United States Attorney Erek L. Barron Announces Awards Recipients | USAO-MD

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Baltimore, Maryland – United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron announced that twenty-two employees of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice, four law enforcement officers, and two civilians were honored today with the Office’s most prestigious awards.  At a ceremony held to announce the awards this morning at the United States Courthouse in Baltimore, U.S. Attorney Barron also introduced 24 new Assistant United States Attorneys and other employees who have joined the Office since last year. 

During today’s awards ceremony, U.S. Attorney Barron also announced that every criminal federal prosecutor in the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office will be assigned a firearms case in addition to their regular caseloads.  This is the most expansive anti-firearms initiative in terms of resource commitment in the history of the United States Attorney’s Office.    

“It is a pleasure to be able to recognize and celebrate the impactful work done by today’s award recipients,” said United States Attorney Erek L. Barron.  “Since my arrival as U.S. Attorney just over a year ago, we have hired and promoted the most diverse supervisory and legal staff in the history of the Office and we have increased our efforts to reduce violent crime through innovative and coordinated strategies with our law enforcement partners.  I believe that assigning at least one firearms case to every criminal Assistant United States Attorney and Special Assistant United States Attorney demonstrates to the community and to our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners our continued commitment and focus on making Maryland communities safer.  We have also committed to keep our communities safer by establishing a Violent and Organized Crime Section, including 30 new state-funded prosecutors and administrative staff positions; by establishing a Civil Rights and Special Victims’ Section; by being named a national Department of Justice COVID-19 CARES Act Strike Force and an Elder Justice Strike Force; as well as expanding our National Security and Cyber Crimes Section.”   

Annual Awards

The following awards were announced by United States Attorney Barron:

Gary Jordan Award

Recipient:        Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin

Gary P. Jordan served with distinction for many years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, as First Assistant from March 29, 1987 until his death on October 25, 1996, and as interim U.S. Attorney in 1993. This is an honorary award presented annually to an employee for exemplary performance that demonstrates the highest traditions of the office: integrity, ingenuity, dedication to public service and fairness.

Deborah A. Johnston Profile in Courage Award

Recipient:        Assistant United States Attorney Thomas M. Sullivan

In her 23 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chief of the Southern Division and Senior Litigation Counsel in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Deborah A. Johnston fearlessly took on the most challenging prosecutions in pursuit of justice.  Established in 2019, the Deborah A. Johnston Profile in Courage Award is presented to one or more assistant U.S. attorneys who demonstrate extraordinary courage and commitment to duty while representing the United States of America. 

Barnet D. Skolnik Award

Recipients:    Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth Clark
                       Assistant United States Attorney Anatoly Smolkin

Barnet D. (Barney) Skolnik was an Assistant U.S. Attorney who led teams that prosecuted numerous white-collar criminals and corrupt public officials in the 1970s, including Vice President Spiro T. Agnew. This is an honorary award presented annually to one or more Assistant U.S. Attorneys who demonstrate outstanding professionalism, determination and creativity in a case of unusual public significance.

Employee of the Year Award

Recipient:        Information Technology Specialist Derek Johnson

The Employee of the Year Award recognizes sustained superior performance and outstanding achievements by a non-attorney employee. The award also recognizes the recipient’s professionalism, dedication, and comprehensive knowledge in their area of expertise.

Pete Twardowicz Award

Recipients:    Special Agent Adam Eaton, Defense Criminal Investigative Service
                       Special Agent Robert Petrole, Defense Criminal Investigative Service
                       Special Agent August Merker, Homeland Security Investigations

The Pete Twardowicz Award was established in honor of Eugene P. (Pete) Twardowicz, who rendered many years of outstanding service to the U.S. Attorney’s Office as an IRS criminal investigator and a Special Investigator for this Office. This award recognizes law enforcement agents or officers for outstanding cooperation and achievement while working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on a significant case.

Excellence in Civil Advocacy

Recipient:        Assistant United States Attorney Vickie LeDuc

The U.S. Attorney’s Award for Excellence in Civil Advocacy, established in 2007, is presented annually to an Assistant U.S. Attorney for outstanding advocacy in civil litigation.

