New Nevada Homeland Security Chief Named

Rick Eaton, a federal law enforcement veteran who's retiring from the federal Department of Homeland Security, was named Wednesday by Gov. Jim Gibbons as Nevada's homeland security chief.

Eaton replaces Larry Martines, a former CIA operative who took the state post paying $112,500 a year in January. Martines is resigning for health reasons.

Eaton currently is the assistant special agent in charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's investigations office in Sacramento. ICE is part of the federal homeland security agency.

Gibbons said Eaton, in more than 29 years with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and ICE, has overseen investigations of illegal activities ranging from drug smuggling and money laundering to human trafficking.

Eaton served as a special agent in charge of investigations in Reno from 1994 until 2000, and considers Reno home. He'll retire from federal service on Aug. 3 and start his state job Aug. 6.

Martines had been replaced temporarily by John Douglas, chief of the state Division of Investigations, during a candidate search that ended with Eaton's appointment.

Martines had a long career with the Los Angeles sheriff's department and went on to become a consultant in counterterrorism. He had overseas security assignments with the CIA and also had contracts with the Department of Defense and Department of Justice. He also recruited personnel for service in Bosnia, Kosovo, Senegal, Haiti and elsewhere.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)