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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office Honors Sixteen Individuals For Outstanding Contributions To Public Safety

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON –United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam honors sixteen individuals for their outstanding contributions to public safety. These awards are made each year to a select group of individuals who perform in an exceptional manner and who make significant contributions to our Office’s efforts to promote public safety.

Exemplary Lifetime Service as a Law Enforcement Officer

  • DEA Special Agent James Matsko

This award recognizes Special Agent Matsko’s remarkable ability to work on large scale drug trafficking cases over the span of his 25-year career.  Special Agent Matsko worked cases relentlessly to gather evidence which led to numerous drug and money seizures throughout the Northeastern United States and resulted in successful prosecutions of national and international drug trafficking organizations with ties to the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

  • FBI Special Agent April Phillips

This award recognizes Special Agent Phillips’s tenacious work in multiple fraud and public corruption cases over the course of several years.  Those cases involved local public official bribery schemes, COVID-19 pandemic fraud, corporate kickback schemes, and embezzlements by corporate executives.  Her efforts have resulted in significant sentences for white collar defendants, and the recovery of hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent proceeds.

Outstanding Contributions to Cooperative Law Enforcement

  • FBI Special Agent A. Porter Wilson

This award recognizes Special Agent Wilson’s successful efforts to create strong working relationships between federal, state, and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute criminals who pose a danger to our community.  In particular, Special Agent Wilson assisted the Bloomsburg and Berwick Police Departments with a missing persons case.  Through his efforts with local law enforcement, they were able to solve a local homicide while also identifying serial killer Harold David Haulman who was sentenced to life in prison for two Pennsylvania murders. 

Distinguished Service as a Law Enforcement Officer

Eleven individuals received the United States Attorney’s Award for Distinguished Service as a Law Enforcement Officer for their exceptional work in multiple significant criminal prosecutions:

  • FBI Special Agent Gary Leone
  • FBI Special Agent Dan Wright
  • FBI Supervisory Special Agent Joe Nelson
  • DOT-OIG Special Agent Christopher Prout (formerly with DOJ-OIG)
  • DOJ-OIG Special Agent Frank Adamo

This award recognizes the recipients’ significant and tireless efforts in U.S. v. Christopher Collare.  Collare, a state and federal law enforcement official, had inappropriate relationships with multiple female informants over many years, extorted sex from two women in exchange for agreeing to take official actions, provided heroin to informants, and falsified official paperwork.

  • DEA Group Supervisor James Hischar
  • DEA Diversion Investigator Lou Callavini
  • DEA Investigative Assistant Denise Williamson

This award recognizes the recipients’ exceptional work in U.S. v. Raymond Kraynak, a case that involved a Northeastern Pennsylvania doctor who maintained two drug-involved premises and unlawfully prescribed high doses of opioids to multiple patients outside of the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medial purpose, causing the death of five patients.

  • Kingston Police Department Chief Richard Kotchik
  • ATF Task Force Officer Ned Palka
  • Kingston Police Department Detective Robert Miller

This award recognizes the recipients’ keen investigatory skills and their unique ability to utilize the appropriate investigatory techniques to gather compelling evidence against drug law violators, including U.S. v. Jose Raymer Tejeda and Edwin Tejeda, and U.S. v. Charles Gibson.  Those cases involved drug trafficking organizations in the Wilkes-Barre region and elsewhere that distributed significant quantities of fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine.  A drug dealer in the Tejeda brothers’ drug trafficking organization, distributed fentanyl to an individual who overdosed and died.  The investigations resulted in the successful federal prosecutions of over two dozen defendants.

Exemplary Service in Support of Criminal Investigations

  • FBI Tactical Specialist Shawn Skovronsky
  • FBI Operational Support Technician Mary Hromek

The award recognizes the recipients’ outstanding contributions to the successes of the FBI Scranton Resident Agency’s investigations and this office’s prosecutions for more than 20 years. Mary Hromek handled a wide variety of essential administrative tasks at the Scranton FBI office and was the center of all communications in the FBI office and with its partner agencies. Shawn Skovronsky has provided tactical analysis and other investigative support to all special agents in the Scranton office. Their work has been instrumental in the investigative accomplishments of the Scranton FBI office and consequently in the successful prosecutions of FBI cases in this office.    

“We are pleased to recognize the achievements of our colleagues who have made outstanding contributions to promoting public safety, said United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam. “The exemplary work of these sixteen individuals deserves this special recognition, and I thank them for their service.”

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Updated September 28, 2023