The Criminal Division serves as the prosecutorial arm of the U.S. Department of Justice in the Northern District of Iowa. The Assistant U.S. Attorneys and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Criminal Division prosecute violations of federal criminal law, such as terrorism, drug trafficking, firearms offenses, child pornography offenses, sex trafficking, bank robberies, immigration violations, and a variety of fraud offenses. To accomplish that task, the attorneys , along with paralegals, legal assistants and others, work closely with grand juries as well as tribal, local, state, and federal investigative agencies.
In addition, the Criminal Division includes the Monetary Penalities Unit (MPU). The MPU has two components: the Asset Forfeiture Unit, which works to forfeit property used in the commission of a crime or held by defendants as proceeds of criminal activity, and the Financial Litigation Unit, which seeks collection of criminal fines and restitution, civil penalities, and defaulted government loans.
The Civil Division represents the United States in both affirmative and defensive civil actions in federal and state court. The Civil Division represents other federal agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS/ICE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Social Security Administration (SSA), United States Marshals Service (USMS), United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Affirmative litigation includes enforcing federal environmental, fair housing, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and civil rights laws, as well as suing corporations and individuals for civil fraud, including health care fraud, agricultural programs fraud, and federal procurement fraud. Defensive litigation includes Federal Tort Claims Act cases, employment discriminiation lawsuits, immigration litigation, constitutional torts filed against federal officials, and challenges to the constitutionality of federal statutes. The Civil Division also represents the interests of the United States in bankruptcy proceedings, mortgage foreclosures, land condemnations, and Social Security disability appeals.
The Appellate Division monitors the work done by employees of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Almost all guilty verdicts and many sentences from both trials and plea agreements are appealed to the Circuit Court. Because comparatively few cases are heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, the work of the office in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals is critical. The Appellate Division edits briefs, writes some briefs, and oversees moot court sessions that prepare attorneys for oral arguments before the Circuit Court. The Appellate Division also is responsible for monitoring and informing the attorneys in the office of new developments in the law.
Community Relations Division
The Community Relations Division is responsible for community outreach, law enforcement support, victim and witness assistance, media relations, grant and program oversight, and special projects. These responsibilities are met through a number of programs, such as Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) and Project Safe Childhood (PSC). These program, and others, provide financial support and training to tribal, local, state, and federal law enforcement partners. Crime victims are aided individually as well as through joint efforts with State advocates and agencies. Media representatives are sent regular case-based press releases and are notified of scheduled press events.
The Administrative Division supports the mission of the Office by providing information technology, procurement and budget assistances, human resource services, facility management, and general infrastructure aid. The objective of the Administrative Division is to deliver a full range of support services to the staff of the Office and its internal and external customers in an efficient, cost effective, timely, and customer-service-oriented manner that furthers the Office's strategic goals and objectives, meet audit and regulatory requirements, and supports a work environment that enables all employees to perform at the highest levels possible.