News and Press Releases

United States Attorney's Office Staff Recognized by Attorney General Holder At Annual Awards Ceremony

October 18, 2012

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder recognizes 282 department employees for their distinguished public service today at the 60th Annual Attorney General’s Awards Ceremony.  Fifty-seven other individuals outside of the department were also honored for their work.  Held at DAR Constitution Hall, this annual ceremony recognizes both department employees and others for their outstanding dedication to carrying out the Department of Justice’s missions.  This year, Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Tukel, Michael Martin and Cathleen Corken, and Paralegal Specialist Darlene Secord from the Eastern District of Michigan were awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security.  This award recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions towards protecting U.S. National security.  

“This year’s award recipients have made significant contributions across, and far beyond, the Department of Justice and helped to protect the rights, safety and best interests of the citizens we are privileged to serve,” Attorney General Holder said.  “I am grateful for the dedication and passion that these extraordinary public servants bring to their work, and I am honored to count them as colleagues.”

The investigative and prosecution team of the attempted bombing of Northwest 253 over Detroit, Michigan on December 25, 2009 were awarded for their outstanding work in obtaining intelligence useful to the United States and its foreign intelligence partners and in securing a significant conviction against Al Qaeda operative Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab.  Over the course of the two-year high profile investigation and prosecution, the members of this team provided an example on how to balance an intelligence gathering operation with a successful prosecution.  On February 16, 2012, Abdulmutallab was sentenced to the maximum penalty of four consecutive life sentences plus 50 years in federal prison.

“We are very proud of the work of the prosecution team from Detroit,” McQuade said. “They demonstrated exceptional skill in investigating and prosecuting an Al-Qaeda terrorist, ensuring that he will spend the rest of his life in prison.  This prosecution also confirmed that the criminal justice system is a valuable and appropriate avenue for fighting terrorism.”

Jonathan Tukel has been a prosecutor with the Department for 20 years. He has been serving as Chief of the National Security Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s office since 2008, supervising the office’s counter-terrorism, terrorist-financing, export control, and other programs. Mr. Tukel has prosecuted a variety of other criminal cases including complex federal white collar cases. 
Cathleen Corken has served in the Department of Justice for more than 20 years, specializing in terrorism-related cases. She was Deputy Chief of the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice for four years, during which she assisted in the successful prosecution of Richard Reid, the so-called "Shoe Bomber," and numerous other cases involving terrorism-related charges. Since 2004, she has been an Assistant United States Attorney in Eastern District of Michigan. She previously worked for the United States Department of State.
Michael C. Martin has been a Department of Justice attorney for five years, following service as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. Before becoming an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Martin served in the Counterespionage Section of the Department’s National Security Division, where he developed an expertise in the Classified Information Procedures Act, which regulates the use and admission of classified national security information in the federal courts. He has handled cases involving espionage-related charges involving the Iraqi Intelligence Service under the Saddam Hussein regime, and violations of the U.S. embargo of that regime.
Darlene Secord  has served in the Department of Justice for more than 12 years.  She is a paralegal specialist handling national security matters for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.  She handles cases involving  espionage, export violations to sanctioned countries, as well as any case involving terrorism-related charges

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