Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice
WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 2003
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
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(202) 514-2007
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ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT HONORS EMPLOYEES AND OTHERS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICEíS ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY

Members Of Buffalo Joint Terrorism Task Force Receive Top Award


WASHINGTON, D.C.Ė More than 140 Justice Department employees, along with 21 other federal employees and law enforcement officers, were honored today at the Departmentís 51st Annual Awards Ceremony at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

Attorney General John Ashcroft presented the Departmentís highest award, The Attorney Generalís Award for Exceptional Service, to the members of the Buffalo Joint Terrorism Task Force for their exemplary performance in the dismantlement of the Lackawanna, New York terrorist cell. These 18 investigators and analysts employed sophisticated investigative techniques in the investigation, plus demonstrated outstanding talent and dedication in neutralizing an Al-Qaeda link.

"The united work of every person in every component of this Department allows us to focus on our top priority: to prevent another horrific day such as September 11th. I commend all of you for your contribution to this end. You are the doers. You are the achievers. You are the extraordinary men and women on the ground and in the trenches advancing the mission of the entire Department of Justice," said Ashcroft.

The recipients of the Attorney Generalís Award for Exceptional Service include:

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Buffalo Division--Edward J. Needham, David M. Britten, Andrew J. Goralski, Steven J. Naum, Special Agents; Pedro D. Cordero, Supervisory Special Agent; Stanley J. Borgia, Assistant Special Agent in Charge; Adrienne J. Leary, Mary Beth R. VanLew, Intelligence Research Specialists; Karen V. Lawrence, Intelligence Operations Specialist; Francis J. Christiano, Jr. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives--New York Division, Special Agent; William J. Hochul, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Western District of New York; Ranganath Manthripragada, Trial Attorney, Counterterrorism Section, Criminal Division; Kim Baglio, Special Agent, Buffalo Office, U.S. Secret Service; James J. Higgins, Jr., Senior Special Agent; Lawrence D. Krug, Special Agent, Buffalo Office, Former Immigration & Naturalization Service; Felix T. Cwynar, Border Patrol Agent, Buffalo Office, U.S. Border Patrol; Michael J. Szrama, Special Agent, Buffalo Office., U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and Thomas Michalski, Special Agent, Buffalo Division, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The Departmentís second highest award is the Attorney Generalís Award for Distinguished Service. The Department presented 13 Service Awards this year.

Among the various recipients, this award was given to the Judicial Nominations Team, for facilitating the efforts of the Administration and the Department to nominate and confirm federal judges. As a result of their hard work and service, the Department has been able to assist the President in nominating 150 judicial candidates and facilitate the confirmations of no fewer than 117 Federal judges. These individuals, from the Office of Legal Policy, are: Adam H. Charnes, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Brian A. Benczkowski, Staff Director and Senior Counsel, Kristi L. Remington Senior Counsel; Lizette D. Benedi, Counsel; Nathan A. Sales, Counsel; William A. Hall, Jr., Counsel; and Sheila C. Joy, Professional Staff.

This award was also given to the team that investigated and prosecuted former Congressman James Traficant, Jr. These recipients are: Richard Mark Denholm, II, Special Agent, Criminal Investigative Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Michael S. Pikunas, Special Agent, Cleveland Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Assistant U.S. Attorneys--Northern District of Ohio, Craig S. Morford, Bernard A. Smith, and Matthew B. Kall.

T. Micheal Earp, Chief of Investigative Operations at the U.S. Marshals Service, was also awarded the Attorney Generalís Award for Distinguished Service. Under his leadership, the USMS has experienced unprecedented successes in the apprehension of dangerous fugitives throughout the world. Patricia Campbell Glenn received the award for her outstanding performance in reducing and resolving major urban conflict, and has demonstrated exemplary skills in contingency planning to prevent disorder and provided leadership in the resolution of racial disputes.

This award was also granted to the law enforcement team that enhanced judicial security in Colombia. Their dedication and teamwork, despite exposure to high levels of personal danger, resulted in a comprehensive judicial security plan which included protective training for Colombian law enforcement officers. This team included the following individuals from the U.S. Marshals Service: Judicial Security Division--Rudolf J. Friederich, Chief Inspector; Richard Iannucci, Senior Inspector; Manuel R. Varela, Deputy, U.S. Marshal, District of Puerto Rico; and Christopher A. Barfield, Deputy U.S. Marshal, District of Indiana, U.S. Marshals Service.

