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Press Release

Justice Department Honors Rank-And-File Law Enforcement Officers and Deputies in Third Annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

Two Detectives Recognized in the Southern District of Florida

WASHINGTON – Attorney General William P. Barr and Justice Department leadership today announced the recipients of the Third Annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing, recognizing the exceptional work of 19 law enforcement officers and deputies from 12 jurisdictions across the country.

Detectives Kenneth Sealy and Sandra Marquez of the Aventura Police Department, in the Southern District of Florida, are being recognized for their investigative work in solving several high-dollar fraud schemes targeting multiple businesses and retail stores. During an intense investigation involving a large credit card fraud ring operating in South Florida, the detectives identified approximately $194,000 in fraudulent transactions and seized another $218,000.  Another case involved money laundering and widespread credit card fraud committed in multiple states, which included a loss of almost $4 million over three years. The detectives are continuing this important work in coordination with several federal agencies.

“Honoring and supporting the work of law enforcement of­ficers and deputies is a top priority for the Trump Administration, and today is an opportunity for me to personally express my gratitude and commitment to those who risk their lives daily to protect our communities,” said Attorney General Barr. “The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing honors exceptional police officers and the vital public service they provide. The brave men and women in law enforcement are engaged in an unrelenting and often unacknowledged fight to keep our communities safe each and every day. It is an honor to thank them for their service.”

“We commend Aventura Police Department Detectives Kenneth Sealy and Sandra Marquez for their exceptional police work,” stated U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida.  “By directly engaging with the community and carrying out proactive investigations, they are providing invaluable policing and are worthy of this special recognition. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Detectives Sealy and Marquez, and law enforcement officers throughout our country who work tirelessly to keep us safe from harm and protect our national interests.”

President Donald J. Trump established clear directives for the Department of Justice – with three Executive Orders – demonstrating his strong support of the law enforcement community. These Executive Orders commit the Department to working in tandem with state and local law enforcement to restore the rule of law, reduce violent crime, dismantle criminal gangs, and combat the growing drug epidemic. Today the Department of Justice continues to support the President’s directive to honor law enforcement officers by announcing the third annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing.

The Attorney General’s Award recognizes individual state, local, and tribal sworn rank-and-file police officers and deputies for exceptional efforts in policing. The awarded officers and deputies have demonstrated active engagement with the community in one of three areas: criminal investigations, field operations, or innovations in community policing. The Department received 199 nominations for 414 individuals ranging from state police departments, to local police, to campus public safety agencies. This award highlights the work that troopers, officers and deputies do to prevent, intervene in, and respond to crime and public safety issues. The individuals recognized today also include:

  • Detective William Maldonado of the Suffolk County Police Department, New York
  • Detectives George Duarte and Jeffrey Richards of the Providence Police Department, Rhode Island
  • Officers Evan Jurgensen, Nicholas Kelly, Rachel Mynier, and John Yenchak of the Prince William County Police Department, Virginia
  • Deputy Richard Hassna of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, California
  • Deputy Ross Jessop of the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, Montana
  • Officers Aaron Bates and Alexander Stotik of the Cohasset Police Department, Massachusetts
  • Officer Phalon McFate of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Nevada
  • Officer Jesse Guardiola of the Tulsa Police Department, Oklahoma
  • Detective Anthony Roberson of the Providence Police Department, Rhode Island
  • Officer Jonathan Plunkett of the Irving Police Department, Texas
  • Detective Kathleen Lucero of the Isleta Tribal Police Department, New Mexico
  • Officer Troy Quick of the Conyers Police Department, Georgia
Updated December 3, 2019