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Press Release

Former Federal Agent Sentenced for Making False Statements in Connection with a Sexual Relationship with a Victim Witness

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Melissa Saurwein, 45, of Martinez, was sentenced today to two months in prison for making a false statement in connection with a sexual relationship she had with a victim witness in a separate federal criminal case, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Saurwein was formerly a Special Agent with Homeland Security Investigations in Northern California. While working in that capacity in a separate human trafficking case, Saurwein developed a romantic sexual relationship with a victim witness. In preparation for Saurwein’s testimony at trial, prosecutors asked Saurwein if she had a personal relationship with any witness or victim in the case. Saurwein lied in response to the questioning in order to conceal her sexual relationship with the victim witness. The human trafficking case went to trial and both Saurwein and the victim witness testified. The relationship between Saurwein and the victim witness did not come to light until after the trial and sentencing of the defendant in the human trafficking case were complete.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Professional Responsibility. The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District was recused from this case, which is proceeding in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Special Attorney to the Attorney General Audrey B. Hemesath prosecuted the case.

Updated January 31, 2024