Michael R. Grabowski and Stephen T. Will, both special agents with the Buffalo Resident Office, New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency, were honored for their investigation into web-based drug sales.

The following individuals from the Office of Legal Policy received awards--Kevin R. Jones, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and Senior CounselsRobert Hinchman, Eric T. Gormsen, and Leland E. Beck. They were nominated for their sustained efforts in facilitating the Departmentís response to terrorist attacks. Because of their work, the Department has been able to develop and obtain regulatory actions in an extremely expedited basis.

Awards of this same category were also given to the team members that investigated and prosecuted Kil Soo Lee and his accomplices, individuals guilty of enslaving and brutalizing hundreds of Vietnamese and Chinese garment workers. This was the largest human trafficking case in U.S. history. The team included: U.S. Attorneyís Office, District of Hawaii--Mark J. Kappelhoff, Deputy Chief; David L. Allred, Lou E. de Baca, Special Litigation Counsels; Susan L. French, Robert J. Moossy, Trial Attorneys; Lorna L. Grenadier, Victim/Witness Specialist, Criminal Section, Civil Rights Division; Mei Wine, Victim/Witness Coordinator; Charles E. Beckwith, William S. Denson, Special Agents Honolulu Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Rebecca L. Story, Associate General Counsel, Former Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Rebecca Meiklejohn, Douglas M. Tween, and Elizabeth B. Pruitt, Trial Attorneys with the New York Field Office of the Antitrust Division, received awards for Distinguished Service for their exemplary efforts in the record-breaking prosecution of bid-rigging and related offenses in the New York food brokers and graphics investigations, in which multiple New York area public and non-profit entities were defrauded. Melanie Ann Putsay, the Deputy Director of the Office of Information and Privacy, received an award for the excellent legal advice she provides the Departmentís senior leadership offices on record-disclosure issues. John M. Vanyur, Senior Deputy Assistant Director, Correctional Programs Division, Bureau of Prisons, received an award for his exceptional contributions to counterterrorism efforts by gathering intelligence information.

Clifford J. White, III, Deputy Director, Executive Office, U.S. Trustees, received an award for Distinguished Service for his extraordinary leadership of the U.S. Trustee Programís fraud fighting efforts and his superior management of program activities. Valerie M. Willis, Assistant Director, Personnel Staff, Justice Management Division, received an award for her leadership in managing the Executive Resources Program for the Department.

The Attorney Generalís Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security was received by Jeffrey A. Breinholt, Trial Attorney, Counterterrorism Section, Criminal Division, for his outstanding work on the terrorism prosecutions in Seattle, Detroit, Buffalo, Houston, San Diego, Portland, Oregon, Dallas, Chicago, Syracuse, New York, Boise, Idaho, and Tampa, Florida. Paul D. Clement, Principal Deputy Solicitor General, and Gregory G. Garre, David B. Salmons, and Sri Srinivason, Trial Attorneys, Office of the Solicitor General, received awards for their work on litigation involving challenges to the decisions of the President and the U.S. Armed Forces to detain enemy combatants as part of the ongoing war on terror.

David J. Karp, Senior Counsel, Office of Legal Policy, was named for his active and sustained efforts to improve Department policies relating to counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations. Leslie S. Smith, Special Investigative Agent, and Todd J. Carpenter, Special Investigative Specialist, U.S. Penitentiary in Florence, Colorado, Federal Bureau of Prisons, received awards for their gathering of intelligence from inmates convicted of international terrorism or espionage. The following individuals received awards for their outstanding investigation and analysis of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service contacts with two September 11th terrorists: Office of the Inspector General--Patricia A. Sumner, Paul Yanowitch, Investigative Counsel, Office of Oversight and Review; Robert A. Bourban, Carmine L. Marino, Steve W. Hunter, Special Agents; Michael L Akin, Investigative Research Analyst, Investigations Division; Eileen L. Owen, Judy A. Sutrich, Program Analysts; Anne M. Sheppard, Assistant Director, Evaluations and Inspections Division; Stephen H. Fallowfield, Attorney-Advisor, Office of General Counsel,

John D. Arterberry, Deputy Chief, Fraud Section, Criminal Division, received the Attorney Generalís Award for Fraud Prevention for his contributions to the Departmentís enforcement programs targeting fraud, identity theft, and prime bank investment fraud. M. Elise Chawaga, Special Agent, Investigations Division, Office of the Inspector General, received an award for her management of the identification of fraud allegations connected with claims to the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund.

