U.S. Attorney, Prosecutors Honored With Top Awards by the Association of Women in Federal Law Enforcement

May 28, 2009, 15:56 ET from U.S. Department of Justice

WASHINGTON, May 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Executive Office for the United States Attorneys (EOUSA) today announced that United States Attorney for the District of Arizona Diane Humetewa and Assistant United States Attorneys Tina Sciocchetti of the Northern District of New York and Lisa Jennis Settel of the District of Arizona have been selected to receive national honors from the Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE). United States Attorney Humetewa will receive the "WIFLE Foundation President's Award." Assistant United States Attorneys Sciocchetti and Settel join Special Litigation Counsel Kristy Parker, a senior attorney in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division's Criminal Section, in being selected to receive the "2009 Top Prosecutor Award." Parker's selection was previously announced by the Division.

United States Attorney Humetewa was honored for her career as a prosecutor, a crime victims advocate and her dedication to the training of law enforcement to become more effective in responding to crimes on the tribal nation lands. The "President's Award" is the highest honorary award given by WIFLE to recognize an individual for outstanding achievements in government service.

"U.S. Attorneys and their offices serve as the backbone for the Justice Department every day, in every city in America. We count on them to devote their time and resources to keeping communities and businesses safe, and to prosecute those who would violate the law. This means long hours, tough cases, and in some instances, putting themselves in harm's way," said H. Marshall Jarrett, Director of EOUSA. "All four of these honorees have risen to the top for their dedication and endurance, and we are proud to have them on our team."

Assistant United States Attorney Sciocchetti received the "2009 Top Prosecutor Award" for her leadership of a massive work site enforcement investigation and prosecution involving IFCO Systems North America (IFCO), the largest pallet management services company in the United States. On April 19, 2006, the Department of Homeland Security conducted an enforcement action at over 40 IFCO pallet plants in 26 states, which resulted in the detention of 1,182 illegal aliens working at those plants. In December 2008, IFCO agreed to a record corporate civil settlement, agreeing to pay $20.7 million over four years -- $2.6 million in back pay and penalties relating to IFCO's overtime violations with respect to 1,700 of its alien workers and $18.1 million in civil forfeitures that will be available to support future law enforcement activities. To date, nine IFCO managers have pleaded guilty to various immigration violations relating to the company's employment of illegal aliens and seven corporate officials are pending trial on immigration, tax and conspiracy charges.

United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York Andrew T. Baxter stated, "This important case, which has advanced the government's objective of deterring employers who might seek to subvert the immigration laws of this country, is a testament to the dedication and organization of Tina Sciocchetti and the team of agents and prosecutors she led. We congratulate Assistant United States Attorney Sciocchetti for this well-deserved honor and thank WIFLE for recognizing her."

Assistant United States Attorney Settel was awarded the "Top Prosecutor Award" for her successful prosecution of violent alien smuggling rings that regularly committed violence against women and minorities. Settel was evaluated on the degree of difficulty in prosecuting the case; high profile of individuals involved; challenges in prosecution; innovation and creativity in prosecution; impact on nation, group or community as a result of prosecution: evidence of unselfish dedication to obtaining conviction. She provided unparalleled support in the investigative phase and then transitioned into the prosecution phase, successfully obtaining federal convictions with lengthy sentences for alien smuggling, harboring, hostage taking, rape, assault, use of a gun, and other crimes committed by the various violent smuggling organizations operating in Arizona.

"Lisa Jennis Settel is an outstanding example of the hard-working, professional attorneys who prosecute cases here in the District of Arizona each day," stated U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Diane J. Humetewa. "Assistant United States Attorneys Settel embodies the qualities crucial for federal prosecutors: fairness, diligence, and sensitivity to crime victims. We are grateful to see her recognized for her hard work and commitment to justice."

All four Justice Department officials will be presented their awards at a banquet ceremony honoring WIFLE award recipients on June 17, 2009, in Tucson, Ariz.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice