The Criminal Division, which is sub-divided into Anti-Terrorism, White Collar, Firearms-Violent Crime-Narcotics, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), Crimes on Indian Land, and General Crimes sections, is staffed by Assistant U.S. Attorneys who prosecute, in federal courts, violations of federal criminal laws occurring in the Northern District of Oklahoma. The majority of these offenses are investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Postal Inspection Service, and agents from the Offices of Inspectors General of several other federal departments and agencies. Also, state and local law enforcement officers are members of illegal drug, violent crime, and firearms violations task forces which also present cases to our office for prosecution. The Criminal Division Assistant U.S. Attorneys handle all phases of the criminal cases presented to them by these investigators. This includes the important initial decision of whether or not to prosecute. Once that decision is made, the Assistant U.S. Attorney presents charges to a Grand Jury, handles the initial bond hearing, and presents the government's case at trial and sentencing. They also write briefs and argue appeals of convictions to the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Criminal Division Links
Anti-Terrorism | Child Pornography | Project Safe Neighborhoods | Armed Robbery | Juvenile Justice Prevention Project | Child Support Recovery Act | Indian Jurisdiction | White Collar Crime
The Department of Justice is committed to preventing, disrupting, and defeating terrorist attacks before they occur, developing and implementing the full range of resources available to investigate terrorist incidents, bringing their perpetrators to justice, and vigorously prosecuting those who have committed or intend to commit terrorist acts against the United States. The Northern District of Oklahoma United States Attorney's Office has an Anti-Terrorism Section and an Intelligence Research Specialist (analyst) dedicated to this mission. The Northern District of Oklahoma Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council: In January 2002, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma established an Anti-Terrorism Task Force in January 2002 consisting of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies who committed to these terrorism prevention and disruption efforts. That task force has evolved to include a large group of key individuals and organizations whose interests in defeating terrorism and protecting the District's critical infrastructure coincide and is now known as the Northern District of Oklahoma Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC). Through these essential strategic partnerships, the ATAC coordinates anti-terrorism initiatives and promotes information sharing on potential terrorist activities among its members. The ATAC's primary goals are to heighten awareness, disseminate information, and ultimately prevent terrorist-related activities in the Northern District of Oklahoma. The ATAC provides dynamic counter-terrorism training to state and local law enforcement officers in the District, striving to keep law enforcement officers acutely aware of methods to prevent terrorism utilizing criminal justice resources. The ATAC seeks to quickly disseminate terrorism-related information to law enforcement officials and other groups on a "need to know" basis for the purpose of preventing potential or actual terrorist operations. Prevention is achieved through heightened awareness, information sharing, targeted training, identification of potential terrorist threats, and by limiting vulnerabilities in the District.
The operational and investigative arm of the ATAC is the FBI'S Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The JTTF Hotline can be Reached 24 hours a day at phone number (918) 879-2615.
The dissemination of child pornography over the Internet is of profound concern to the United States Attorney's Office, the Department of Justice, and our communities at large. Until recently, those who trafficked child pornography were hampered by the limitations and difficulties attendant with duplicating and sharing these offensive materials without detection. The Internet has created a "virtual" shopping mall cloaked in anonymity. With the advent of Internet technology, pedophiles can duplicate, trade, share, and barter at will with considerably less risk of detection. The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma has joined forces with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and other federal agencies, as well as state investigators, local police departments, and state prosecutors, to combat the rapidly escalating market for dissemination of child pornography.
The Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative has been a priority Department of Justice program since 2001. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America by networking existing local programs that target gun crime and providing those programs with additional tools necessary to be successful. This funding is being used to hire new federal and state prosecutors, support investigators, provide training, distribute gun lock safety kits, deter juvenile gun crime, and develop and promote community outreach efforts, as well as to support other gun violence reduction strategies. United States Attorney Danny C. Williams has placed a high priority on making PSN work in the Northern District of Oklahoma. A formal relationship has also been established with local law enforcement agencies and county district attorney's offices. Active federal/state team review and coordinated prosecution of gun crimes in local jurisdictions has noticeably increased. Every elected prosecutor and local law enforcement agency in the Northern District of Oklahoma has been invited to participate in this initiative, and cases have been referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office from most counties in the District. One major component of PSN called "OPERATION CEASEFIRE" specifically targets street gangs and gang violence. Increased prosecution means an average federal prison sentence just for felons in possession of a firearm of 56 months. In the Northern District of Oklahoma, gun crime equals federal time - no parole. Not only does PSN mean increased prosecutions, it also means education and communication. High school students, juvenile inmates, and gang members on probation and parole are being educated about the pitfalls of carrying a firearm through a program featuring the federal prosecutors, ATF, and the Tulsa County District Attorney. And, communication through television and billboards gets the message out to the public. Prosecution, education, and communication all play roles in the aggressive implementation of Project Safe Neighborhoods in the Northern District of Oklahoma.