The Attorney General awarded the members of the Emergency Law Enforcement Services Forum with the Attorney Generalís Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Partnerships for Public Safety for their successful survey of law enforcement officers, the creation of Critical Infrastructure Protection Plan for the Emergency Law Enforcement Services Sector and the accompanying Guide for State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies. The members of Emergency Law Enforcement Services Forum are: David Christler, Deputy Superintendent, New York State Police; William M. Casey, Deputy Superintendent, Boston Police Department; J. Scott Finlayson, Chief, Springville Police Department; Russell Laine, Chief, Algonquin Police Department; Luise Armstrong, Sergeant, North Little Rock Police Department; Patrick Devlin, Assistant Chief of Police, New York City Police Department;J. Robert Hamrick, Chief Deputy, Forsyth County Sheriffís Office; William J. Roberts, Sergeant, Charleston Police Department; and Dennis Holley, Supervisory Special Agent, Office of Congressional Affairs.

Thomas P. Coty, Senior Program Manager, National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, also received this award for his innovative and outstanding leadership in creating and managing the National Task Force on Interoperability.

The Attorney General presented the Attorney Generalís Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement, which recognizes outstanding professional achievements by law enforcement officers, to Joel G. Mercer, Special Agent, Buffalo Field Office, and to Michael A. Osborn, Special Agent, New York Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, for their exceptional efforts in the two and a half year long investigation and international manhunt for James Charles Kopp, the man responsible for killing Dr. Barnet Slepian, a provider of womenís reproductive health.

The Attorney Generalís Award for Exceptional Heroism was received by Mark J. Demas, Special Agent, Kansas City Field Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, for his leading role in an investigation which eventually dismantled the largest heroin trafficking organization in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Ralph Narramore, Senior Officer Specialist, U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas, Bureau of Prisons, was also awarded this honor for his courageous actions when responding to a critical emergency in the recreation yard at the Fort Leavenworth Penitentiary Facility.

VaNessa P. Adams, Warden, Federal Prison Camp, Alderson, West Virginia, was given The Mary C. Lawton Lifetime Service Award, an award that recognizes employees who have served at least 20 years in the Department and have demonstrated high standards of excellence. David A. Johnston, Gregory T, Spayth, and Martin K. Sigsworth, Detectives with the Aurora, Illinois Police Department, were awarded The William French Smith Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cooperative Law Enforcement, an award that recognizes those in the state and local law enforcement communities who have made significant contributions to cooperative law enforcement goals.

A number of other awards were also presented:

THE ATTORNEY GENERALíS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN MANAGEMENT

W. Benjamin Fisherow

Deputy Chief

Environmental Enforcement Section

Environment & Natural Resources Division

Bruce G. Ohr

Chief

Organized Crime and Racketeering Section

Criminal Division

THE ATTORNEY GENERALíS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN INFORMATION

TECHNOLOGY

Eleanor A. Carpenter

Deputy Director

Rena J. Cervoni

Deana M.C. Willis

Assistant Directors

Office of Attorney Recruitment & Management

Karen L. Humes-Dancy

Human Resources Specialist

Personnel Staff

Justice Management Division

THE ATTORNEY GENERALíS AWARD FOR EQUAL EMPLOYMENT

OPPORTUNITY

Fernando Gaspar De Alba

Fabric Worker Supervisor

Dwight C. Greene

Human Resource Manager

Thomas P. Lemieux

Special Education Teacher

Teresa D. Lewis

Human Resource Specialist

Gina B. Pierce

Budget Analyst

U.S. Penitentiary

Pollock, Louisiana

Federal Bureau of Prisons

THE ATTORNEY GENERALíS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN LEGAL SUPPORT

PARALEGAL CATEGORY

Karen P. Dixon

Ashley R. Rohde

Paralegal Specialists

U.S. Attorneyís Office

Eastern District of Louisiana

LEGAL SECRETARY CATEGORY

Marsha A. Pfunder

Legal Assistant

Environmental Enforcement Section

Environment & Natural Resources Division

Martha J. Watson

Legal Clerk

U.S. Trusteeís Office

Norfolk, Virginia

THE ATTORNEY GENERALíS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ADMINISTRATIVE

