Duly Noted

311 new Assistant United States Attorney positions announced, four for Western District

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Andrew Birge announced that the Department of Justice is taking a dramatic step to increase resources to combat violent crime, enforce our immigration laws, and help roll back the devastating opioid crisis.

In the largest increase in decades, the Department of Justice is allocating 311 new Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) to assist in priority areas — 190 violent crime prosecutors, 86 civil enforcement prosecutors, and 35 additional immigration prosecutors. Many of the civil enforcement AUSAs will support the newly created Prescription Interdiction & Litigation Task Force which targets the opioid crisis at every level of the distribution system.

Said AG Sessions, “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.”

Sessions allocated four new AUSA positions to the Western District of Michigan, which marks an increase of over ten percent of its current allocation of attorney positions. Two of the positions will focus on violent crime, specifically the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. Under that initiative, the office partners with federal, state and local law enforcement to bring down violent crime rates, principally by prosecuting the individuals and groups who drive those rates. The third position will be dedicated to affirmative civil enforcement, which includes actions to address health care fraud and other forms of federal program fraud as well as the diversion of drugs from the regulatory stream by health care professionals. The fourth position will focus on prosecuting immigration crimes, including fraudulent identification document production and worksite enforcement.

U.S. Attorney Birge commented that he is pleased his office received positions to address each of the Department’s three priorities for this roll out. “I look forward to getting these individuals in place to make a positive impact on West Michigan.”