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Press Release

Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney’s Office staff presented with Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Prestigious award recognizes work on Ahmaud Arbery case

WASHINGTON: Staff members from the Southern District of Georgia received recognition today as Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced the recipients of the 70th and 71st Attorney General’s Awards, honoring Justice Department employees and others for extraordinary contributions to the enforcement of our nation’s laws. Recipients from both 2022 and 2023 were selected from a group of more than 800 nominees.

“Each of today’s recipients has served with distinction, and in so doing, they have enabled the Justice Department to advance its work on behalf of the American people,” said Attorney General Garland. “Their exceptional leadership, heroism, and dedication have benefited people and communities across the country.”

Southern District of Georgia First Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara M. Lyons, along with Paralegal Tracy Long and Victim Witness Coordinators Kellie Wiggins and Iverna Campbell, received the 70th Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, the agency’s second-highest award, along with nine staff members from the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the FBI. The award recognizes the investigation and prosecution team in the Ahmaud Arbery case.

“The trial and conviction of the three men responsible for the murder of Brunswick, Ga., resident Ahmaud Arbery was a painstaking, arduous journey for these dedicated investigators and prosecutors, and this prestigious award recognizes their accomplishments,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “We especially are honored that our staff members’ hard work on behalf of the United States delivered a measure of justice for the victim’s family.”

Three Brunswick men – Travis McMichael; his father, Gregory McMichael; and William “Roddy” Bryan – were convicted at trial in February 2022 of violating Ahmaud Arbery’s civil rights, targeting Arbery because of his race as they pursued him through a Brunswick neighborhood. Arbery died after Travis McMichael shot him. The McMichaels were sentenced to life terms in August 2022, while Bryan was sentenced to 35 years in prison. All three also are serving state sentences.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara Lyons of the Southern District of Georgia, and Deputy Chief Bobbi Bernstein and Special Litigation Counsel Christopher J. Perras of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.


Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422

Updated January 31, 2024

Civil Rights
Hate Crimes
Office and Personnel Updates
Press Release Number: 07-24