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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Terwilliger Honored by ATF with Director’s Award

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – United States Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger was recently honored at the 24th Annual Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Awards ceremony with the Director’s Award, the ATF’s most prestigious award.

“It is my distinct privilege to present this award to U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger,” said ATF Acting Director Regina Lombardo. “The core of ATF’s mission is reducing gun violence in our communities. Committed partners, like U.S. Attorney Terwilliger, are essential to leading change in our neighborhoods and across the nation. U.S. Attorney Terwilliger is an indispensable member of ATF’s Crime Gun Intelligence Governing Board, and a steadfast partner with our Washington Field Division in prosecuting cases in the Eastern District of Virginia. In addition, U.S. Attorney Terwilliger was instrumental in crafting nationwide policy for Project Guardian and promoting the use of crime gun intelligence in enforcing federal firearms laws and coordinating prosecution. It gives me great pleasure to thank him for his stalwart efforts in protecting the public and those we serve.”

The Director’s Award recognizes outstanding and exceptionally significant service in the public interest. To be eligible to receive the Director’s Award, one must have demonstrated leadership, skill or ability in administration or in the performance of duty that was of great value to ATF’s mission; and/or provided ATF with outstanding assistance and/or cooperation through advisory services or the allocation of human or material resources that effectively assisted in accomplishing ATF’s mission.

“The women and men of ATF were some of the first law enforcement agents with whom I ever had the pleasure of working with as a team to investigate and prosecute criminal activity,” said Terwilliger. “As my career evolved, one constant has been a close working relationship with ATF. From my time as a line prosecutor, judiciary committee staffer, Associate Deputy Attorney General, NIBIN board member, and now U.S. Attorney, I can state with certainty that ATF lives its mantra of “Being no Better Partner.” At each of those positions, it just so happened that I worked closely with ATF at a variety of levels. Further, it is ironic and telling that the first friend I made when moving back to Washington, D.C. at the age of 10, and remains one of my closest friends to this day, was the son of an ATF Assistant Director at the time and is currently an ATF Supervisory Special Agent. Finally, for at least the past 40 months, here in the Eastern District and across the United States, ATF has answered the call each and every time they have been asked to provide critical support to combat violent crime around the nation. Having literally grown up personally and professionally with the brave and dedicated men and women of ATF, I am incredibly humbled and proud to receive this award.”

Most recently, Terwilliger joined Ashan Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division, in announcing the establishment of a new ATF satellite office in Newport News. The new office gives ATF a permanent presence on the Hampton Roads Peninsula, where drugs, gangs, and guns are a very serious problem. In addition to ATF Special Agents, the Newport News facility will house a task force consisting of officers from the Newport News Police Department, the Hampton Police Division, and the Newport News Sheriff’s Office.

In April 2019, Terwilliger joined law enforcement leaders from around the country on ATF’s National Crime Gun Intelligence Board. Established in 2016, the board uses the collective experience of federal, state, and local experts in the fields of forensics, law enforcement, and criminal law to ensure ATF receives valuable input on national programs related to Crime Gun Intelligence. Members of the 23-member board serve 3-year terms and are eligible for re-appointment. It meets biannually in different cities across the United States.

Terwilliger made acquiring National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) machines here in the Eastern District a high priority immediately after taking the reigns as U.S. Attorney in May 2018. Law enforcement in the Eastern District currently has access to three NIBIN machines: one in Beltsville, Maryland, that services law enforcement in Northern Virginia; one in Newport News that is shared by the Newport News Police Department and the Hampton Police Department; and one in the City of Richmond.

“The ATF’s NIBIN technology is a game-changer,” said Terwilliger. “Not only does it help us solve shootings, but it also offers a deterrent effect in that criminals will know every time they fire a gun during a crime of violence, we will use this technology to assist us in matching the casing, tracking the gun, and hunting down the trigger-puller. The ATF’s leadership on this program and commitment to providing law enforcement officers around the country with the tools they need to solve firearms crimes is beyond impressive.”

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Public Affairs

Updated September 10, 2020

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