James D. Tierney
Acting United States Attorney
District of New Mexico
James D. Tierney became Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico on March 11, 2017. Mr. Tierney serves as the top federal law enforcement official in New Mexico and represents the United States’ interests in civil cases.
Before becoming Acting U.S. Attorney, Mr. Tierney served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney beginning in May 2014. In this capacity, he served as the U.S. Attorney’s chief of staff and managed the day-to-day operations of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in addition to supervising the Chiefs of the Appellate, Civil, Criminal and Administrative Divisions of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Mr. Tierney joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1984 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Civil Division and later became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division. Before his appointment as First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Tierney served as Chief of the Criminal Division, Supervisor of the Narcotics Section, and Supervisor of the General Crimes Section.
During his tenure in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Tierney has participated in numerous federal initiatives, task forces and working groups. As First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Tierney had a leadership role in developing and implementing the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative, a collaborative effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center with the overriding goal of reducing the number of opioid-related deaths in the District of New Mexico. The HOPE Initiative is a comprehensive approach to combatting the heroin and opioid epidemic in New Mexico, and is comprised of five components: prevention and education, treatment, law enforcement, reentry and strategic planning.
As First Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Office’s Criminal Division, Mr. Tierney also had a leadership role in developing and implementing the federal “worst of the worst” anti-violence initiative federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution. Under this initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies work with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders primarily based on their prior criminal convictions for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.
Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Tierney was an Assistant District Attorney in the District Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial District of New Mexico (Bernalillo County) from 1978 to 1984, where he served as Chief of the Violent Crime Unit.
Mr. Tierney is a 1978 graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law.