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Press Release

Deputy Attorney General Recognizes Two Assistant United States Attorneys With Director’s Awards

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Assistant United States Attorneys Melissa M. Marangola and Joel L. Violanti of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York were two of 162 members of the Department of Justice recognized by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) Director James Crowell, IV, at the 34th Director’s Awards Ceremony today in Washington D.C.

AUSAs Marangola and Violanti were recognized for their superior performance as criminal Assistant United States Attorneys based on their successful conviction of Ronald Epps for murdering his girlfriend Angela Moss in order to obtain the proceeds of a $100,000 insurance policy. They creatively utilized the federal wire fraud statute to obtain jurisdiction and prosecute an unsolved murder that the local District Attorney’s Office was unwilling to prosecute. As a result of the prosecution, Epps is presently serving a 60 year sentence in federal prison and the victim's family received closure knowing that the killer was brought to justice.

“More than three years passed and still no one had been held accountable for the murder of Angela Moss in 2009,” stated U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. “Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melissa Marangola and Joel Violanti worked relentlessly in reviewing the evidence and federal law to charge and successfully prosecute Ronald Epps, who, with a sentence of 60 years, will likely spend the rest of his natural life behind bars. Ms. Marangola and Mr. Violanti are among more than 60 Assistant U.S. Attorneys who work diligently each and every day serving and protecting the residents of the 17 counties that compromise the Western District of New York, and our Office is proud to honor them with this award.”     

In addressing the award recipients and guests, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said, “Today’s honorees earned the esteem of their colleagues. But most importantly, they earned the gratitude of our fellow citizens — the people whose communities you made safer, whose lives you improved, and whose trust you rewarded. Today, we pause to honor and recognize a small portion of your work.”

The Western District of New York was one of 35 districts represented at the ceremony which was held in the Great Hall at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building.

Updated June 15, 2018