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Press Release

Two Assistant U.S. Attorneys Receive 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

WASHINGTON – Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Joseph M. Tripi and Michael S. Cerrone of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York were two of 179 members of the Department of Justice recognized by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) Director Monty Wilkinson at the 33rd Director’s Awards Ceremony today in Washington D.C.

AUSA Tripi, Deputy Chief of the Narcotics and Organized Crime Section, was honored for leading a Federal Bureau of Investigation Task Force comprised of federal, state, and local agencies to combat gang violence in Buffalo, NY, and its suburbs. During an investigation and prosecution that lasted six years, several RICO conspiracy/murder indictments were returned against 47 members and associates of the 10th Street Gang and 20 members and associates of the rival 7th Street Gang. All 67 charged gang members were convicted by plea or trial. These prosecutions solved 10 gang-related murders, dozens of additional shootings, and led to complete dismantling of the 10th and 7th Street gangs. AUSA Tripi also led an investigation that resulted in return of a RICO Conspiracy indictment charging and convicting four members of the Bloods Gang with kidnappings and robberies of rival drug dealers, and another RICO conspiracy/murder indictment charging 16 members of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club gang with acts of violence including murder.

AUSA Cerrone was honored for his outstanding work representing the Federal Government in civil litigation. In the last year, because of AUSA Cerrone’s aggressive and persuasive research and writing skills, he received nine favorable decisions from the District Court granting dispositive motions in FOIA, employment discrimination, and Bivens matters, and two favorable decisions from the Second Circuit in medical malpractice and Bivens matters. In addition, because of AUSA Cerrone’s aggressive and creative litigation skills, he settled four cases on very favorable terms in tort, medical, malpractice, employment discrimination, and ACE matters.

“The Western District of New York is fortunate and privileged to have more than 50 dedicated and outstanding Assistant United States Attorneys working on behalf of the American people,” said Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. “Joseph Tripi and Michael Cerrone exemplify the commitment to excellence deeply rooted in this Office.  Both Mr. Tripi and Mr. Cerrone are richly deserving of these honors and I know that each of them also recognize that a victory for one is a victory for our entire office. As the saying goes—‘the strength of the team is each individual member, and the strength of each member is the team.’”

In his prepared remarks, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein stated, “These 179 award recipients embody the best of the Department of Justice. Today’s honorees have earned the esteem of their colleagues. But most importantly, you have earned the gratitude of your fellow citizens — whose communities you have made safer, whose lives you have improved, and whose trust you have rewarded. ”

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 19, 2017