News and Press Releases

U.S. Attorney Selects Terwilliger for Major Crimes Unit

February 1, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, has hired Zachary Terwilliger to be an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the major crimes unit for the Alexandria Division.

            “Nearly one-third of Virginians live in this region, so it’s a challenge to keep everyone safe,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “We’ve had success in keeping the crime rate down by taking guns and violent criminals – especially gang members – off our streets. Zach has already had a great impact on that effort, and we’re glad he is now a permanent member of our violent crime team.”

Since the fall of 2008, Terwilliger has been a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in Alexandria through a partnership with the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, where he was an integral member of the Alexandria Division’s Project Safe Neighborhood initiative that is focused on removing the most violent criminals from the community. This initiative is one reason why violent crime cases – which include not only weapons violations but also gangs, bank robberies, domestic violence, and some drug and organized crime cases – make up nearly one-fourth of the caseload in the Eastern District of Virginia. Combating gangs, especially the violent gang MS-13, is a high priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Since 2005, the Alexandria Division has convicted 26 MS-13 members for murder and murder-related charges.

            Prior to serving in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Terwilliger was a law clerk to United States District Judge K. Michael Moore in the Southern District of Florida and also clerked with Hogan & Hartson LLP as a summer associate. In the summer of 2005, he clerked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria’s Criminal Division. From 2003 to 2004, Terwilliger was part of the Department of Justice’s Outstanding Scholars Program, where he worked in the Department’s Antitrust Division as an honor’s paralegal.            

Terwilliger received his juris doctorate from the William & Mary School of Law, where he graduated Order of the Coif (top 10 graduates) and was a member of both the Law Review and Moot Court.  He received his bachelor’s degree in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia.



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