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AG (202) 616-2765 TDD (202) 514-1888
NEW YORK FEDERAL PROSECUTORS, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENT RECEIVE TOP JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AWARD FOR MEDELLIN DRUG CARTEL PROSECUTION WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Federal prosecutors and a Drug Enforcement (DEA) agent who successfully investigated and prosecuted one of the Medellin drug cartel's most violent and ruthless assassins received the Justice Department's highest award today. Eighty-one Department employees and four other individuals were honored at the 43rd Annual Attorney General's Awards Ceremony held at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium. Attorney General Janet Reno presented the Exceptional Service award to Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) Cheryl L. Pollak and Beth A. Wilkinson, of the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's Office and Special Agent Sam Trotman, New York Field Division, DEA, for their efforts in bringing Dandeny Munoz Mosquera (Munoz) to justice. In 1991, Munoz was arrested in Brooklyn for making false statements to a federal agent. Following Munoz's arrest, the AUSA/DEA team spent countless hours bringing together Colombian and U.S. witnesses and collecting evidence and testimony linking Munoz to narcotics trafficking, the murders of Colombian police as well as informants and competitors of the Medellin cartel. Their investigation revealed that Munoz was responsible for the bombings of Colombian offices and the sabotaging of an Avianca airliner, two incidents in which 187 people were killed and more than 400 injured. Two attempts on the life of former President George Bush during his trips to drug summits in Colombia and Venezuela in the early 1990s were also linked to Munoz. "Despite death threats to prosecutor Pollak and to others involved in the case, and an initial mistrial when several jurors refused to deliberate, this team had the courage and commitment to continue their quest for justice," Attorney General Janet Reno said. "Munoz's ultimate conviction in 1994 on all counts is a testament to their tenacious efforts." Reno presented the Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Heroism to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent John Kuchta and posthumously to Special Agents Martha A. Dixon-Martinez and Michael J. Miller and D.C. Police Sergeant Henry J. Daly for their courageous and unhesitating actions during an armed attack by Benny Lee Lawson in the Washington Metropolitan Police Department building in November 1994. "I am saddened but also proud to present these awards to Special Agent Kuchta and the families of fallen agents Dixon-Martinez and Miller as well as police sergeant Daly. The city and the nation are forever indebted to them for their courage, self-sacrifice and dedication to duty," Reno said. The Edmund J. Randolph Award, named for the first Attorney General, recognizes outstanding contributions to the accomplishments of the Department's mission. This year's award was presented to U.S. District Judge Joyce Hens Green for her dedicated service as presiding judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court from 1988 until 1995. Judge Green presided over the court through seven of its busiest years. During her tenure she personally handled judicial approval of numerous sensitive cases, including the espionage case of Aldrich Ames. The William French Smith Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cooperative Law Enforcement was awarded to Michael R. Longmire, Captain, Field Operations Division, Raleigh Police Department, Raleigh, North Carolina. Longmire was recognized for his contributions to improve the effectiveness and productivity of the Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee for the Eastern District of North Carolina, his assistance in creating a police department for the town of Navassa, North Carolina, his work on various "weed and seed" strategies for the Halifax Court public housing project and his efforts in creating two police internship programs for the overall community policing strategy program. Reverend Robert Vitaglione received the Meritorious Public Service Award, which honors private citizens whose contributions have significantly assisted the Department in attaining its objectives. Rev. Vitaglione, Comite Nuestra Senora de Loreto, was honored for his pro bono representation of indigent aliens in the New York area, and assistance to aliens and their families with immigration problems. Through his leadership Comite Nuestra Senora de Loreto now has more than 35 volunteers to assist in screening and preparing documents, applications, and cases for deportation hearings and interviews. His unique role and hard work are invaluable to the immigration judges in New York. The Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award, the second highest form of recognition bestowed by the Department, was awarded to 41 employees. Awards were presented to:
