Justice News

Department of Justice
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Attorney General Eric Holder Welcomes Drug Enforcement Administrator and U.S. Marshals Service Director

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder welcomed the confirmation of the new Director of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), Stacia A. Hylton, and Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Michele M. Leonhart. Hylton and Leonhart were confirmed yesterday by the U.S. Senate.

 “These two highly experienced individuals will help lead the department with dedication, sound judgment and integrity,” said Attorney General Holder. “I am pleased that Stacia Hylton will return to the U.S. Marshals Service to build upon 29 years of distinguished service at the department. With more than 30 years of exemplary service at the Department of Justice, I look forward to continuing to work with Michele Leonhart in her new role at the DEA.”

The mission of the USMS is to enforce federal laws and provide support to virtually all elements of the federal justice system by providing for the security of federal court facilities and the safety of judges and other court personnel; apprehending criminals; exercising custody of federal prisoners and providing for their security and transportation to correctional facilities; executing federal court orders; seizing assets gained by illegal means and providing for the custody, management and disposal of forfeited assets; assuring the safety of endangered government witnesses and their families; and collecting and disbursing funds.

Stacia A. Hylton will return to USMS after operating her own consulting company, Hylton Kirk & Associates. Hylton has a long history with the Department of Justice, having served in federal law enforcement within the department for 29 years.  Previously, she served as the Federal Detention Trustee from 2004-2010.  Prior to that, she served in a number of leadership positions within USMS from 1980-2004, including Acting Deputy Director, Assistant Director of Prisoner Operations, Chief Deputy in the District of South Carolina and Chief of Judicial Security Programs.

She is a recipient of the Attorney General’s Edmund J. Randolph Award and the Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Service. Hylton attended Northeastern University where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 1983.

The mission of the DEA is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States. Using the agency’s unique operational and intelligence capabilities, DEA successfully identifies, investigates, disrupts, and dismantles major drug trafficking organizations around the globe.


Michele Leonhart has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience.  She is the first female DEA Special Agent to rise through the ranks of the agency to become its Administrator, and only the second woman to lead the agency.  She was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on March 8, 2004, to serve as DEA Deputy Administrator and became the Acting Administrator in 2007. 


Throughout her career at the department, Special Agent Leonhart served in senior management roles in DEA headquarters as well as Field Divisions across the United States.  She first joined the DEA in 1980 as a Special Agent in Minneapolis and St. Louis until promoted to DEA’s supervisory ranks in San Diego in 1988.  She became the first woman to lead a DEA field division as a Special Agent-in-Charge when she directed the DEA’s San Francisco Field Division in 1997, and later commanded DEA’s Los Angeles Field Division.  Prior to becoming a DEA Special Agent, she was a police officer with the Baltimore Police Department.

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014