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USAO recognizes HSI Washington, D.C. for operation combating MS-13

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — On Sept. 28, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) recognized two members of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. for their work in combating the transnational criminal organization known as MS-13. Special Agent Justin Schmitt and Task Force Officer Andrew Speights of the Manassas City Police Department received the USAO’s Public Service Award at a ceremony in Alexandria for their work on Operation Tin Man.

“We are proud and honored to receive recognition from the U.S. attorney’s office,” said HSI Washington, D.C. Special Agent in Charge Derek W. Gordon. “Special Agent Schmitt and Task Force Officer Speights are extremely deserving of this recognition. Their work on Operation Tin Man ensured that several dangerous criminals were taken off of the streets, making the communities those offenders once terrorized safer for its residents. HSI Washington, D.C. will not relent in our efforts to detect, disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations that threaten the security of our communities.”

Operation Tin Man focused on MS-13’s criminal activity in the Northern Virginia area. The operation yielded significant convictions for five MS-13 members, including a life sentence for the leader of one MS-13 clique. The investigation led to convictions for racketeering, murder, attempted murder and drug distribution.

The U.S. attorney’s office also recognized the law enforcement officials for their service and contribution to various criminal and civil cases investigated and prosecuted in EDVA.

“Here in EDVA, as part of the Department of Justice, our mission is to uphold the rule of law, keep our country safe and protect civil rights,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Jessica D. Aber. “But we do not — and we cannot — do this work alone. Every day, federal, state and local law enforcement officers from across the country work to protect their communities. These awardees were critical teammates on federal cases that represent the very best of this noble work.”

Schmitt credits HSI Washington, D.C.’s partnership with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and cooperation with other HSI entities, such as the National Gang and Violent Crimes Unit and HSI Long Island, with much of the operation’s success.

Operation Tin Man was an HSI Washington, D.C. operation with significant assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for EDVA; FBI Washington, D.C.; HSI Long Island; Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Long Island; HSI’s National Gang and Violent Crimes Unit; the Manassas City Police Department; the Fairfax County Police Department; the Prince William County Police Department and the Albemarle County Police Department.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Originally published at https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/usao-recognizes-hsi-washington-dc-operation-combating-ms-13

- Part of VUGA -USA media group