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Chief of the Criminal Division

Katayoun M. Copeland

Katayoun “Kat” M. Copeland was named Chief of the Criminal Division in February 2020, returning to the Office after serving as the District Attorney of Delaware County, Pennsylvania. As Criminal Chief, Ms. Copeland supervises all criminal investigations and cases in the Office.

Ms. Copeland is a career prosecutor with extensive courtroom supervisory experience. As the Delaware County District Attorney, she directed an office of 140+ prosecutors, detectives, and staff. Prior to becoming the Delaware County District Attorney in January 2018, she served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for over six years and a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for over a decade. During that time, Ms. Copeland served in the Office’s Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit, investigating and prosecuting complex international narcotics trafficking cases, large-scale racketeering conspiracies, and violent crimes stemming from the drug trade. While an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Ms. Copeland prosecuted a number of significant cases, including a racketeering case involving a violent gang known as the “Harlem Boys” that controlled drug territory in the Bartram Village Housing Development in Southwest Philadelphia; an international drug trafficking organization which smuggled bulk cocaine across the Mexican border and distributed it throughout the United States; and a complex case involving the illegal exportation of munitions.

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ms. Copeland began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Delaware County in the trial division, where she successfully tried hundreds of jury trials, including charges of homicide, rape, and robbery. She served in many roles in her 19 years in Delaware County, including as the Chief of Drug Enforcement and head of the Criminal-Terrorism Unit. Ms. Copeland was ultimately named Deputy District Attorney in 2004.

Over the course of her career, Ms. Copeland has received numerous special achievement awards from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in recognition of her work. For example, Ms. Copeland was recently recognized, along with HSI Philadelphia’s Cyber Crimes Investigations Group, by the Office of National Drug Control Policy for the HIDTA 2019 Outstanding Opioid Investigative Effort involving the successful investigation and prosecution of dark web narcotics traffickers. She also received a Special Achievement Award from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for the investigation and prosecution of a prolific violent drug trafficking organization operating in Chester City and the surrounding Delaware Valley region.

Ms. Copeland earned her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College, with a major in Economics and minors in French and History, and her J.D. from the Temple University Beasley School of Law. She is a member of the University of Pennsylvania Law School American Inn of Court and the Legal Club of Philadelphia.

Updated April 2, 2020

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