Divisions

Criminal Division

The Criminal Division of the office prosecutes defendants who commit federal crimes within the Eastern District of Missouri. These prosecutions result from investigations conducted by various federal agencies and state and local police.

The Criminal Division consists of the following sections:

General Crimes/Economic Crimes

This section handles a variety of general federal crimes, economic crimes and fraud offenses. While this section deals with a wide variety of federal crimes, it focuses on the following areas:

  • Bank Fraud - investigation and prosecution of crimes involving federally insured financial institutions, such as banks, savings and loans, or credit unions; typically, embezzlements, false loan applications and false bank entries.
  • Bankruptcy Fraud - investigation and prosecution of fraudulent filings in the bankruptcy court; fraudulent transfers of assets; failure to file accurate schedules and statements with the bankruptcy court and false statements in bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Child Pornography, Violence Against Women, Child Support Enforcement and Child Luring - investigation and prosecution of the manufacture, possession and receipt of child pornography in interstate commerce; federal prosecution of interstate transportation or the use of interstate commerce to commit sexual exploitation of minors; federal prosecution of violence against women in contravention of an order of protection; and federal enforcement of child support orders.
  • Civil Rights - investigation and prosecution of violations of federal civil rights, including allegations of police misconduct and violations of the federal "hate" crimes statute. This office works with the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Section in these cases.
  • Computer Crimes - investigation and prosecution of crimes in which the information contained in a federally protected computer is attacked, cases in which fraud is perpetrated using computers or cases in which the computer is used to send threatening communications. Additional information
  • Environmental Crimes - investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes, including violations of the Clean Water Act; violations of Resource Conservation Recovery Act or the Clean Air Act. The office participates in a task force with all state and federal agencies charged with maintaining and protecting the environment.
  • Asset Forfeiture - civil litigation to forfeit seized property and assets which were used in or resulted from criminal activity. In criminal forfeiture cases, this section provides criminal AUSAs with preseizure planning, postseizure litigation support and assistance with final forfeiture and disposal of property.
  • Fraud Against the Government - investigation and prosecution of cases in which a federal program is defrauded. Cases include false applications for federal benefits, involving Social Security, Housing and Urban Development, Small Business Administration and Department of Agriculture.
  • Health Care Fraud - investigation and prosecution of health care providers for fraudulent billing practice.
  • Identity Theft - investigation and prosecution of persons who steal identity information which is then used to create false identities which may then be used to obtain credit, hide from law enforcement or illegally remain in this country. This office participates in a task force with the Social Security Administration, Postal Inspection Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Secret Service and local law enforcement. The Task Force works closely with banks, credit companies and local merchants to investigate and prosecute cases. Additional information
  • Public Corruption - investigation and prosecution of government officials and private citizens working with officials who violate the public trust by benefiting personally from official actions or inaction.
  • Tax Fraud - investigation and prosecution of cases involving the preparation or filing of false or fraudulent federal income tax returns and failure to file required returns.

The General Crimes/Economic Crimes section is headed by Criminal Chief James E. Crowe, Jr.

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Violent Crimes

This section handles the investigation and prosecution of federal offenses involving violence, including kidnapping, carjacking, bank robbery and firearm violations. The section also handles all drug cases that fall outside the guidelines of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Additionally, the section works in partnership with state and local law enforcement officers to implement investigations and prosecutions under the Project Safe Neighborhood program, which include the identification and prosecution of criminal street gang members.

The Violent Crime section is headed by Assistant United States Attorney Antoinette Decker.

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Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force

The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) is responsible for the identification, investigation and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. To accomplish this mission, the OCDETF employs case acceptance criteria that are likely to result in the identification of links to major drug trafficking organizations. Once the organizations are identified, the Task Force uses the most sophisticated investigative techniques available such as pen registers, cell phone tracking and global positioning systems, as well as the extensive use of the grand jury, search warrants and wire interceptions. Money laundering charges and asset forfeiture are widely used by OCDETF.

St. Louis is the core city for the West Central Region of OCDETF which includes 15 Districts in the States of Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, Utah and Wyoming.

The Eastern District of Missouri also participates in the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), and the OCDETF Coordinator is an ex-officio member of the Executive Board. The MIDWEST HIDTA is a congressionally funded strategy that partners state, local and federal law enforcement agencies in six states - Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota - to investigate and prosecute drug trafficking with special emphasis on methamphetamine.

The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force is headed by Assistant United States Attorney Sam C. Bertolet.

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