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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Contact: Nicole Strong, PIO

Four Houston ATF Employees Recognized for Outstanding Achievements

HOUSTON  –  On Aug. 21, 2014, four employees of the Houston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were recognized at a ceremony held at ATF headquarters in Washington D.C.

Senior Special Agents Matt Abowd, David Bock, and Steven Seale were each awarded the Johnny A. Masengale Award for their role in a Houston explosives investigation.  The investigation was initiated when a package left on a Houston woman’s front porch exploded as she opened it, leaving her gravely injured.  Special Agents Abowd, Bock and Seale’s investigation into the explosion ultimately played a key role in the arrest, conviction, and life sentence of the victim’s brother.    In July 2013, the victim wrote ATF a letter, thanking the agents and complimenting them on their professionalism and determination, and for giving her the opportunity to start her life again.

Donald Calvert, Division Counsel for the Houston Field Division of ATF was awarded the Larry L. Nickell Memorial Award for his extraordinary contributions to ATF in the area of asset forfeiture.  Mr. Calvert played an important role in a Department of Justice working group created when the Attorney General authorized a temporary delegation of seizure and forfeiture authority for property involved in controlled substance offenses.  Mr. Calvert has also trained almost 2900 employees across the country, reinforcing basic forfeiture concepts and ensuring a smooth transition to this authority.

The Johnny A. Masengale Memorial Award was established by ATF in 1993, in memory of Special Agent Johnny A. Masengale who died on May 6, 1992, to recognize ATF employees involved in a special effort or special achievement in an explosives investigation or an explosives-related support activity.

The Larry L. Nickell Memorial Award for Legal Advocacy and Professionalism was established in January 2012 in memory of Larry L. Nickell, former Associate Chief Counsel, San Francisco, for his distinguished service to ATF.  The award recognizes an ATF attorney who continually shows a commitment achieving the highest standards for legal advocacy in both professional and ethical conduct.




Houston Field Division