SUPPORT

ADMINISTRATIVE CATEGORY

Mary Jane Coyne

Intelligence Research Specialist

Buffalo Field Office

Federal Bureau of Investigation

SECRETARIAL CATEGORY

Doris L. McMurray

Senior Lead Secretary

Commercial Litigation Branch

Civil Division

Angel R. Paulson

Confidential Assistant to the Director

Office of Public Affairs

THE ATTORNEY GENERALíS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE IN

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT ADMINISTRATION

Kathy M. Harris

Senior Paralegal Specialist

Mid-Atlantic Regional Office

Federal Bureau of Prisons

THE CUBBY DORSEY AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS BY A

WAGE GRADE SYSTEM EMPLOYEE

Phillip G. Jackson

Materials Handler Supervisor

Criminal Justice Information Services Division

Federal Bureau of Investigation

THE ATTORNEY GENERALíS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS BY

A NEW EMPLOYEE

David L. Calone

Trial Attorney

Antitrust Division

Kim A. Herd

Assistant U.S. Attorney

District of Columbia

THE JOHN MARSHALL AWARD

TRIAL OF LITIGATION

James Letten, Acting U.S. Attorney

Fred P. Harper, Jr.

Peter G. Strasser

Michael W. Magner

Stephen A. Higginson

Assistant U.S. Attorneys

Eastern District of Louisiana

Todd L. Greenberg

Assistant U.S. Attorney

Western District of Washington

Jennifer C. Ihlo

Special Litigation Counsel for Criminal Tax Matters

Melissa E. Schraibman

Amanda Boog Cruser

Trial Attorneys

Criminal Enforcement Section

Tax Division

Martha E. Rubio

Trial Attorney

Counterterrorism Section

Criminal Division

Kenneth D. Bell

First Assistant U.S. Attorney

D. Scott Broyles

Assistant U.S. Attorney

Western District of North Carolina

PARTICIPATION IN LITIGATION

Kevin R. Feldis

Assistant U.S. Attorney

Elisa P. Holland

Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Coast Guard &

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney

District of Alaska

Joseph A. Poux

Richard A. Udell

Trial Attorneys

Environmental Crimes Section

Environment & Natural Resources Division

Lawrence G. McDade, Deputy Director

Barbara J. Alkalay

Former Staff Attorney

Office of Consumer Litigation

Civil Division

SUPPORT OF LITIGATION

Amy Chang Lee

Assistant Chief

Robert C. Dalton

Melissa Marquez Oliver

David J. Stander

Catherine M. Weinstock

Trial Attorneys

Mervyn Hamburg

Supervisory Trial Attorney

Organized Crime and Racketeering Section

Criminal Division

HANDLING OF APPEALS

Frank P. Cihlar

Trial Attorney

Appellate Section

Tax Division

Kent L. Jones

Tax Assistant to the Solicitor General

Office of the Solicitor General

Michael S. Raab

Special Counsel

Appellate Staff

Civil Division

PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE

Richard C. Owens

Trial Attorney

Office of International Affairs

Criminal Division

PREPARATION AND HANDLING OF LEGISLATION

Roger R. Martella

Assistant Section Chief

Indian Resources Section

Patricia L. Weiss

Assistant Section Chief

R. Anthony Rogers

Senior Trial Attorney

General Litigation Section

Environment & Natural Resources Division

ASSET FORFEITURE

Gary L. Stein

Marc A. Weinstein

Barbara A. Ward

Assistant U.S. Attorneys

Southern District of New York

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Catherine B. Banerjee Rojko

Senior Counsel

Drenaye L. Houston

Anna C. Thode

Patrick M. Casey

Senior Attorneys

Amy R. Gillespie

Scott D. Bauer

Christy L. King

Trial Attorneys

Environmental Enforcement Section

Cynthia S. Huber

Senior Attorney

General Litigation Section

Environment & Natural Resources Division

INTERAGENCY COOPERATION IN SUPPORT OF LITIGATION

John K. Webb

Assistant Counsel, Office of the Inspector General

Social Service Administration

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