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Press Release

U.S. Attorney's Office Recognizes Federal, State, And Local Law Enforcement For Outstanding Achievements

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. Attorney Dena J. King hosted the Western District’s Excellence in the Pursuit of Justice award ceremony, to recognize law enforcement personnel from local, state and

Excellence in the Pursuit of Justice

federal law enforcement agencies for their significant contributions to the mission of the Department of Justice, and for their commitment to protecting the people of the Western District of North Carolina.

“It is an honor to recognize the remarkable men and women in law enforcement for going above and beyond the call of duty to protect our communities and to hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions,” said U.S. Attorney King. “A career in law enforcement is not for the faint of heart. Those who wear the badge understand what it means to live a life of service, despite the significant dangers and challenges that come with the job. I congratulate the recipients for this well-deserved recognition. I am grateful for their outstanding efforts to ensure public safety and for serving the people of the Western District of North Carolina with integrity and excellence.”

The following law enforcement professionals were recognized in the Outstanding Case category, for their work as an investigative team and their exemplary performance in cases handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office: 

United States v. Rodney Allison ­

Johnathan R. Austin - Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office/DEA

Nathan Ball – Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office

Michael W.C. Beam – DEA

Melody J. Cox – HIDTA/DEA

Sonia Escobedo – Asheville Police Department/DEA

Andrew N. Fournier – Asheville Police Department

Brett L. Foust – Asheville Police Department

Steven Hendricks – Asheville Police Department

Brett T. Maltby - Asheville Police Department

Christopher M. Plowucha – Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office

Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation “COVID CHAOS” 

Nathan DeWeese – Haywood County Sheriff’s Office

Christopher B. Green – ATF

Brian A. Leopard – Swain County Sheriff’s Office/DEA

Mark Mease – Haywood County Sheriff’s Office

Micah P. Phillips – Haywood County Sheriff’s Office/ATF

Michael J. Reagan – Haywood County Sheriff’s Office/DEA

Andrew G. Scripture – DEA

Jay Stoller – Haywood County Sheriff’s Office

Alan C. Townsend – ATF

United States v. Shane Swimmer

Travis Brooks – Cherokee Indian Police Department

Daniel S. Iadonisi - Cherokee Indian Police Department

Mary Lambert – Cherokee Indian Police Department

Eugene J. Vinson – FBI

United States v. Michael Moore

Alvis E. Bergs –HSI

Andrew J. Greer - HSI

Illegal Firearms Interdiction

Seth M. Berger – ATF

Andrew J. Collier – Federal Air Marshal Service

Kelly M. Harrison – HSI

Christopher C. McMaster – FBI

United States v. Elijah Gorla

Jacob R. Guffey – FBI

William S. Hairston, Jr. – ATF

Rebecca T. Russell – Watauga County Sheriff’s Office

The following law enforcement professionals were recognized in the Outstanding Team Performance category:

Queen City Regional Border Enforcement Security Taskforce – “QCR-BEST”

Ronald Bollinger – North Carolina Department of Public Safety/HSI

Stephen Brown – Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department/HSI

Kirk Bynoe - Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department/HSI

Jonathan Cerdan - Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department/HSI

Daniel Johnson – Huntersville Police Department/HSI

Kyle Lang – Mint Hill Police Department/HSI

Daniel S. Leal – HSI

Michael E. Morizio – HSI

Kevin Osuch – Matthews Police Department/HSI

Courtney Roanhorse – HSI

Josh Smith – Stallings Police Department/HSI

The following recipients were selected to receive the Outstanding Individual Performance award for their exemplary contributions to multiple cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

Randy Berkland – United States Postal Inspection Service 

Zackery T. Hagler – Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department/FBI

Christopher P. Morgan – DEA

Jason D. Whitt – FBI

This year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office recognized Mr. Holrick L. Foster with the Outstanding Citizen Award for his contribution in a case prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and presented Adams Outdoor Advertising with the Outstanding Community Service award for partnering with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to promote the Office’s Think Again initiative.

U.S. Attorney King thanked the awardees for their distinctive efforts and their dedication to pursuing justice while working together to build public trust and keep our communities safe.


Updated October 27, 2022

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