The Criminal Division has twenty Assistant United States Attorney’s, one full-time Special Assistant United States Attorneys from the Municipality of Anchorage, and numerous part-time Special Assistant United States Attorneys from various local, state and federal agencies who assist with the prosecution of criminal matters. These prosecutors are supported by an excellent staff of professionals, including three legal assistants, three paralegals, a victim witness coordinator, a law enforcement coordinator, student interns and an administrative staff. One AUSA and one legal assistant are assigned to the Juneau branch office, and one AUSA and one paralegal are assigned to the Fairbanks branch office. The Division is supervised by the Criminal Division Chief and the Deputy Chief.
Our office is responsible for prosecuting a wide range of federal criminal offenses committed within the State of Alaska. We work directly with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies throughout Alaska who investigate crimes and refer them to our office for federal prosecution. The federal investigatory agencies include Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Secret Service, Postal Inspection Service, Department of Interior, Federal Aviation Administration, US Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The Criminal Division divides the responsibility for prosecuting this diversity of matters into two broad units: (1) White Collar and Environmental Crimes, and (2) Violent Crime, Gangs and Drug Enforcement. Within these units we have prosecutors who specialize in combating specific types of offenses, including:
- Sexual Exploitation of Children, Human Trafficking, and Child Pornography
- Domestic Terrorism
- Firearm Offenses and Gang violence
- Organized Crime and Drug Cases
- Environmental Crimes and Wildlife Offense
- Health Care Fraud
- Tax Crimes
- Federal Program and Grant Fraud
- Mortgage Fraud, Bank Fraud, Wire Fraud and Money Laundering
- Crimes Impacting Alaska Natives and Rural Alaska
The Criminal Division prosecutes primarily felony offenses. However, we also support an active misdemeanor docket of cases involving more minor offense and violations occurring in Alaska’s many amazing federal parks, national forests and federal lands. The United States Constitution requires that federal felonies be charged by grand jury indictment unless the defendant consents to prosecution by way of information. An Indictment is a written accusation by a grand jury which charges the defendant with commission of a crime. An information is a written criminal charge filed by the United Sates Attorney without the involvement of the grand jury. Multiple charges in an indictment or an information are referred to as counts.
The United States District Courts are vested with power to summon, instruct and impanel grand juries, which consist of at least sixteen and not more than twenty-three persons. The function of the grand jury is to hear evidence of suspected violations of federal law and determine whether there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed and that a particular person or corporation committed it. No federal grand jury can indict without the concurrence of the United States Attorney. The grand jury for the District of Alaska sits one week every month.