Robert M. Blitzer, Supervisory Special Agent, National Security Division, FBI, for his outstanding contributions to the arrest and extradition of terrorist Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, a suspect in the World Trade Center bombing in February, 1993. As a result of Blitzer's efforts, a dangerous criminal was taken into custody, and a message sent to terrorists worldwide that the U.S. government will do whatever is necessary, within the law, to bring perpetrators of crimes against the U.S. and its citizens to justice. Sarah N. Chapman, Andrew S. Dember, and Michael E. Horowitz, Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs), Criminal Division, Southern District of New York, for their personal sacrifice and tireless dedication to public service in investigating and prosecuting a difficult and complex case of corruption involving almost half the patrol force of the 30th Precinct of the New York City Police Department. The hallmark of the investigation was their ability to bring state and federal prosecutors, and numerous law enforcement agencies together to relentlessly pursue and arrest bands of rogue police officers who were involved in corrupt dealings with local drug dealers living within the 30th Precinct. Jean M. Christiansen, Adjudications Officer, Officer in Charge, Port au Prince, Haiti, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), for her outstanding work in managing and controlling the in-country refugee program as a key part of the Administration's strategy on the return of democracy to Haiti. Serving as Officer in Charge, she provided exemplary leadership to the refugee and migrant processing program during one of the most difficult periods in modern Haitian history. Scott S. Dahl, Trial Attorney, Civil Division, and Ann Arbor, Senior Litigation Counsel, Fraud Section, Criminal Division, for their exceptional efforts as lead counsel for the U.S. in obtaining the largest global criminal, civil and administrative settlement in a health care fraud matter, a $379 million resolution with National Medical Enterprises, a major national hospital chain. This precedent setting case was a landmark in the government's health care fraud enforcement effort, not only for its size and scope, but for a ground breaking corporate compliance agreement that is now seen as a model in the health care industry. Linda K. Davis, Chief, Criminal Section, Civil Rights Division, for her expert management and strong leadership in the field of criminal civil rights enforcement. Over the past 18 and one-half years, Davis' judgment and expertise has been valued by Division leadership as she litigated and supervised cases of national significance and matters of intense public interest involving racial violence, misconduct by local and federal law enforcement officials, and violations of the peonage and involuntary servitude statutes that protect migrant workers and others from being held in bondage. Her distinguished record, leadership and litigating talents earned her a Presidential appointment as Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in March 1995. John H. Durham, Deputy United States Attorney, District of Connecticut, for his outstanding efforts and leadership in developing a coordinated approach to gang violence in New Haven and other cities among federal, state and local law enforcement. Durham's leadership in establishing the New Haven Gang Task Force was critical not only in reducing violent crime in New Haven and other cities in Connecticut, but also serves as the model for cooperative law enforcement for the rest of the nation. AUSA Thomas J. Eicher, Eastern District of Pennsylvania; Jonathan J. Rusch, Senior Litigation Counsel, William J. Corcoran, Senior Counsel, Criminal Division; and Robert T. Core, Raymond F. Kyle, Charles M. Anderson, Charles W. Stuber, Jr., Special Agents, Washington Metropolitan Field Office, FBI, for their contributions of exemplary devotion to duty, pursuit of justice, and outstanding innovation and skill, as members of the House Bank Task Force. This Task Force team was involved in the investigation and successful prosecution of members, officers, and staff members of the U.S. House of Representatives on charges relating to the House Bank. Special Agent Steven Gomez, Supervisory Special Agent Robert Jones, Los Angeles Field Office, FBI; AUSA Jeffrey W. Johnson, Central District of California, for their dedication, leadership and creativity in investigating and successfully prosecuting numerous members of the Eight Trey Gangster Crips, one of the most notorious and violent street gangs within Los Angeles, for interstate distribution of multi-kilo quantities of crack cocaine. Individually, and as a group, Gomez, Jones and Johnson coordinated this investigation with many other state, local and federal law enforcement agencies, and utilized sophisticated surveillance techniques to fully identify the enterprise and successfully intercept a number of large drug shipments. This cooperative task force initiative played a major role in the significant (13 percent) reduction of violent crime within the Los Angeles area in 1994. Stacia Hylton, Assistant Chief for Administration, Donald W. Horton, Chief, Court Security Division, United States Marshals
Service (USMS), Roger Adams, Attorney Advisor, Criminal Division and Special Assistant to the Deputy Attorney General, for their joint efforts in reorganizing and revitalizing the planning and management of the Court Security Officer program, which provides contract armed security services to the Federal Judiciary. They designed and implemented changes that improved the program's operational effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability and standardized a National Court Security Officer Allocation protocol to ensure that the judiciary's limited security resources are used in a more efficient manner, so that all judicial districts across the Nation receive an equitable share of the security resources available. John T. Orr, Chief, Atlanta Field Division, Antitrust Division, for his outstanding contribution to the overall mission of the Antitrust Division and its criminal enforcement program in the Southeast. Under Orr's supervision, more than 70 cases were prosecuted against firms accused of rigging bids for the sale of dairy products to public schools and other public institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. All these cases resulted in convictions and imprisonment of responsible individuals, and the imposition of substantial fines against the corporate defendants and payment of substantial damages to the affected states. Jerry A. Rinehart and William E. Ledwith, Special Agents, Bogota, Colombia, Country Office, DEA, for their dedicated and energetic efforts, under dangerous and hostile