The United States Attorney is the chief federal law enforcement officer in the District of Arizona and is appointed by the President. United States Attorneys and their Assistant United States Attorneys prosecute violations of federal law and represent federal agencies in federal courts. They also collect debts owed the federal government which are administratively uncollectible. United States Attorneys are not permitted to represent private individuals or business, nor are they permitted to give legal advice to members of the public.
The United States Attorney is headquartered in Phoenix. The District of Arizona has additional branch offices in Tucson, Flagstaff, and Yuma.
Phoenix & Tucson Offices - Divisions and Group Duties
The District of Arizona has approximately 170 Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) and approximately 140 support staff members. Generally, the majority of the number of AUSAs are divided equally between the Phoenix and Tucson offices and the remaining six are located in the Flagstaff and Yuma offices. Both the Phoenix and Tucson offices are full service offices that handle criminal and civil cases.
Both the Phoenix and Tucson offices operate divisions or functions that handle cases or issues common throughout the entire District of Arizona. However, because of the diverse caseload and geographical characteristics of the district some functions and divisions differ slightly.
- Border and National Security Section – Located in both Phoenix and Tucson, this area handles matters related to domestic and international terrorism, including crimes occurring on our border with Mexico. The AUSAs in this section handle weapons smuggling, human trafficking and alien smuggling crimes.
- Indian Crimes & Violent Crimes Section – Located in both Phoenix and Tucson, this area prosecutes felonies which occur within Arizona's tribal communities. These AUSAs also handle other violent crimes, such as bank robberies, as well as crimes against children including child pornography and child exploitation cases.
- Financial Crimes and Public Integrity Section – Located both in Phoenix and Tucson, this area prosecutes financial crimes, public corruption, and complex multiple victim identity theft cases.
- Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force and Asset Forfeiture Section – Located in Phoenix and Tucson, this area handles organized crime and complex drug trafficking cases. AUSAs in this group also work to disable and dismantle criminal organizations by seizing their property.
- Southwest Border Crimes Section – Located in both Phoenix and Tucson, this area handles the majority of immigration cases, border drug crimes not involving organized crime, weapons offenses, drug seizures at port of entries and other reactive crimes in a fast-paced environment.
- The Civil Rights Unit – This unit serves as the conduit to all federal civil rights cases filed in the district. Additionally, the unit plays an important role in educating and training law enforcement and the public on civil rights matters and vigorously prosecutes crimes of this nature.
- Civil Division – This division,located in both Phoenix and Tucson, represents the government in civil actions, both as plaintiff and defendant. Defensive cases include representing the United States in Federal Tort Claims Act cases, administrative appeals and employment discrimination. In other cases, AUSAs pursue, on behalf of the United States, civil fraud, False Claims Act cases and health and defense contractor fraud.
- The Financial Litigation Unit – This unitis located in the Tucson office and handles federal liens and collects criminal fines and federal debts throughout the District.
- Appellate Sections - This section, located in both Phoenix and Tucson, is responsible for overseeing all appellate work filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, acting as liaison with the U.S. Department of Justice and Solicitor General's Office on appellate matters, and handling special projects at the direction of the U.S. Attorney.
- Courthouse Unit – This unit is located in the federal courthouse and supports the USAO’s criminal divisions by handling initial appearances and other hearings and overseeing grand jury matters.
The Yuma office serves the Southwestern section of the District of Arizona. Given its proximity to the border, the office handles initial charging, intake and processing of a high number of immigration, drug and other federal offenses. Like the Flagstaff office, the Yuma office is a resource to the law enforcement agencies and victims of federal crimes in the Southwestern portion of the state.
The Flagstaff office serves Northern Arizona. It handles intake and initial charging decisions on cases arising from Indian Country, federal lands, or otherwise federally covered offenses in that part of the district. The office is a resource to the law enforcement agencies throughout Northern Arizona and provides training and assistance to those agencies when requested. The office also provides assistance and information to victims of federal crimes arising in Northern Arizona.
- The District of Arizona Administrative Division – This division works closely with all levels of staff to directly support the mission of the of the U. S. Attorney's Office. This division is responsible for all administrative programs for the district. Departments within the division include; Human Resources, Information Technology, Procurement and Support Services, and Finance and Budget Analysis.
- The Automated Litigation Support Unit – This unitworks closely with attorneys and support staff in the District to enable them to use automation from the inception of a case through presentation in the courtroom. The unit's main areas of support are imaging, document management and analysis, multimedia/graphics design, trial presentation, and training. Additionally, the unit assists attorneys to utilize automation to obtain, organize, analyze, and present evidence.