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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

may 11, 2012

Contact: Special Agent Robert Schmidt, PIO-ATF

Office (651) 726-0316

ATF Agents Receive Prestigious Top Cop Award

Honored For Their Work in Reducing Violent Crime in North Dakota

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Five Special Agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Fargo Field Office will be recognized for their outstanding work by the National Association of Police Organizations at their 19th Annual Top Cops Awards, May 12, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.

As a result of their skilled investigative work, Special Agents Cory Borkenhagen, Lowell Erickson, Burton Rutter, Russell Traurig and Jason Wambach will receive the North Dakota Honorable Mention Award for their unwavering dedication to making the citizens of North Dakota safer by working to put violent criminals behind bars.

Special Agents Borkenhagen, Erickson, Rutter, Traurig and Wambach focused their efforts on investigating and arresting violent narcotics traffickers, gang members, and conducting major Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) investigations. Their efforts led to the investigation and prosecution of 13 individuals for violations of the Armed Career Criminal Act, with each facing a minimum of 15 years in federal prison and approximately 60 additional cases recommended for prosecution.

Special Agent Rutter, a Certified Fire Investigator, also worked on 31 major investigations and spent 45 percent of his efforts traveling throughout the state investigating numerous fires to determine the origin and cause.

ATF St. Paul Field Division Special Agent in Charge Bernard J. Zapor stated, These special agents are committed to reducing violent crime and sacrifice much to serve this mission. We are grateful for their dedication and the recognition for their hard work protecting the community.

The purpose of the Top Cops Awards is to educate the American public about our nation’s heroes and to pay tribute to law enforcement officers in federal, state, county and local agencies from across the country for actions above and beyond the call of duty during the preceding year.

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