conditions, in the 18-month investigation and recapture of Pablo Escobar-Gaviva. Their emotionally and physically exhausting day-to-day supervision of the case eventually led to the demise of Escobar and his murderous associates within the Medellin Mafia, ending the Medellin Cartel and their reign of terror over Colombia. Antonio J. Ruiz, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent, Brent Johnson, Senior Patrol Agent, Michael D. Flanagan, Daryl Reed, Blanca Sauermann, Robert Taylor, Border Patrol Agents, Imperial Beach Station, San Diego, California, INS, for their efforts in establishing a community relations unit to involve the local community in finding solutions to problems related to the large volume of alien traffic in the Imperial Beach area. Through their community involvement efforts, local citizens have now became supportive of the Border Patrol Agents and Operation Gatekeeper, a monumental undertaking that methodically closed corridors of preference, channelling illegal entrants to areas where physical interdiction can be more easily accomplished. Julie E. Samuels, Director, Steven G. Shandy, Program Analyst, Philip C. Baridon, Program Management Specialist, Office of Policy and Management Analysis, Criminal Division; Patricia L. Dobbs, Chief, Violence Against Women Branch, Harri J. Kramer, Director, Office of Congressional Affairs, Office of Justice Programs; Grace L. Mastalli, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Policy Development; Craig D. Uchida, Acting Assistant Director, Grants Administration Division, Community Oriented Policing Services, for their extraordinary efforts as core staff members of the Police Hiring Task Force, established by the Attorney General in 1993 to develop and manage a competitive grant program to put additional police officers on the street and expand community policing. The Task Force designed and implemented the $150 million Police Hiring Supplement Program, which received applications from 2,760 jurisdictions. This program will put more than 2,000 police on the Nation's streets, an initial downpayment on the Administration's commitment to add 100,000 police to America's communities. After passage of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (Crime Bill) the Task Force recommended $200 million in additional grants through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Phase I Program, creating funding for almost 5,000 additional police officers. Willie J. Scott, Warden, U.S. Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas, Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), for his excellent managerial abilities and exceptional performance in providing leadership and quality management to the United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas, and serving as a role model for other personnel during his 23-year career with BOP. Peter R. Steenland, Jr., Chief, Appellate Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division, for his outstanding service as Chief of the Appellate Section, his invaluable contributions on special assignments from Assistant Attorneys General, and his expert advice and counsel to officials throughout the Department and federal government. As a result of Steenland's efforts, the Appellate Section has gained a reputation for legal excellence throughout the federal government. In addition, he made critical contributions to important cases such as Exxon Valdez, the Navajo-Hopi land dispute and the NAFTA-NEPA controversy. John L. Wodatch, Chief, Disability Rights Section (DRS), Civil Rights Division, for his outstanding work in the disability rights field and the Americans With Disabilities Act, in particular. Under Wodatch's direction, DRS pursued an energetic program of enforcement, currently investigating more than 1,000
Title III complaints. Litigation efforts and complaint resolution through formal and informal settlements have resulted in the removal of physical barriers in a wide variety of settings, including professional training courses and licensing, hotels, restaurants, theaters, health care facilities, retail stores, private schools, car rentals, health clubs, and banks. Other Attorney General awards and honorees include: The Mary C. Lawton Lifetime Service Award: This award is given to employees who have served at least 20 years in the Department and who have demonstrated high standards of excellence and dedication throughout their careers. This year's award is presented to Leo E. Cardenas, Regional Director, Rocky Mountain Region, Community Relations Service (CRS). Cardenas has exercised authority and judgment as a federal peacemaker in racially charged situations. He has mediated sessions in tepees, helicopters, station wagons, Fortune 500 board rooms, school auditoriums, city council chambers, on mountain tops and on city streets to resolve difficult and complex racial conflicts. The Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Management: Two employees were honored in this category: Kenneth Belodoff, Litigation Support Specialist, Tax Division, for his leadership and creative management in providing administrative and litigation support services to Division litigators. By utilizing services of other Department components and outside federal agencies, Belodoff saved the government thousands of dollars by arranging for litigation support services at little or no cost to the Division. Patricia Macherey, Prisoner Medical Service, Program Officer, United States Marshals Service (USMS), also was honored for her extraordinary efforts in addressing serious medical issues involving prisoners. In responding to medical crises and many daily calls for assistance from the field, Macherey successfully developed procedures for handling the medical needs of prisoners while identifying and containing medical costs. With no staff and no budget, she singlehandedly worked out an agreement with the BOP to provide a wider range