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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Wednesday - November 19, 2003

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that J. GASTON B. WILLIAMS and JAMES D. NEWMAN have been named by the U. S. Department of Justice as recipients of 2003 Director's Awards. On Friday, November 14, 2003, the Director's Awards were presented to Messrs. Williams and Newman during a ceremony in the International Trade Center amphitheater, at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D. C. A reception honoring the recipients and their guests was held in the Great Hall of the Main Justice Building following the ceremony.

These awards are given annually by the Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA), USDOJ. During the ceremony, 269 award recipients from across the nation received recognition for their excellent performance in law enforcement. Recipients included Assistant United States Attorneys, litigation and information technology support personnel, as well as others who have made outstanding contributions in federal, state, and local law enforcement.

J. GASTON B. WILLIAMS, of Raleigh, N. C., received a Director's Award for "Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney." The award was presented to Mr. Williams in recognition of his extraordinary case development and thorough prosecution of massive fraud related to the clean-up in North Carolina from Hurricane Fran. AUSA Williams prosecuted a number of successful fraud cases in connection with disaster clean-up, but the most noteworthy of his efforts was the successful prosecution of Johnny F. Smith Truck and Dragline Services, Inc., resulting in a conviction of the corporation and felony convictions against seven individuals. The corporation paid a total of $2,404.833.00 in fines and restitution, and the lead individual defendant, Wayne Allen Fletcher, was sentenced to 80 months in prison and a $50,000.00 fine, having been convicted of 12 felonies following a two-week trial. In his nomination of Mr. Williams for the award, U. S. Attorney Whitney noted that, "Mr. Williams consistently has been assigned many of our office's most complex fraud cases, especially in the area of financial institution fraud. While handling the Smith Truck case, he continued to successfully resolve a number of other disaster relief fraud cases, financial institution fraud cases, and other matters." Mr. Williams joined the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina as an Assistant U. S. Attorney on August 12, 1990.

JAMES D. (J. D.) NEWMAN, formerly of Fayetteville, received a Director's Award for "Outstanding Contributions in Law Enforcement." In nominating Mr. Newman, U. S. Attorney Whitney said, "Special Agent James D. Newman of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives successfully coordinated Project Safe Neighborhoods in Fayetteville, N. C., and made a profound impact in the way the law enforcement and the business community now work together. Never before has Fayetteville been able to boast of such strong partnerships with all levels of law enforcement and community resources. Since September 2001, there have been over 150 investigations, 125 prosecutions, and an average federal sentence of 120 months. Special Agent Newman has built a team of passionate, energized people from all aspects of the Fayetteville community to make a safer and better place to live." Mr. Newman currently serves as Resident Agent in Charge of the Savannah, Georgia, office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

At Friday's ceremony, Attorney General John Ashcroft said, "Those honored today are shepherds of justice dedicated to the enhancement of liberty through the law. You have kept America safe from terrorism, brought violent crime to an historic 30-year low, forged new relationships of trust and cooperation, and most of all, protected and defended the Constitutional rights and liberties of all Americans. Thank you for your leadership and for your dedicated service."

The Executive Office for United States Attorneys provides oversight, general executive assistance and direction to the 93 United States Attorneys' offices around the country.


News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney's web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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