Excellence in Prosecution of Fraud

Recipients:    Assistant United States Attorney Harry M. Gruber
                       Assistant United States Attorney Paul A. Riley

The U.S. Attorney’s Award for Excellence in Prosecution of Fraud, established in 2007, is presented annually to an Assistant U.S. Attorney for outstanding work in prosecuting fraud.

Excellence in Prosecution of Violent Crime

Recipients:    Assistant United States Attorney Patricia C. McLane
                       Special Assistant United States Attorney Patrick Kibbe

The U.S. Attorney’s Award for Excellence in Prosecution of Violent Crime, established in 2007, is presented annually an Assistant U.S. Attorney for outstanding work in prosecuting violent crime.

Rod J. Rosenstein Award

            Recipient:        Detective Carl Walder, Baltimore County Police Department

            The Rod J. Rosenstein Award, established in 2017, is presented annually to a state and/or local investigator whose cooperative efforts and excellent work reflect the highest traditions of the law enforcement profession.

Excellence in Prosecution of Organized Crime

Recipients:    Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Hagan
                       Assistant United States Attorney William Moomau
                       Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Sarma
                       Julie Finocchiaro, Trial Attorney, Department of Justice
                       Alex Gottfried, Trial Attorney, Department of Justice

The U.S. Attorney’s Award for Excellence in Prosecution of Organized Crime, established in 2007, is presented annually to an Assistant U.S. Attorney for outstanding work in prosecuting organized criminal activity.

Excellence in Legal Support

Recipient:      Paralegal Specialist Lesley Dunlap
                       Paralegal Specialist Stacey Thompson

The U.S. Attorney’s Award for Excellence in Legal Support, established in 2007, is presented annually to one or more non-attorney employees for outstanding work in support of the mission of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Outstanding Contributions to a Law Enforcement Initiative

Recipients:    Assistant United States Attorney David Salem
                       Assistant United States Attorney Ellen Nazmy
                       Assistant United States Attorney Shabnam Aryana
                       Assistant United States Attorney Bijon Mostoufi
                       Special Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Tsuei

The U.S. Attorney’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to a Law Enforcement Initiative, established in 2007, is presented annually to one or more employees for outstanding work in support of an initiative of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Carl S. Lackl Award

The Carl S. Lackl Award for Exemplary Perseverance and Fortitude in Pursuit of Justice was established in 2008 in honor of Carl Stanley Lackl, Jr. Mr. Lackl witnessed a murder in Baltimore in 2006 and agreed to testify against the suspect he identified. After the suspect was arrested by police and charged in state court with the murder, he used a contraband cellular telephone to contact co-conspirators and arranged to murder Mr. Lackl, who was shot to death outside his house in front of his daughter. All of the conspirators were convicted on federal charges. 

This year the award was presented to two women who assisted with a case in the Greenbelt Office. 

New Employees

In addition, United States Attorney Barron welcomed new employees who joined the office last year. Assistant United States Attorneys:  Adeyemi Adenrele, Ariana Arnold, Shabnam Aryana, Michael Aubin, Steven Brantley, Geonard Butler, Joel Crespo, Ryan Dietrich, Ariel Evans, Darren Gardner, Robert Goldaris, Melissa Goldmeier, LaShanta Harris, Coreen Mao, Colleen McGuinn, Calvin Miner, Bijon Mostoufi, Christopher Sarma, Matthew Shea, Alicia Shelton, Beatrice Thomas, John Truex-Chung, Joseph Wenner, Michael Wilson.  Special Assistant United States Attorneys:  Keelan Diana, Jared Engelking, Jacob Gordin, Patrick Kibbe, Jeffrey Maylor, Alena Mosier, Nicholas Potter, Joshua Rosenthal, Laura Ruppersberger, Sarah Simpkins. Administrative Staff:  Robin Blumenshine, Marissa Crockett, Fernando Dominguez, Juliette Frase, Brandon Haynes, Anna Jones, Jose Lopez-Berrios, Jill Pegues, Aleta Sacksteder, Angelina Thompson, Scott Wilson.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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