The Criminal Division is responsible for prosecuting federal criminal cases in the District of Nevada. The Criminal Division is divided into five litigating sections. Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSA) assigned to these sections prosecute a variety of cases and work in coordination with various law enforcement agencies, including: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Bureau of Land Management, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, Immigration Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, the Internal Revenue Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, and Veteran’s Affairs, as well as task forces such as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA). Additionally, AUSAs work closely with state and local law enforcement throughout Nevada to prosecute cases of significant public safety importance in priority areas for the Department of Justice.
In addition to prosecuting cases, AUSAs participate in community outreach programs and presentations to engage the community in prevention efforts and raise awareness about public safety.
Violent Crime Section
The Violent Crime Section is primarily responsible for investigating and prosecuting violent crimes involving death or serious bodily injury and firearm cases. The Section investigates matters involving gang members, extortion, serial armed robberies, bank robberies, kidnappings, carjackings, home invasions, threats to commit serious bodily injury or death, assaults, and other death penalty eligible offenses. The Section handles both significant reactive cases and long-term historical and proactive investigations. The Section is also responsible for prosecuting cases that fall within the Department of Justice’s flagship program—Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).
Narcotics and Criminal Enterprise Section
The Narcotics and Criminal Enterprise Section investigates and prosecutes international and significant domestic narcotics trafficking, money laundering organizations, and violent local criminal street gangs. The Section’s goal is to dismantle the drug trafficking organization or gang thereby making a positive impact on the community. This is accomplished by using federal drug trafficking, money laundering, and racketeering laws. This section actively partners with the national Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) to effectively prosecute large multi-defendant, multi-district cases involving gang violence, narcotics trafficking, and money laundering. The Section is also responsible for overseeing and implementing the Department of Justice’s flagship program—Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).
White Collar Crime Section
The White Collar Crime Section investigates and prosecutes a wide range of sophisticated economic crimes that cause financial harm to the government, financial institutions, businesses, and private individuals. Cases handled by this section involve bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, bankruptcy fraud, securities fraud, tax fraud, investor fraud, mortgage fraud, health care fraud, government program fraud, transnational fraud, immigration fraud, Ponzi schemes, identity theft, mail theft, and money laundering. Additionally, the USAO’s immigration related prosecutions are handled by AUSAs in this section, among others.
Special Prosecutions Section
The Special Prosecutions Section focuses on investigations and prosecutions involving public integrity, cybercrime, theft of trade secrets, opioid abuse, environmental, public lands, child exploitation, and money laundering offenses.
Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC) and Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF)
The Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC) was created at the direction of the Attorney General after the tragic events of September 11, 2001. ATAC focuses its efforts on preventing terrorism and prosecuting terrorism related crimes. The National Security AUSA is responsible for the operation of ATAC and crisis response and management.
The National Security AUSA works with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other members of the District of Nevada’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) to investigate matters involving international and domestic terrorist matters, threats and hoaxes, counter-espionage, and cyber intrusions. The JTTF is comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The National Security AUSA coordinates with the Counterterrorism, Counterespionage, and Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property sections at the Department of Justice. The National Security AUSA typically becomes involved at the outset of an investigation and is experienced in managing complex matters, using a wide array of investigative tools, coordinating multi-district and/or international investigations, and navigating novel legal issues.
The National Security AUSA also handles a variety of civil rights cases, including allegations of hate crimes and allegations that law enforcement officers used excessive force against citizens and plays an important role in educating and training law enforcement and the public on civil rights matters.