Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that “under President Trump’s strong leadership, the Department of Justice is going on offense against violent crime, illegal immigration, and the opioid crisis—and today we are sending in reinforcements,we have a saying in my office that a new federal prosecutor is ‘the coin of the realm.’ When we can eliminate wasteful spending, one of my first questions to my staff is if we can deploy more prosecutors to where they are needed. I have personally worked to re-purpose existing funds to support this critical mission, and as a former federal prosecutor myself, my expectations could not be higher. These exceptional and talented prosecutors are key leaders in our crime fighting partnership. This addition of new Assistant U.S. Attorney positions represents the largest increase in decades.”
In the largest increase in decades, the Department of Justice is allocating 311 new Assistant United States Attorneys to assist in priority areas. Those allocations are as follows: 190 violent crime prosecutors, 86 civil enforcement prosecutors, and 35 additional immigration prosecutors. Many of the civil enforcement AUSA’s will support the newly created Prescription Interdiction & Litigation Task Force which targets the opioid crisis at every level of the distribution system. The Eastern District of Kentucky will receive two of the positions.
In the Eastern District of Kentucky, one of these AUSAs will focus on prosecuting violent crime cases. “President Trump and Attorney General Sessions have prioritized reducing violent crime, through investigation and prosecution of the ‘worst of the worst’ offenders. With this new position, we intend to do just that,” stated U.S. Attorney Duncan. “The new violent crime AUSA will work with our federal, state, and local partners to help protect the public and keep our communities safe and will prosecute cases arising from the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, a multi-agency partnership aimed at reducing violent crime and gun violence.”
The other AUSA position will focus on conducting affirmative civil enforcement actions, including bringing actions against medical professionals for over prescribing opioids and submitting fraudulent claims for reimbursement to the federal government. “As directed by Attorney General Sessions, we will use every available tool, including through the use of civil enforcement measures, to stop the spread of the opioid epidemic,” stated U.S. Attorney Duncan. “This new civil enforcement AUSA position will add to an already productive affirmative civil enforcement practice.”