United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida

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The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida is the United States Attorney responsible for representing the federal government in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

The Southern District of Florida encompasses a geographical area of about 15,197 square miles (39,360 km2) extending south to Key West, north to Sebastian and west to Sebring. The Southern District includes the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Okeechobee and Highlands.

The United States Attorney's Office has a staff of approximately 233 Assistant United States Attorneys and 227 support personnel. The main office is located in Miami, Florida, with three staffed branch offices located in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce and one unstaffed branch office located in Key West. There is also a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) office in West Miami-Dade and a Health Care Fraud Facility in Miramar.

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida is the United States Attorney responsible for representing the federal government in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The current United States Attorney is Wifredo A. Ferrer.

The Southern District of Florida encompasses a geographical area of about 15,197 square miles (39,360 km2) extending south to Key West, north to Sebastian and west to Sebring. The Southern District includes the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Okeechobee and Highlands.

The United States Attorney's Office has a staff of approximately 233 Assistant United States Attorneys and 227 support personnel. The main office is located in Miami, Florida, with three staffed branch offices located in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce and one unstaffed branch office located in Key West. There is also a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) office in West Miami-Dade and a Health Care Fraud Facility in Miramar.

Organizational Structure[edit]

The United States Attorney for Southern District of Florida is the chief law enforcement officer in the district and is organized as follows: Executive Division, Administrative Division, Appellate Division, Civil Division, Asset Forfeiture Division, Criminal Division (consisting of the Economic & Environmental Crimes Section, Major Crimes Section, Narcotics Section, Public Integrity and National Security Section. In addition to the Miami office, there are staffed branch offices in Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Ft. Pierce, and an unstaffed office in Key West. A general description of the office departments are as follows:

Administrative Division[edit]

The Administrative Division provides administrative services and logistical support relating to financial management, personnel management, procurement, management information systems, telecommunications, space and security.

Appellate Division[edit]

The Appellate Division provides advice and assistance to the litigation sections in appellate matters, prepares and reviews memoranda and briefs for the entire District, and argues cases before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Asset Forfeiture Division[edit]

The Asset Forfeiture Division was established in 1993 as an independent Division, overseeing all criminal and civil forfeiture related litigation in the Southern District of Florida. The mission of the Asset Forfeiture Division is to promote, facilitate and enforce compliance with the laws of the United States using criminal and civil forfeiture to disrupt and deter criminal activity, to dismantle criminal enterprises and to separate criminals and their associates from the profits of their illegal activities.

Assistant United States Attorneys assigned to the Asset Forfeiture Division handle all civil forfeiture matters in the District; handle and assist Criminal Division Assistant United States Attorneys with forfeiture related issues in criminal prosecutions and have overall responsibility for all issues involving all asset forfeiture including investigations, seizures and final disposition of assets. The District emphasizes criminal forfeiture and is consistently among the top districts nationwide in judicial forfeiture recoveries and Asset Forfeiture Fund deposits. Forfeited funds are used, as permitted by federal law, to support federal, state and local law enforcement activities and, in appropriate cases, to provide full or partial restoration to victims of criminal activity.

Civil Division[edit]

The Civil Division defends the interests of the United States from suits alleging statutory torts, constitutional torts, employment discrimination, and a myriad of other claims. The Civil Division also prosecutes cases for fraud and other violations of federal laws, and is responsible for collecting monies owed to the government as a result of criminal fines, defaulted student loans, mortgage foreclosures, bond forfeitures and civil judgments. The division's civil rights enforcement program investigates and litigates cases involving discrimination in the areas of housing, public employment, disability, voting and education.

Economic & Environmental Crimes Section[edit]

The Economic & Environmental Crimes Section investigates and prosecutes violations of Federal statutes dealing with white collar offenses, such as violations of mail and wire fraud statutes; securities laws; the Federal Corrupt Practices Act; false statement and claim statutes; provisions designed to protect banking institutions from fraud and misapplications; criminal statutes relating to the administration of the National Bankruptcy Act; tax cases; and a host of other anti fraud statutes. The section also investigates and prosecutes criminal violations of the environmental and wildlife protection laws throughout the District, including the prosecution of traditional polluters who violate standards with respect to the air, lands and waters, as well as non-traditional offenses such as the dumping of solid and plastic wastes by the maritime industry and providing law enforcement support in the extensive National Parklands and Wildlife Refuges within the District. A significant portion of resources is directed to enforcement of wildlife protection measures such as the Endangered Species Act, Lacey Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act, for violations ranging from habitat destruction to the illicit international trade in threatened and endangered species.

Executive Division[edit]

The Executive Division directs the litigation, operations and administration of the entire district.

Major Crimes Section[edit]

The Major Crimes Section is responsible for prosecuting reactive federal crimes that occur in Dade and Monroe counties, as well as conducting short-term investigations. The majority of the cases involve violations of the following categories: (1) government operations and property (attacks on Federal officers, theft of government property, counterfeiting, postal offenses, social security fraud, forged Treasury checks); (2) channels of interstate commerce (aircraft hijacking, interference with flight crew, transportation of stolen property, failure to file currency reporting forms when traveling in or out of the United States, and trafficking in stolen and counterfeit securities and credit cards); (3) legal process (bond jumps, obstruction of justice, false statements to federal agents); (4) violent crimes (kidnapping, extortion and armed robbery under the Hobbs Act; bank robbery; carjacking; and illegal possession of firearms); (5) crimes against women, children and families, (including stalking cases under the Violence Against Women Act, enforcement of the Child Support Recovery Act, child pornography, and rape occurring on the high seas); (6) immigration offenses; (7) narcotics violations (importation of narcotics via Miami International Airport, the Port of Miami, and air drops at sea, and marijuana grow houses); and (8) crimes that take place in a location where the United States has exclusive jurisdiction.

Narcotics Section[edit]

The Narcotics Section investigates and prosecutes violations of Federal statutes relating to high-level drug traffickers and other major representatives of drug trafficking organizations. The Section is also responsible for the supervision of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) programs.

Public Integrity & National Security Section[edit]

The Public Integrity and National Security Section investigates and prosecutes crimes relating to the safety and integrity of the public. From a security standpoint, all international and domestic terrorism related matters are handled in the section including material support and financing cases as well as matters involving the illegal export of military and regulated mixed use technology items. The section also works to enhance public integrity by investigating and prosecuting Federal, state and local officials for violations of federal statutes covering bribery, graft, conflict of interest, embezzlement, and extortion. Civil Rights statutes are also vigorously enforced by the section as well as other federal laws protecting the public from incidents of racial or other animus-based violence, involuntary servitude and other misconduct done under the color of law.

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