|U.S. Attorney’s OfficeOctober 21, 2015|
HOUSTON—Attorney General Loretta Lynch recognized 279 Justice Department employees and 33 individuals, including 15 people in the Southern District of Texas (SDTX), with Attorney General Awards at a ceremony today in Washington DC. These annual awards recognize department employees and other individuals for their dedication to carrying out the Department of Justice’s mission.
“The individuals being honored today stand out within a department that holds all of its employees and partners to an extremely high standard of excellence,” said Attorney General Lynch. “They have put in long hours, made immense sacrifices, and, in some cases, placed themselves in harm’s way. They have taken on issues that once seemed intractable, and made progress on problems that once seemed impossible. And their outstanding work is an inspiration to public servants everywhere.”
“I am extremely proud and thank Attorney General Lynch for recognizing this team for the work they have done,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. “The results of this case and the efforts of all involved are a direct reflection of the excellent collaboration we have among our federal, state and local law enforcement partners and with the Department of Justice. The successful resolution of this prosecution also demonstrates our abilities and continued efforts to gather resources whenever and wherever we can to get the job done and ensure justice for the citizens of this district. “
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is the Justice Department’s second-highest award for employee performance. The recipients of this award exemplify the highest commitment to the department’s mission.
The Distinguished Service Award is presented to the SDTX team for its outstanding work on the successful long-term investigation and prosecution of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT). The ABT was a powerful, race-based Texas state-wide organization operating inside and outside state and federal prisons throughout Texas and the United States. ABT protected its criminal money-making enterprises, including narcotics trafficking, identity theft, counterfeiting and check fraud, through assault, murder and other acts of violence while enforcing violent internal discipline. In an investigation spanning six years and 17 separate indictments in five different federal districts, the recipients targeted the leadership and the most violent members and associates of the ABT. Their work culminated in the indictment and conviction of 73 ABT members and associates on charges ranging from racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, narcotics trafficking, assault in aid of racketeering, firearms offenses and obstruction of justice. This investigation and prosecution was exceedingly successful and the resulting convictions of every high ranking member of the ABT have effectively dismantled this violent criminal network. The collaborative work of the recipients in this long-term case is truly exceptional and worthy of this distinguished honor.
Award recipients include, from the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, Trial Attorney David N. Karpel; from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Houston Field Division, Senior Special Agent Richard J. Boehning, Special Agent Allen D. Darilek and Intelligence Research Specialist Donna S. Gray; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas, Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy S. Braley; from the FBI’s Boston Field Office, Supervisory Special Agent William Scott O’Donnell; from the FBI’s Houston Field Office, Special Agent Keith W. Koncir; from the U.S. Marshals Service-Southern District of Texas, Deputy U.S. Marshal Justin J. Perusich; from Homeland Security Investigations, Special Agents Steven D. Cavitt and Steven N. VanGeem and Task Force Officer Steven J. Lair; from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Office of the Inspector General, Criminal Investigator Joshua D. Lyons; from the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigations Division-Major Gang Unit, Special Agent Devin R. Gonzales; from the Montgomery County Sherriff’s Office, Detective David J. Wells; and from the Texas Rangers Company “A,” Texas Ranger Brandon Bess.