(STL.News) – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas announced today the resignation of United States Attorney Joseph D. Brown, effective May 31, 2020.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as United States Attorney and to work with some of the finest prosecutors and support staff in the country. I am very proud of our accomplishments,” said Brown.
Under Brown’s leadership, the Eastern District played a major national role in carrying out President Trump’s “Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse” by focusing prosecution resources on the illegal prescribing and dispensing drugs by doctors and pharmacies and cracking down on the international and domestic drug supply chains that have devastated communities, both urban and rural, throughout the United States.
In 2018, the Eastern District of Texas led the nation in the extradition of defendants out of Colombia for drug related crimes. “Our efforts to stop the deadly supply of drugs before they reached U.S. soil also extended into Mexico and other parts of South America,” said Brown. In 2019, Brown’s office led the state of Texas and was fourth in the nation in the number of high-level, sophisticated organized crime cases indicted pursuant to the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) program. By 2020, the number of criminal defendants prosecuted in the Eastern District increased 24% from levels of just two years before, with a 40% increase in violent crime prosecutions and a 100% increase in the number of illegal immigration prosecutions.
Additional drug enforcement efforts included the prosecution of numerous “pill mill” physicians involved in the illegal distribution of opioid prescriptions. Brown successfully prosecuted Dr. Howard Diamond of Sherman for illegally distributing opioids, securing a 20-year prison sentence in 2018.
“We must win the fight against opioid abuse in order to save our country. But in order to be effective, we must be willing to prosecute all facets of the expansive network that feeds these destructive drugs into our communities. Players both big and small must meet equal justice under the law,” said Brown.
Brown secured a Project Safe Neighborhood grant of $100,000 for the Paris Police Department, stood up Violent Crime Task Forces in the Sherman and Beaumont divisions of the District and created an Appellate Section within the United States Attorney’s Office.
Brown’s tenure as United States Attorney also included increased disaster preparedness trainings for law enforcement, public corruption prosecutions, and strengthening relations between, local, state, and federal law enforcement through the Eastern District.
Brown will be pursuing opportunities in the private and public sectors. “I’m excited about the next chapter,” said Brown. There are many exciting opportunities on the horizon and some of those will become apparent in the coming days.”
Brown, 50, was appointed by President Trump to the position of United States Attorney in 2018. He had previously served as Grayson County District Attorney.
“I want to thank President Trump for allowing me the honor of serving as United States Attorney,” said Brown. “The President has led important efforts to fight crime and keep us safe, and I fully support those pro-law enforcement measures. I also want to express my deep gratitude to Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz for their support.”