicial Districts, 58 counties and over 500 miles of International Border between Mexico and the United States. Additionally, Ms. Michel-Manzo continues to work with several federal, state, local and foreign agencies and oversees Human and Contraband Smuggling, Financial and Bulk Currency Smuggling, and the Illegal exportation of weapons and ammunition groups which are but a few of the programmatic areas that characterize the work in this area of responsibility.
Ms. Michel-Manzo has 24 years of law enforcement experience and began her law enforcement career as a Juvenile Probation Officer in Hidalgo County from 1992-1997. In 1997, Ms. Michel-Manzo joined the U.S. Customs Service as a Customs Inspector in Hidalgo, Texas and then as a Special Agent in Baltimore, Maryland where she later transferred to the Brownsville and Harlingen, Texas offices. Ms. Michel-Manzo attained extensive experience investigating and supervising groups in narcotics, human smuggling, and weapons crimes and the use of undercover operations to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations. After working as a Special Agent for the Office of Professional Responsibility from 2007-2010 conducting criminal investigations involving government employees, she was promoted to Group Supervisor at ASAC Harlingen where she served from 2011-2014 until accepting a Section Chief position at HSI Headquarters where she was ultimately promoted to Unit Chief. Ms. Michel-Manzo also serves as an instructor for several programs both domestically and internationally.
Born in Harlingen, Texas, Ms. Michel-Manzo attended Sam Houston State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. Ms. Michel-Manzo is married and has two children.