FBI opens Lexington facility, consolidating area operations under one big roof

Posted 11/16/23

The FBI is officially operating out of the Town of Lexington.

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FBI opens Lexington facility, consolidating area operations under one big roof


The FBI is officially operating out of the Town of Lexington.

On Nov. 16, the FBI Columbia office held a ribbon cutting for its new Lexington office, which will centralize operations previously housed in three buildings spread around the Columbia area. The facility broke ground in October 2020, with original hopes to begin occupancy in early-2023.

It's located at 222 Caughman Farm Lane behind Lowe's Home Improvement.

FBI Director Christopher Wray was on hand for the commemoration, as was Steven Jensen, special agent in charge of the Columbia Field Office and Jeff Smith, regional commissioner for the Southeast Sunbelt Region.

“Today's a big day, not just for the Columbia Field Office. It's a big day for the FBI and it's a big day for the communities we serve here in the state,” Wray said. “Because today, as we officially open the doors of our new facility, we renew our commitment to the people of South Carolina. Our commitment that the FBI is here to support these communities … working hard to keep them safe.”

Wray emphasized that some of the department’s biggest successes are cases citizens have never even heard of because they were able to stop something bad from happening. He said agents, analysts and professional staff for the Columbia office have fought illegal drug trade, public corruption, international and domestic terrorism, child exploitation, foreign espionage and more.

“They pursue justice for victims of hate crimes, fraud and violent crime,” he said.

During a tour of the facility, officials showed off the new 87,000-square-foot Lexington building, which nearly doubles the amount of space the agency had previously. Its two stories include a gun vault, a gym, conference rooms, multiple facilities dedicated to compartmentalizing and securing sensitive information, and more. 

Those walking into the facility are immediately greeted with a lobby featuring a wall honoring agents who have died in action.

Phillip Tejera, assistant special agent in charge for the Columbia Field Office, said the new facility features all-new technology that will allow the office to process data at large volumes and disseminate it to the right people, among other improved capabilities. He added that it has no underground levels.

Tejara said the agency looked at multiple sites with the General Service Administration before landing on the Lexington site. Those other locations would have also required a building to be constructed. He emphasized that the effort to secure a site and build the new facility had to overcome financial challenges and others brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The construction of this new field office represents the best as to what is possible when the private, federal and local governments come together and achieve more than what we could accomplish alone,” Smith said.

Tejera spoke to the advantages of consolidating the FBI’s Columbia operations under one roof.

“It gives me the opportunity to get in front of my supervising investigators and interact with them, understand what they need and how I can support them,” he said.

Multiple law enforcement agencies and public figures were in attendance including Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, Lexington Police Chief Terrence Green, state Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel, Attorney General Alan Wilson, Lexington Mayor Steve MacDougall, Lexington Mayor Pro-Tem/Mayor-Elect Hazel Livingston and Lexington Town Council Member Gavin Smith.

“This building may have the FBI name tied to it, but it is representative of the strong partnerships that we foster, partnerships we rely on to bolster our capabilities and fulfill our mission,” Jensen, Columbia’s special agent in charge, said. “Every day, we stand side by side in addressing the multitude of threats that affect South Carolinians.”

fbi lexington, columbia field office, director Christopher Wray, south carolina law enforcement


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