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Special Agent William Sentner, III (Posthumously) (U.S. Department of Justice, Miami, FL)

Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor

On Wednesday, June 21, 2006, Special Agent William Sentner of the Miami, FL, Field Office, Investigations Division, Office of Inspector General (OIG) was working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in an investigation involving corrupt prison guards in a federal prison facility in Tallahassee, Florida. As a result of the investigation, six prison guards were indicted for sexually abusing female inmates, smuggling contraband into the institution, and threatening the inmates with retaliation if they exposed the criminal acts. Agent Sentner was part of the joint OIG/FBI team that went to the prison to arrest the six guards. At the prison, as one of the guards was being arrested, he produced a gun from his bag and began firing. The guard shot a prison lieutenant in the stomach and then shot Agent Sentner. Before the guard was able to fire at other personnel, Agent Sentner returned fire, fatally wounding him. Agent Sentner subsequently succumbed to his gunshot wound. In his last act, Sentner saved the lives of several other law enforcement officers while sacrificing his own. Special Agent Sentner's widow, Mrs. Maria Sentner accepted the award on behalf of her husband.

a man and woman standing in a room and holding a Medal of Valor award plaque between them
Date Published: September 9, 2020