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Press Release

Investigative Team from MDNC Receives ADL SHIELD Award for Local Prosecution

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of North Carolina
Middle District of North Carolina
Group of attorneys, agents, and victim witness personnel pose in front of a Anti-Defamation League background accepting award
Photo provided by Anti-Defamation League of Washington, DC

GREENSBORO - United States Attorney Sandra J. Hairston announced today that the Anti-Defamation League [ADL] awarded a local team of prosecutors and investigators with the group’s 2024 SHIELD Award. SHIELD stands for Service, Honor, Integrity, Excellence, Leadership and Dedication.

Assistant United States Attorneys JoAnna McFadden and Ashley Waid of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina, along with Special Agent Samantha Oubre, Special Agent Emilie Franks, Special Agent Michael Stone, Tactical Specialist Whitney Orndorff, Intelligence Analyst Brian Bowers, Victim Specialist Shannon Meyers, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Daniel Grunert were presented with their awards during a ceremony on June 6 in Washington, D.C. The award was presented for the investigation and prosecution of Marian Hudak.

“The Hudak prosecution exemplifies our commitment to investigating and prosecuting civil rights violations in this district,” United States Attorney Hairston said today. “Targeting individuals with violence because of their race or national origin will be met with a strong federal response. We are pleased and grateful that the Anti-Defamation League recognized the extraordinary efforts of AUSAs McFadden and Waid, Trial Attorney Grunert, and the FBI agents and other personnel who pursued this case.”

Hudak was sentenced to 41 months of federal incarceration after a jury found him guilty of committing hate crimes against a Black man and a Hispanic man on separate occasions. According to evidence presented at trial, on Oct. 13, 2022, Hudak encountered a Black man, identified as J.S., while Hudak and J.S. were driving on a public street in Concord, North Carolina.  After shouting racial slurs at J.S. and telling J.S. to “come here, boy,” Hudak swerved into J.S.’s lane and stopped his car in traffic, then got out of his truck and approached J.S.’s vehicle, where he continued shouting and punched J.S.’s driver’s side window multiple times. When J.S. fled, Hudak chased him to his home where he blocked egress from the parking area and shouted racial slurs at and threatened to shoot and kill J.S.

Evidence at trial also proved that, on Nov. 27, 2021, Hudak attacked his Hispanic neighbor, J.D., outside of J.D.’s home because of his nationality. Hudak shouted racially charged insults at J.D. before attacking him. Hudak punched and tackled J.D. and the jury found that J.D. suffered serious bodily injury from the attack.

Additional trial witnesses testified about Hudak’s frequent anti-Hispanic comments, both before and after the attack on J.D., and about other instances where Hudak shouted slurs at, gave the middle finger to, and aggressively drove near other minority motorists in the Concord, North Carolina area. Other evidence included a KKK flag, a racist publication, and Nazi memorabilia found in Hudak’s residence.

At the ceremony, the ADL honored law enforcement heroes who have protected the nation and communities from hate crimes and terrorist threats.  The SHIELD award was created in 2010 to annually honor law enforcement for major successes in the fight against hate crimes and domestic and international terrorism.  The Award’s name reflects law enforcement’s role as protectors and is also an acronym for the core values of the profession:  Service, Honor, Integrity, Excellence, Leadership, and Dedication.



Megan Ayscue

Deputy Public Affairs Officer

Updated June 10, 2024