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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Attorney General Recognizes Two Maryland Assistant U.S. Attorneys

WASHINGTON – Assistant United States Attorneys Sandra Wilkinson and Martin J. Clarke of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Maryland were among the 243 members of the Department of Justice recognized by Attorney General Eric Holder and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) Director Monty Wilkinson at the 30th annual Director’s Awards Ceremony today in Washington D.C.

The District of Maryland was one of 44 districts represented at the ceremony which was held in the Great Hall at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building.

In his prepared remarks to awardees, Attorney General Holder said, “Locally, nationally, and internationally, you represent the very best that this Department has to offer. Your work embodies our ongoing commitment – not merely to win cases, but to do justice; to protect our fellow citizens from crime, violence, and terrorism; to empower the most vulnerable among us; and to uphold the rule of law.”

EOUSA Director Monty Wilkinson echoed those sentiments, saying to the recipients, “You have persevered, and remained focused and motivated – achieving remarkable results in work that makes a difference in the lives of citizens across our great country. The vast scope of your collective accomplishments is nothing short of exceptional.”

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wilkinson and Clarke received an award for “Superior Performance as an AUSA – Criminal,” for their prosecution of Jose Joaquin Morales, age 37, of Baltimore, Maryland, who was sentenced to life in prison for using a cell phone to arrange the murder-for-hire of Robert Long. According to evidence presented at his two week trial, Long and Morales were co-defendants in a series of theft cases in Baltimore City Circuit Court. Long had agreed to testify against Morales and detectives used Long’s information to obtain a search warrant at Morales’ home, seizing a large amount of stolen construction equipment. Six days later, on March 24, 2008, Long was dead. Witnesses, including his former attorney, Stanley Needleman, testified that Morales ordered the murder to prevent Long, who was also an employee of Morales, from testifying against him.

The prosecution of Morales resulted in the exoneration of Demetrius Smith, who was serving life in state prison for Long’s murder -- a crime he did not commit.

“This case resulted in the exoneration of an innocent man and the conviction of the real killer,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

EOUSA provides oversight, general executive assistance, and direction to the 94 United States Attorneys’ offices around the country. For more information on EOUSA and its mission, visit

Updated January 26, 2015