Dec. 4, 2009
SEVEN SDTX EMPLOYEES RECOGNIZED AT ANNUAL U.S. ATTORNEY AWARDS CEREMONY
(HOUSTON) - The Department of Justice held its 26th annual Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) Director’s Awards Ceremony today, during which 146 award recipients from more than 30 districts were recognized for their dedication to carrying out the Department of Justice’s mission. Among the award recipients were Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA) Belinda A. Beek, John R. Lewis, Edward F. Gallagher III, Joseph C. Magliolo and Ruben R. Perez along with Victim Witness Coordinator Kesha T. Handy and Law Enforcement Coordinator Caren A.W. Thomas, all from the Southern District of Texas (SDTX). Recipients included Assistant United States Attorneys, law enforcement agents, litigation teams and others who have made outstanding contributions in federal, state and local law enforcement.
“These award recipients have been honored for their service and commitment to our country, as well as to their local communities,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Each of these dedicated servants has carried out the important mission of the Department of Justice. Their accomplishments have advanced the interests of justice on behalf of the American people.”
“The Assistant United States Attorneys of the Southern District of Texas do an outstanding job in the process of the administration of justice,” said United States Attorney Tim Johnson. “It is particularly rewarding when their efforts are recognized on a national level.”
Belinda A. Beek and John R. Lewis were recognized for their exemplary and sustained roles in prosecuting fraud in the energy industry in Houston. At a time when the nation’s spotlight was focused on fraudulent corporate practices and on fraudulent practices in the energy industry in particular, AUSAs Lewis and Beek engaged in a six-year effort to prosecute fraud in the energy trading industry. Their efforts resulted in convictions of a dozen natural gas traders and resulted in a significant improvement in the system by which natural gas is priced throughout the nation.
Edward F. Gallagher III, Kesha T. Handy, Joseph C. Magliolo, Ruben R. Perez and Caren A.W. Thomas were honored for their extraordinary effort in creating and directing the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA). Since 2005, this team has played a leading role in developing national curricula and providing training for more than 800 members of the federal, state and local law enforcement community and non-governmental organizations, as well as thousands of others at national and international forums, in how to recognize, investigate and prosecute human trafficking crimes. The HTRA is a paradigm of excellence for the nation: its efforts have resulted in the rescue of 133 victims of human trafficking and the convictions of 16 defendants for trafficking-related offenses, including the largest ever trafficking prosecution in the continental United States.
The extraordinary work of these seven SDTX employees has helped the Department of Justice to continue it’s mission to enforce all of our nation’s laws, including prosecuting civil rights violations, gang violence and drug crimes, as well as representing our client agencies, conducting civil enforcement and assisting victims of crime.
The Executive Office for United States Attorneys provides oversight, general executive assistance and direction to the 94 United States Attorneys’ offices around the country. For more information on EOUSA and its mission, visit http://www.usdoj.gov/usao.
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