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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office Recognizes the Contributions of State and Local Law Enforcement Partners to the Mission of the U.S. Department of Justice

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Eastern District of California Law Enforcement Awards. These awards are presented annually to law enforcement agencies and investigators in the District’s Sacramento and Fresno divisions to recognize outstanding collaboration between federal, state, and local law enforcement in addressing public safety issues in this region.

U.S. Attorney Scott stated: “Congratulations to all of our award recipients on being chosen and for their efforts to address violent crime and violent gangs. The residents of the Eastern District of California owe a debt of gratitude to these agencies and detectives who persist in intensive, long-term investigations until the desired result is achieved. It is a privilege for our office to work alongside them to keep our communities safe.”

The Outstanding Law Enforcement Agency Award is presented to a local or state law enforcement agency that has demonstrated outstanding professionalism, commitment to public safety partnerships, and strong support for the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s initiatives.

The California Department of Justice’s Special Operations Unit – Central California Team is the 2018 recipient of the Eastern District of California Law Enforcement Award for Outstanding Law Enforcement Agency in the Fresno Division. The Special Operations Unit received the award for its role in an investigation that dismantled MS-13 in Mendota. This violent gang had terrorized the small town resulting in at least 14 brutal murders. Due to the multi-agency enforcement operation, more than 40 individuals were arrested on state and federal charges. The operation reflected the incredible teamwork between federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, and our shared commitment to keeping our communities safe from violent criminal gangs like MS-13.

The recipient of the Outstanding Law Enforcement Agency award for the Sacramento Division is the Solano County District Attorney’s Office for its support for Project Safe Neighborhoods. The DA’s office facilitated federal adoption of cases, including a March 2018 attempted homicide in which two co-conspirators pipe-bombed a residential home with a family of five inside; a series of five convenience store robberies, during which the lead defendant brandished a firearm and threatened a clerk at gunpoint; and five additional felon-in-possession cases that merited federal prosecution.

The Outstanding Investigator Award is presented to a local or state law enforcement officer who has demonstrated outstanding professionalism; timely, thorough, quality investigations; exceptional knowledge and investigative skill; energy and commitment to public safety; and commitment to law enforcement partnerships and teamwork.

The Outstanding Investigator award for the Fresno Division was given to Fresno Police Department Detective Cory Hastings for his significant contributions to several multi‑defendant gang cases including the MS-13 takedown. Hastings is known for his positive attitude, hard work, volunteerism, and ability to get along well with people within and outside his agency.

Two awards were given for the Sacramento Division’s Outstanding Investigator: Vacaville Police Department Detective Michael A. Miller and Vallejo Police Department Detective Jason R. Thompson, who were lead members of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation that targeted a Sureno street gang in Vallejo. The investigation involved purchases or seizure of over two pounds of meth and 25 firearms. Miller coordinated evidence collection across three counties in the case described above, including the robbery of five convenience stores. Thompson is working on a long-term gang investigation for gun and drug trafficking. Miller and Thompson have also sought out and referred multiple significant gun and drug cases initiated with state charges that we have adopted for federal prosecution. The success of Project Safe Neighborhoods in Solano County has been largely dependent on the investigative work of these two detectives on the task force.

Updated August 8, 2019

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