ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

August 25, 2010

Edward J. Tarver, United States Attorney

Contact: James D. Durham
First Assistant United States Attorney
(912) 201-2547

Three Federal Agents Receive United States Attorney’s Award

Savannah, GA — Edward J. Tarver, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, announced the 2010 recipients of the District’s annual United States Attorney’s Award. ATF Special Agent Louis Valoze, DEA Special Agent Michael Sarhatt and Department of Defense Special Agent Clifford Curington each received the United States Attorney’s Award in a ceremony recently hosted by Mr. Tarver. The United States Attorney’s Award was established in 2005 to recognize exceptional performance by law enforcement officers and others who have contributed significantly to the Department of Justice’s mission.

Mr. Tarver stated, These three agents embody the traits of dedication, hard work and public service. In 2010, for the first time, three individuals received United States Attorney’s Awards. These agents are on the frontlines on the streets of America every day. We thank them for their service, and honor their successes.

ATF Special Agent Louis Valoze was cited for his twelve years of outstanding work in this District. Agent Valoze played a lead role in just concluded undercover operations that federal and state law enforcement carried out in Augusta and Statesboro. Over a 150 individuals were successfully prosecuted on firearms and drug charges arising out of these two investigations. In addition to his work in this District, Agent Valoze has assisted in operations throughout the United States; in many of these operations, he was placed in the midst of dangerous organizations and volatile individuals.

DEA Special Agent Michael Sarhatt was recognized as the lead federal agent on the investigation into a 45 defendant cocaine trafficking organization in Savannah and Atlanta. He led a task force of state and local officers that used a variety of evidence gathering methods including several electronic court-approved interceptions of telephone calls. The disrupted drug organization was led by Jamerson Smalls who received a 262 month prison sentence. It was estimated that over a two-year period the organization distributed over 200 kilograms of cocaine in the Savannah area.

Department of Defense Special Agent Clifford Curington was recognized for his outstanding work on both civil and criminal cases. Agent Curington successfully assembled a case in which a military supplier was allegedly overcharging the Department of Defense through inflated invoices. This civil case resulted in the recovery of $650,000 from the military supplier. In addition to his work on civil cases, SA Curington was the lead agent that busted a stolen military equipment ring operating in and around Ft. Stewart. Curington’s investigation led to court marshals against over ten soldiers from Fort Stewart and the indictment of four civilians on federal charges in this District.

For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.

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