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Criminal Division

The Criminal Division is responsible for prosecuting all violations of criminal federal law occurring within the State and District of Colorado.  The division is staffed by approximately 45 criminal Assistant U.S. Attorneys and approximately 35 support personnel including legal assistants, paralegals and legal administrative specialists.  Attorneys who work in the Criminal Division enjoy fast-paced litigation dockets that provide frequent opportunities to appear in court for pretrial hearings and trials.  Criminal Division AUSAs work with the finest law enforcement partners in Colorado.  AUSAs in the division also participate in community outreach programs, federal and state bar associations and committees, re-entry and rehabilitation programs, and other rewarding opportunities aimed at ensuring community safety and inspiring confidence in the criminal justice system.

The main office in Denver is responsible for the prosecution of federal criminal offenses occurring on the Front Range, including cases occurring east of the continental divide from Wyoming to New Mexico.  In Denver, AUSAs are split into four Sections: The Economic Crime Section, the Violent Crime and Immigration Enforcement Section (VCIE), the Cybercrime and National Security Section (CNSS) and the Transnational Organized Crime and Money Laundering Section (TOCML).  These sections are responsible for prosecuting the following federal criminal offenses:

  • Economic Crime:
    • Marty Paluch is the Chief of the EC Section.  The AUSAs assigned to this section prosecute all types of economic crimes to include theft of government funds, wire, mail, bank, securities fraud, and healthcare fraud offenses.  In addition, AUSAs in this section prosecute civil rights, hate crimes, public corruption, aggravated identity theft, and environmental crimes.  This section also staffs the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Task Force. The AUSAs working on this Task Force, as well as other EC AUSAs, prosecute EIDL and Paycheck Protection Program fraud cases.
  • VCIE:
    • Garreth Winstead is the Chief and Valeria Spencer is the Deputy Chief of the VCIE Section. The AUSAs in the section prosecute gang-related crimes, bank robberies, gun crimes, carjackings and armed robberies, immigration offenses, Bureau of Prisons crimes, postal crimes, and other violent crimes occurring on federal land.  AUSAs in VCIE work closely with the FBI, ATF, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and state law enforcement to combat these crimes.   
  • CNSS:
    • Julia Martinez is the Chief of the Cybercrime and National Security Section. The AUSAs assigned to this section investigate and prosecute a wide variety of cybercrime and national security offenses, including computer hacking, trade secret and IP theft, darknet and digital currency crimes, child exploitation, domestic terrorism, international terrorism, counterintelligence, and counterproliferation.  
  • TOCML:
    • Peter McNeilly is the Chief of the TOCML Section. The AUSAs in the TOCML section focus primarily on large-scale international narcotics and money laundering investigations involving cartels and other organized criminal enterprises. Working with the national Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, section members collaborate with investigative partners from numerous federal agencies to proactively target, disrupt and dismantle criminal enterprises through interdiction, prosecution, and seizure of criminally derived proceeds and assets. The section also focuses on community impact prosecutions, including overdose death investigations and prosecutions linked to the opioid epidemic, as well as local-impact investigations targeting the most prolific narcotics offenders within Colorado’s smaller communities. TOCML’s portfolio also includes investigations and prosecutions of doctors and pharmacists who illegally distribute controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice and for no legitimate medical purpose.

On the Western Slope, Branch Offices in Grand Junction and Durango are responsible for prosecuting federal criminal violations on the northwestern third and southwestern third of Colorado, respectively.  The Durango office also handles the exclusive federal jurisdiction over crimes occurring on the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian Reservations.

JD Rowell is the Chief of the Criminal Division.

Updated April 11, 2023