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Press Release

Robert M. Duncan, Jr. Sworn In As United States Attorney

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

LEXINGTON, KY. – Robert M. Duncan, Jr. has taken the oath of office to become the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. He was nominated by President Donald Trump on August 3, 2017, and confirmed by the United States Senate on November 9, 2017. Duncan took the oath of office from Chief Judge Karen K. Caldwell of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.


“I am humbled and honored to have been appointed by President Trump and confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky,” Duncan stated.  “It is my great privilege to serve with the dedicated and talented members of the United States Attorney’s Office, men and women who are committed to the principles of justice, fairness, and the rule of law.  As a native Kentuckian and career prosecutor, I understand the unique challenges facing our District, including the devastation of lives caused by drug trafficking and the tragic consequences of violent crime.  I am committed to working with our partners and colleagues in law enforcement to help make our communities safer through the vigorous and fair enforcement and prosecution of the laws of the United States.”     


As United States Attorney, Robert M. Duncan, Jr. is the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in the Eastern District of Kentucky, which encompasses the 67 easternmost counties in the Commonwealth, has a population of approximately 2.2 million, and includes the cities of Lexington, Covington, Frankfort, Ashland, Pikeville, Somerset, and London.  Duncan will serve as the twenty-third presidentially appointed United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, which was created in 1901.    


Duncan will oversee a staff of 83 employees, including 39 attorneys, 36 non-attorney support personnel, and 8 contract employees. The office is responsible for prosecuting federal crimes in the District, including crimes related to terrorism, public corruption, child exploitation, firearms, and narcotics. The office also defends the United States in civil cases and collects debts owed to the United States.


Prior to his appointment, Duncan had served for more than a decade as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Kentucky.  Beginning in 2011 and continuing until his appointment as United States Attorney, Duncan focused on the prosecution of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force cases, working with federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel to disrupt and dismantle complex drug trafficking and money laundering organizations operating in the District and elsewhere.  From 2007 to 2013, Duncan served as coordinator of the office’s Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, a Department of Justice initiative to reduce gun and gang crime through education, community outreach, and prosecution. 


During his career as a federal prosecutor, Duncan handled a wide array of criminal and appellate matters, including cases involving violent crimes, immigration offenses, public corruption, white-collar offenses, environmental crimes, and child exploitation offenses.  Duncan also served as the Professional Responsibility Officer for the office, providing advice about legal ethics.  Duncan joined the United States Attorney’s Office in January 2005. 


Prior to becoming a federal prosecutor, Duncan served as a law clerk to Senior United States District Court Judge Henry R. Wilhoit, Jr., in Ashland, Kentucky.  


Duncan is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association and admitted to practice law in Kentucky. He is also admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  Duncan has served as President of the Kentucky Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and on several civic, educational, and philanthropic boards.      


Robert M. Duncan, Jr., grew up in Inez, in Martin County, Kentucky, along the Commonwealth’s border with West Virginia.  Duncan graduated from Sheldon Clark High School in Inez in 1996.  He graduated from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, in 2000 with his B.A. in English and minor in History.  Duncan received his J.D. in May 2003 from the University Of Kentucky College of Law in Lexington, Kentucky. 


Duncan, his wife, Valerie, and their children live in Lexington.  

Updated November 21, 2017

Office and Personnel Updates