of services for the USMS's prisoner population. The Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement was awarded to three employees: Lawrence G. Owens, Special Agent, Philadelphia Field Office, FBI, was nominated by the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, for his unparalleled contributions in the field of environmental criminal enforcement. As co-founder of the Philadelphia Environmental Task Force, Owens' vision, dedication and leadership improved the quality of environmental criminal referrals in the Philadelphia region, greatly increased available resources and the ability of law enforcement to respond quickly and decisively to environmental crimes, and reduce duplication. His tireless efforts led to a string of notable successes, including convictions of defendant corporations and their officers under the Federal Hazardous Waste and Water Pollution Acts in United States v. Metro Container Corporation and United States v. York Metal Finishing and Edwin Walter. Barry Tang, Supervisory Special Agent, New York District Office, INS, received his award for his outstanding efforts in investigating and prosecuting violent gangs on Immigration and Nationality Act violations. In his capacity as supervisor of the Violent Gang Task Force, Tang distinguished himself in the "White Tiger" investigation by overseeing the dismantling of a dangerous element of an Asian organized crime group. The Chinese crime group was holding smuggled aliens and torturing them while their relatives were forced to listen to their cries and the gangster's extortion demands. Tang's efforts resulted in indictments against the group for racketeering, hostage taking, kidnapping, murder in aid of racketeering, extortion and alien smuggling. Sixteen of the 18 defendants pled guilty and two are currently awaiting trial. Michael V. Vincent, Special Agent, Office of the Inspector General, was honored for his successful 15-month investigation of the slow and systematic corruption of a high ranking federal immigration official by Asian nationals, resulting in the conviction and incarceration of a 22-year veteran INS official. The investigation was a lengthy and sensitive one, requiring Vincent to prove crimes which had occurred in multiple judicial districts over a period of years by various defendants. It was coordinated secretly with several components within the INS and culminated in the arrest of an INS Deputy Assistant Director for Examinations who pled guilty to bribery and obstruction of justice charges related to accepting thousands of dollars in return for providing illegally obtained green cards. The official resigned and was sentenced to two and one-half years
incarceration, three years probation, and ordered to pay a $10,100 fine. A middleman in the scheme is awaiting sentence. The Attorney General has approved the establishment of a new award, "Outstanding Service by a Federal Wage System Employee," in honor of Cubby Dorsey, a materials handler foreman on the Facilities and Administrative Services Staff, Justice Management Division. Dorsey, who died on April 11, 1995, began his career as a Federal Wage System employee and spent his entire 24 years of federal service with the Department of Justice. Dorsey was respected by officials and employees at all levels for his "can do" attitude. This award will be presented in 1996 for the first time. A number of other awards also were presented: ATTORNEY GENERAL'S AWARD FOR EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY Carlyle I. Holder Associate Warden Federal Medical Facility Fort Worth, Texas Federal Bureau of Prisons ATTORNEY GENERAL'S AWARD FOR UPWARD MOBILITY Denise Showanes Support Services Supervisor Information Resources Division Federal Bureau of Investigation ATTORNEY GENERAL'S AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DISABLED EMPLOYEES Carolyn Rodriguez Paralegal Specialist Office of the United States Attorney Southern District of California THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN LEGAL SUPPORT PARALEGAL CATEGORY Donald Greenstein Paralegal Specialist Tax Division SECRETARIAL CATEGORY Maxine Schiffman Legal Assistant Tort's Branch Civil Division ATTORNEY GENERAL'S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT ADMINISTRATIVE CATEGORY Robert K. Burger Supervisory Paralegal Specialist Antitrust Division Michele G. McMorris Financial Management Specialist Justice Management Division SECRETARIAL CATEGORY Diane L. Gilbertson Secretary Office of the U.S. Trustee San Francisco, California JOHN MARSHALL AWARDS TRIAL OF LITIGATION Peter C. Monson Trial Attorney Denver Field Office Environment and Natural Resources Division Martin J. Weinstein Nicolette S. Templer Daniel A. Caldwell Assistant U.S. Attorneys Northern District of Georgia PARTICIPATION IN LITIGATION Robert E. Courtney, III Mary E. Crawley Pamela Foa Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eastern District of Pennsylvania Karen Wehner Trial Attorney Tax Division Neil H. Koslowe
SES Special Litigation Counsel Federal Programs Branch Civil Division SUPPORT OF LITIGATION Scott C. Charney Chief Computer Crime Unit Criminal Division Diane Dorfman Attorney Civil Rights Division HANDLING OF APPEALS David I. Pincus Reviewer Appellate Section Tax Division PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE Jesse J. Figueroa Assistant U.S. Attorney District of Arizona PREPARATION OR HANDLING OF LEGISLATION Timothy Dowling Attorney Advisor Policy/Legislation/Special Litigation Section James Brookshire Deputy Chief General Litigation Section Environment and Natural Resources Division Alan R. McDonald Supervisory Special Agent Federal Bureau of Investigation INTERAGENCY COOPERATION IN SUPPORT OF LITIGATION Col. John Harris U.S. Marine Corps ASSET FORFEITURE Ellen Silverman Zimiles Bart Van de Weghe Assistant U.S. Attorneys Southern District of New York 95-347
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