As a component of its Violent Crime Initiative, the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma has worked closely with the FBI, state and local law enforcement officials to combat commercial robberies. The "Robbery Project" has been quite successful at convicting defendants who committed bank and commercial establishment robberies by focusing on organizations/gangs, those who committed multiple robberies, and defendants who were career violent offenders. Many of the defendants received enhanced sentences owing to their having used firearms during the commission of the robberies. By way of illustration, the sentences received by those targeted by the Robbery Project include numerous life without parole terms, 112 years, 50 years, 79 years, 39 years, 40 years, 57 years, 46 years and 79 years. These sentences are indicative of the harsh sanctions meted out by the federal courts for robberies involving firearms. All of these offenders are expected, or have been designated, to serve their respective terms of imprisonment confined to maximum security prisons.
In June 2003, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma established the "OPERATION CEASEFIRE" initiative. This initiative includes a community outreach program focusing on intervention and prevention with juvenile offenders who have been involved in gang activities, violent crimes, and narcotics offenses. Congress promulgated the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which significantly increased the penalties for narcotics offenses and for violent crimes perpetrated with firearms. As a consequence of such legislation, federal convicts are receiving significantly longer terms of incarceration with no possibility of parole. In hopes that juvenile offenders might be deterred from committing violent, narcotics, and gang-related crimes if they were to witness, first-hand, the reality of severe federal sanctions, the United States Attorney has invited the authorities at the Lloyd E. Rader Center to select groups of juvenile offenders in their care for inclusion in a pilot project. Juvenile offenders, male and female, have been transported to the Page Belcher Federal Courthouse in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to witness the sentencings of violent offenders. The Northern District's federal judiciary participates in the program. Following each sentencing, the federal judge has addressed the assemblage of juvenile offenders and impressed upon them the very real consequences of committing violent or narcotics offenses. This has typically been followed with presentations by members of the U.S. Attorney's staff which chronicle case histories that have resulted in lengthy sentences. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has reviewed with the juvenile offenders various gang-related homicides wherein gang members had been murdered by fellow gang members. The participants have been given the opportunity to address the court and to pose questions to the judge and speakers. The authorities at the Rader Center report that the program has created a sustained dialogue among the juvenile offenders and with their staff. Although the consequence of having witnessed a 22-year old offender leave the courtroom to spend the rest of his life in a maximum security prison, locked down single-celled 23 hours a day, is predictably sobering, it is yet to be seen whether it will significantly deter these troubled juvenile offenders from committing violent and narcotics offenses. Nevertheless, the United States Attorney's Office is fully committed to participating in and dedicating resources to such programs, even if but a single juvenile is motivated thereby to redirect his or her life in a positive direction.
The Child Support Recovery Act promulgated in 1992, as amended in 1998, gave federal prosecutors a vehicle by which to assist state authorities in the enforcement of child support obligations. This act established federal jurisdiction over those parents who owed child support arrearage and who resided in a state other than the state wherein the parent was ordered to pay support. The United States Attorney's Office, recognizing the profound importance to society of enforcing child support orders, has prosecuted and convicted defendants who have shirked their responsibilities to their children. As an adjunct to the child support initiative, the U.S. Attorney's Office has provided training to county child support offices in Rogers, Osage, and Tulsa Counties.
Recognizing a significant need for effective communication between the various components of the Department of Justice and the Indian tribes, the United States Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Oklahoma has an attorney to serve part-time as a liaison to the tribal sovereigns and also to litigate criminal matters arising from concurrent or exclusive jurisdiction. One Assistant U.S. Attorney position is also dedicated to prosecution of violent crimes committed on Indian land. These Assistant U.S. Attorneys prosecute numerous cases which derive from federal jurisdiction over crimes occurring on Indian land ranging from child abuse to robbery. The United States Attorney's Office regards its responsibility to the tribes as a significant priority.
The cases assigned to this section are generally frauds and embezzlements which occur in a business and commercial context - advance fee schemes, large embezzlements, investor frauds, telemarketing frauds, false loan applications, check-kites, computer-related crimes, tax offenses, and so on. The attorneys in this group also handle environmental crimes and federal program frauds, such as HUD fraud, Medicare/Medicaid fraud, and defense contractor fraud. Although the cases tend to be large in terms of the amount of money lost or the numbers of victims, smaller cases, such as postal thefts and bank teller embezzlements, are also prosecuted by the White Collar Crime section because of the need to supplement the excellent but strained resources of state and local law enforcement officials.
Health Care Fraud: The Department of Justice is increasingly focused upon the problem of fraud in the health care industry. Concern at the national level is reflected in the growing number of such cases which have been prosecuted in the Northern District of Oklahoma in recent years. Health care fraud appears in many segments of the industry, and the United States Attorney's Office in Tulsa has been responsible for prosecutions relating to the practice of medicine, dentistry, psychology, and chiropractic in addition to suppliers of medical equipment and auxiliary services and prescription abuses. In addition, the White Collar Crime section has coordinated with the Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE) Assistant U.S. Attorney in pursuing civil remedies against health care providers whose activities did not rise to the level of provable criminal fraud.
Corporate Fraud: Since July 2001, the Corporate Fraud Task Force within the Department of Justice endeavored to combat and eradicate corporate fraud and restore investor confidence in the marketplace. The investigation and prosecution of significant corporate fraud matters is a high priority of this United States Attorney's Office. It is our goal to make certain that the punishment of corporate wrongdoers is as swift as possible and virtually certain. We also work to insure that the information relied on by our nation's financial markets is open and accurate.
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