Skip to main content

Criminal Division


The Criminal Division is the largest division in the office and includes the following units:

Complex Crimes
Criminal Enterprises
General Crimes
Terrorism & Violent Crimes

Complex Crimes

The Complex Crimes Unit prosecutes white collar and other types of sophisticated crime. The Unit focuses on criminal cases involving public corruption, corporate and investment fraud, computer crimes, environmental crime, health care fraud and other types of fraud. In each of these areas, the Complex Crimes Unit promotes and manages collaborative working relationships, both formal and informal, with federal, state, and local law enforcement.

The Unit has substantial experience and expertise in the prosecution of investment, securities, and corporate fraud.  It works primarily with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service, Postal Inspection Service, and Inspectors General of various federal agencies.  It also coordinates with state and local law enforcement and civil enforcement organizations such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Securities Division of the Washington Department of Financial Institutions, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

The Complex Crimes Unit includes a group of Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) attorneys. As one of a dozen offices in major U.S. cities that includes a CHIP group, we focus on crimes involving computers and the Internet, including computer intrusions, intellectual property violations, and Internet fraud. The CHIP group develops cases hand-in-hand with federal law enforcement, and with state and local law enforcement through the Cyber Crime Task Force established by this office in partnership with the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service.

Criminal Enterprises

The Criminal Enterprises Unit identifies, investigates, and prosecutes organized criminal groups operating in Western Washington that are involved in drug and non-drug criminal enterprises. Emphasis is placed on multi-agency participation, extensive financial investigations, use of electronic surveillance, and close coordination with other U.S. Attorney's Offices conducting similar investigations.

The Unit's attorneys work with agents from the DEA, FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, ATF, and other state, local, and federal agencies. The crimes investigated include drug trafficking, gambling, extortion, alien smuggling, and other federal offenses committed by criminal organizations. Many of the drug investigations are approved and partially funded by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program, a federal multi-agency investigative effort.

General Crimes

The General Crimes Unit handles primarily reactive criminal cases. Cases prosecuted by this unit span the gamut of federal crimes including those committed on federal property, and crimes such as drug trafficking, border crimes, thefts, false statements, violations of immigration laws, illegal firearms, mail fraud, bank fraud, postal offenses, wire fraud, counterfeiting, crimes of violence, homicide and crimes against children. The Unit's activities focus mainly on non-organized crimes, and shorter-term investigations. The General Crimes Unit works with virtually all federal agencies, as well as with state and local law enforcement authorities to promote the Office's mission of cooperation and coordination among all law enforcement agencies.

Terrorism & Violent Crimes

The Terrorism and Violent Crimes Unit has the dual mission of prosecuting national security and violent crime cases.  The Unit aggressively investigates and prosecutes a variety of national security cases, including counter-terrorism, counter-intelligence/espionage, and export/weapons proliferation offenses.  The Unit includes the Office’s National Security Coordinator who is responsible for working closely with all federal, state, and local agencies to coordinate the sharing of information relating to national security investigations in the district.

The Unit also aggressively prosecutes violent crime cases, heavily focusing on gun crimes as part of the Project Safe Neighborhood program.  Through this program, the Unit works closely with state and local investigators and prosecutors to identify the most violent and prolific offenders for federal prosecution. Additionally, the Unit works to reduce the supply of illegal guns by prosecuting offenders who are illegally trafficking and/or manufacturing firearms.  The Unit also focuses on other violent crimes, including bank robberies and pharmacy/dispensary robberies.

In addition, the Unit houses three important program areas within the Office.  Our Indian Country program is responsible for handling violent crimes and sexual assaults that occur on the 24 Indian Reservations within the District.  The Human Trafficking program focuses on prosecuting the most serious sex trafficking and labor trafficking offenses.  The Criminal Civil Rights program handles investigations and prosecutions of hate crime cases and reviews law enforcement excessive use-of-force referrals.  

Important Links

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington:

Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Washington:

Federal Bureau of Prisons:

FBI Seattle Field Office:

Public Access to Court Electronic Records:

Updated July 25, 2022