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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

U.S. Attorney Neronha Names Criminal Chief, Deputy Criminal Chief

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha today announced the appointment of Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland to the position of Criminal Chief and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert to the position of Deputy Criminal Chief.

Mr. Ferland, a career prosecutor for more than 26 years, joined the United States Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island in May 2010, after having served as a Rhode Island state prosecutor for more than 20 years. Mr. Ferland has led numerous high-profile criminal investigations and prosecutions, including the dismantling of the New England La Cosa Nostra in Rhode Island.

Ms. Hebert joined the United States Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island in June 2006, after having served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Texas and as an officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps at Fort Hood, Texas. Ms. Hebert has led numerous criminal investigations and prosecutions, including the dismantling of several conspiracies which defrauded the government of millions of dollars.

In announcing the appointments, United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha said, “Bill Ferland and Sandy Hebert are experienced, talented attorneys with sound judgment and excellent leadership skills.  I have known both of them for many years, and am confident that they will serve this Office and the people of Rhode Island extraordinarily well in their new positions.”

 

Background

Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland

Since being appointed an Assistant U.S. Attorney in May 2010, Mr. Ferland has, among his responsibilities, overseen the investigation and federal prosecution of organized crime in Rhode Island. These investigations and prosecutions resulted in the dismantling of the leadership of the New England La Cosa Nostra in Rhode Island, and the prosecution of numerous members and associates of organized crime. Additionally, Mr. Ferland has successfully led several investigations and prosecutions of defendants in arson for profit schemes and numerous violent crime matters, including drug trafficking conspiracies and firearms cases.

Beginning in June 2012, and until his appointment as Criminal Chief, Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland served as Senior Litigation Counsel.

A former patrolman, detective and police sergeant in East Greenwich from 1982-1990, Mr. Ferland also served in numerous capacities as a R.I. Assistant Attorney General, including Chief of the Criminal Division, Chief of the Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit, Chief of the Welfare Fraud Unit, and as Senior Trial Counsel, coordinating and overseeing the investigation and prosecution of high profile felony matters.

Mr. Ferland graduated magna cum laude from Rhode Island College in May 1982. He earned his Juris Doctor and graduated magna cum laude from New England School of Law in 1989.

Mr. Ferland serves as an adjunct faculty member at Roger Williams University Metropolitan College. Previously, he served as an instructor at the Rhode Island Police Training Academy.

 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert

Since her appointment as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Rhode Island in June 2006, Ms. Hebert has led the investigation and prosecution of a wide variety of significant criminal matters, including drug trafficking and white collar crime cases.

Ms. Hebert served as OCEDTF Chief, where she supervised the investigation and prosecution of numerous significant drug traffickers and drug trafficking conspiracies. Additionally, Ms. Hebert oversaw the investigation and dismantling of several wide-ranging conspiracies which defrauded the government of millions of dollars of food stamp program money, and the prosecution of numerous defendants.

Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Rhode Island, Ms. Hebert served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Texas - Midland Division, beginning in 2004. Prior to that appointment, Ms. Hebert served as an officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps at Fort Hood, Texas. While serving as an Army lawyer, Ms. Hebert was appointed as a Special Assistant U.S Attorney; served as defense counsel for over 30 court-martials; served as a Legal Assistance Attorney; and served as a Claims Attorney. Ms. Hebert rose to the rank of Captain prior to her discharge from the United States Army in 2004.

Ms. Hebert is a 1996 graduate of the University of North Carolina and received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1999. After earning her law degree, Ms. Hebert served as a Law Clerk for U.S. District Court Judge John D. Rainey in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

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Contact:

Jim Martin (401) 709-5357

email: USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

on Twitter @USAO_RI

 

Topic(s): 
Office and Personnel Updates
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
16-74
Updated July 12, 2016