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The FBI’s investigation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Cherokee Agency’s deputy superintendent Ruth Marie Sequoyah McCoy goes far deeper than the charges of marriage fraud that she and 11 others are currently facing, according to recently filed court documents.

Twelve people will face federal charges following an FBI investigation into an alleged marriage fraud ring based in Cherokee. 

A team of 26 FBI agents descended on Cherokee Feb. 2, filling the Qualla Housing Authority building and wheeling entire filing cabinets, as well as papers and hard drives, into a U-Haul parked to the side of the building.

Mark Swanger tucked into his leather armchair beside a roaring gas fire, an expansive view of his Fines Creek family farm unfurling beyond the bay windows of his log home.

Calm, cool and collected as always, he was ready for another round of a marathon interview aimed at capturing the sweeping tenure of his 20-year political career in Haywood County.

Editor’s note: This is a letter former FBI agent Mark Swanger Jr. sent to current FBI Director James Comey. Swanger is the current chairman of the Haywood County Commissioners.

As a retired FBI Agent, I write to express my view of your recent actions regarding the so-called email scandal involving Hillary Clinton.

A tribal authority tasked with helping tribal members find housing is under investigation by the FBI for “possible criminal conduct related to certain loans and loan applications, among other matters,” according to a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice dated Oct. 4 and delivered to the program’s director, Charlene Owle.

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