For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney’s Office Honors over 200 Law Enforcement Officials in Annual Awards Ceremony for Outstanding Efforts in Fighting Crime
LOS ANGELES – United States Attorney Nick Hanna is presenting awards today to more than 200 members of law enforcement agencies for their outstanding work in dozens of cases prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office. During the office’s annual Law Enforcement Awards ceremony, officials from federal and local agencies – as well as six Canadian police officers – are being honored for their work in rooting out criminal wrongdoing in Southern California.
“We honor these brave and committed agents, officers and employees of our partner agencies for their tirelessness commitment to maintain public safety and preserve the freedoms all Americans enjoy,” said U.S. Attorney Hanna.
The award recipients are being honored for their contributions towards protecting U.S. national security, responding to the opioid epidemic, combating fraud, fighting public corruption, preventing cyber-crime attacks, and enforcing the nation’s environmental laws.
Those honored included two FBI Special Agents who worked tirelessly to track down witnesses and evidence from two decades ago that helped secure a guilty plea from a gang member who participated in the slaying of an African-American man in Highland Park in 1999. Merced Cambero, who along with fellow gang members shot and killed Kenny Wilson as part of a series of racially motivated crimes, was brought to justice last year after more than a decade as a fugitive. Earlier this year, Cambero pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.
More than a dozen FBI agents, intelligence analysts and specialists received awards for groundbreaking work that culminated in a criminal complaint charging a North Korean computer programmer with being part of a government-backed conspiracy to conduct a series of destructive cyberattacks around the world, including an attack that decimated Sony Pictures Entertainment and others that targeted financial institutions and U.S. defense contractors. The charges were the first ever brought by the U.S. against a North Korean citizen for malicious cyber activity.
A team from the FBI, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ Office of Inspector General, and IRS Criminal Investigation were honored for their work leading to the conviction of David Richard Scott, a parking lot operator who cheated the VA out more than $13 million. Scott received a 70-month prison sentence, was ordered to pay $12.6 million in restitution, and was ordered to forfeit $8 million in assets. The Veterans Affairs’ contracting official who took bribes from Scott for 15 years pleaded guilty and was sentenced to prison in September.
The honorees at today’s ceremony came from the following law enforcement agencies:
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
- Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation
- Simi Valley Police Department
- Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations
- Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General
- California Department of Insurance – Fraud Division
- U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General
- U.S. Department of State
- U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Office of Inspector General
- Riverside County Probation Department
- Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General
- Los Angeles County Fire Department, Arson Investigation Unit
- South Gate Police Department
- El Monte Police Department
- Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Special Enforcement Bureau – Arson Explosive Detail
- U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service
- U.S. Coast Guard
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Sûreté du Québec
- Sûreté du Québec de police de la Ville de Montréal
- U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service
- Federal Housing Finance Authority, Office of Inspector General
- U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security
- U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service National Investigator
- Torrance Police Department
- Los Angeles Police Department
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Professional Responsibility
- Los Angeles County Probation Department
- Long Beach Police Department
U.S Attorney Hanna said, “We are eternally grateful the hard work and sacrifice given by these members of law enforcement. Every one of the honorees serves as a prime example of the outstanding commitment shown by every law enforcement officer who serves the public.”