First Assistant United States Attorney
Ms. Leachman has been with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas for more than 30 years. She currently serves as the First Assistant United States Attorney, where she is responsible for the supervision of the District’s District’s criminal and civil litigation. She served in numerous roles within the District, including as Senior Litigation Counsel, Chief of the Criminal Division, Chief of the El Paso Division, and as an AUSA in the Appellate and Major Crimes sections.
Michelle “Mickey” Tapken
Counselor to the United States Attorney
Ms. Tapken currently serves as the Counselor to the United States Attorney, a position she has held since July 2013. She has a distinguished career of public service. Prior to joining the Western District of Texas, she served as the Deputy General Counsel at EOUSA from 2007-2013. Ms. Tapken has also served as United States Attorney, Acting United States Attorney, and First Assistant United States Attorney in the District of South Dakota. She joined the Department in 1990 as an Assistant United States Attorney in South Dakota. Mickey’s efforts have been recognized with Director’s Awards for Executive Achievement (2006) and Superior Performance as an AUSA (1996). In 2018, the district established the “Mickey” Michelle Tapken Award for Achievement in Ethics and Professionalism.
Executive Assistant United States Attorney
Richard Durbin has been with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas for 40 years. He currently serves as the Executive Assistant United States Attorney, overseeing the Administrative, Legal Support, and Asset Recovery Divisions. Prior to this role, Richard served as Senior Litigation Counsel (2018-2022), Assistant Director of the Evaluation and Review Staff with the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (2019-2020), United States Attorney (2014-2017), First Assistant United States Attorney (2012-2018), Chief of the Criminal Division (1998-2012 and 1988-1990), Chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) (1997-1998), Chief of the Appellate section (1992-1998), Chief of the Narcotics section (1990-1992), and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the OCDETF section (1983-1988). Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Richard worked as an Associate at Susman Godfrey & McGowan (1980 and 1982-1983) and as a Law Clerk to the Honorable William S. Sessions, Chief U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Texas (1980-1982).
In addition to his leadership roles within the Western District of Texas, Richard has also served the Department of Justice as an evaluator and Team Leader in the EARS program, an instructor at the Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute and at the National Advocacy Center, and as a member of the Criminal Chiefs Working Group, the DOJ Discovery Working Group, and the AGAC Border and Immigration Subcommittee. Richard’s efforts have been recognized with Director’s Awards for Superior Performance (1990 and 1993), Executive Achievement (1997), Lifetime Achievement (2019), and Exceptional Teamwork (2021).
From 1996 to the present, Richard has taught Federal Criminal Procedure as an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law. Richard earned his J.D. in 1980, graduating with high honors from the University of Texas School of Law. He earned a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago in 1977.
Criminal Division Chief
John Gibson currently serves as the Chief of the Criminal Division for the Western District of Texas. In that role he oversees the work of over a hundred Assistant U.S. Attorneys and manages leadership teams in Alpine, Austin, Del Rio, El Paso, Midland, San Antonio and Waco. Prior to becoming Criminal Chief, he was assigned to the San Antonio Division serving as its City Chief and the Deputy Criminal Chief for the district. From 2003 to 2017, he was an AUSA in the El Paso Division rising to the position of OCDETF/Drug Chief. He has spent much of his career prosecuting cases involving Mexican drug cartels, transnational gangs, and criminal organizations involved in financial and violent crime. His trial work includes securing guilty verdicts resulting in life sentences on RICO and murder charges for the drug cartel member charged with directing the murders of U.S. Consulate employees in Juarez, Mexico, as well as the National President and Vice President of the Bandidos Motorcycle Gang. He received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award in 2014 and EOUSA’s Director’s Award in 2019. Prior to his service with the Department, he was an Assistant District Attorney for the 34th Judicial District of Texas and an attorney with the Texas Department of Public Safety. He is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and Sul Ross State University.
Mary F. Kruger
Civil Division Chief
Mary F. Kruger is the Civil Chief for the Western District of Texas. Prior to being named as Civil Chief in 2020, Ms. Kruger served as the Deputy Civil Chief of Affirmative Civil Enforcement (ACE) where she supervised and prosecuted all affirmative civil litigation in the Western District of Texas. As an AUSA in ACE, Ms. Kruger’s civil work focused on the investigation of healthcare and military procurement frauds. She transferred to Texas in 2014 from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia where she began her career with the Department in 2008. While in Georgia, she handled both civil and criminal cases for six years, working primarily in Major Crimes and as the district’s lead SAR Review Team prosecutor. Ms. Kruger obtained her undergraduate degree in History and Political Science at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Mary graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School.