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Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section

Section Overview

AUSAs in the Environmental and Community Crimes Section handle a wide variety of environmental crime cases, including pollution by ocean going cruise vessels, underground fuel storage tank leaks, smuggling and distribution of ozone-depleting substances (CFCs and/or refrigerants) in violation of the federal Clean Air Act, unlawful transportation and disposal of hazardous wastes, destruction and removal of Native American artifacts and native plants on federal lands, and the smuggling of endangered species.  AUSAs in the section participate in community outreach efforts to encourage the reporting of environmental violations.  Members of the section also regularly provide training to agents and staff a variety of working groups and task forces.

Leadership

Mark Williams

Mark Williams is the Chief of the Environmental & Community Safety Crimes Section and previously served as the Deputy Chief from 2013 – 2021.  He joined the office in January 2008 and has served as a Deputy Chief in the General Crimes Section.  Mr. Williams has handled a variety of significant criminal cases including a $10 million dollar counterfeit currency case, the prosecution of Chipotle Mexican Grill for causing foodborne illnesses across the country, the prosecution of Monsanto Company for illegally applying pesticides in Hawaii, the 34-fatality Conception dive boat fire case, antiquities smuggling and art fraud cases, international wildlife trafficking cases, and trials involving narcotics, firearms, toxic hazardous waste, and sexual predators. 

Mr. Williams graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Political Science and received his J.D. with honors from Loyola Law School.  While in law school, he worked as an extern in the Criminal Division.  After law school, he joined Keesal, Young, and Logan where he handled securities litigation and admiralty matters, including the first federal admiralty trial before the Honorable Judge Guilford.

Recent Cases

April 12, 2021
Press Release
Former Santa Maria Resident Sentenced to Three Months in Federal Prison for Shooting Elephant Seal to Death

March 12, 2021
Press Release
3 Additional Members of Alleged Fraud Ring Based in San Fernando Valley Arrested on Charges of Exploiting COVID-Relief Programs

December 21, 2020
Press Release
Former Santa Maria Resident Admits to Killing Elephant Seal

December 1, 2020
Press Release
Federal Grand Jury Charges Dive Boat Captain with Seaman’s Manslaughter in Fire off Santa Barbara Coast that Killed 34 People

November 19, 2020
Press Release
Whittier Paralegal Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud Charge for Embezzling Money from Immigration Law Firm Clients

Section Contact Information

The United States Attorney's Office
Central District of California
Criminal Division
Attn: Environmental Crimes Section
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012

Updated April 12, 2021

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