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Diplomacy in Action

Awards From Private Sector Organizations


Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Investigators of the Year Award - Special Agent Matthew Q. Maguire and Investigative Analyst Patricia Cooper (11/16/12)
The Federal Law Enforcement Foundation presented its 2012 Investigator of the Year Award to New York Field Office Special Agent Matthew Maguire and Investigative Analyst Patricia Cooper for their work investigating a major visa-fraud ring that imported Eastern European women to work as exoxtic dancers in New York clubs and generated sham marriages. Their work on this multi-agency investigation resulted in 52 results.


SANS Institute 2011 Innovation Award Award - Diplomatic Security Cyber Threat Analysis Division (11/03/11)
Diplomatic Security's Cyber Threat Analysis Division was honored by the SANS Institute for developing one of the federal government’s most dynamic approaches to detecting, analyzing, and neutralizing sophisticated network intrusions.


Symantec Corp 2011 Cyber4 Award - Dion Herbert (6/14/11)

DS Chief of Enterprise Security Service Dion Herbert was honored for his leadership in spurring cross-organizational discussion and real change, as well as for his role in developing the U.S. Department of State's data-loss prevention initiative.


Walmart/Women in Federal Law Enforcement Leadership Award - Special Agent Hillary Tanton (6/22/11)
Special Agent Hillary Tanton was honored for her work with members of the U.S. private secor in Athens, Greece, where she served as an assistant regional security officer. 


Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association 2009 Group Achievement/Investigations Award - Special Agents Matthew Grimm and Adrianna Mirarchi (12/02/10)
Diplomatic Security Special Agents Adriana Mirarchi and Matthew Grimm were honored along with 15 other members of an inter-agency Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force for their investigation and prosecution of a visa fraud ring. The investigation resulted in the conviction of 28 individuals, seizure and forfeiture of $11 million in assets, and an order for the defendants to pay $7.7 million in restitution.


Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Investigation Award - Annette Paxson (11/12/10)
Special Agent Annette Paxons was recognized for her work leading a two-year visa-fraud investigation that resulted in four convictions and a $1-million-dollar asset seizure.


Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Investigator of the Year Award - Patrick Kuznia (11/13/09)
The Federal Law Enforcement Foundation presented its 2009 Investigator of the Year Award to New York Field Office Special Agent Patrick Kuznia for his work investigating and apprehending a major identity theft vendor in New York City. After two years of investigation, Kuznia identified and arrested the suspect who had been assisting illegal aliens for 20 years – many of them drug traffickers – in stealing identities of U.S. citizens.


Women in Federal Law Enforcement Julie Y. Cross International Award - Corynn Stratton (6/17/09)
The Women in Law Enforcement organization presented Agent Stratton its 2009 International Award for her leadership in protecting the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai, India, during the November 2008 terrorist rampage that left more than 180 people dead, including six Americans. As the Acting Regional Security Officer in Mumbai at the time of the attacks, Agent Stratton worked closely with the U.S. Consulate community and local law enforcement agencies to ensure that U.S. Government personnel and facilities were adequately protected.


International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators Task Force of the Year Certificate - Thomas Carnell (8/08)
Agent Carnell was recognized for his contributions as a member of the multi-agency Metro Richmond Identity Theft Task Force while assigned to the Washington Field Office of Diplomatic Security. The team received the Task Force of the Year Award from the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators for conducting several significant identity theft investigations, including those involving counterfeit checks, embezzlement, and ATM skimming cases.


Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Investigative Excellence Award - Special Agent Jeffrey Dubsick (11/07)
Special Agent Jeffrey Dubsick was honored for leading an invesgtigation that used data mining to compare information from California law enforcement and other government agencies with issued passport records. The investigation resulted in idetification of more than 250 passports fraudulently obtained in the name of deceased Americans and more than 120 arrests..


Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Officer of the Month Award - Kendall Beels, Donovan Williams (11/07) 

Agents Williams and Beels planned and coordinated a massive crackdown on a multi-million-dollar visa fraud ring that became the largest and most successful arrest operation of 2006 in the DS New York Field Office. In addition to seizing several million dollars in assets and making numerous arrests, their investigative efforts uncovered over 350 sham marriages.


St. John’s University Distinguished Leadership Award - James Bacigalupo (10/15/07)
Agent Bacigalupo was presented the Distinguished Leadership Award by the Criminal Justice Association at St. John’s University in Queens, New York. Presented annually by the Association’s student body, the Leadership Award goes to outstanding leaders in the criminal justice field.


Women in Federal Law Enforcement Julie Y. Cross International Award - Joan Andrews (6/27/07)
The Women in Law Enforcement organization presented Agent Andrews its 2007 International Award for her work in evacuating U.S. citizens from Lebanon during the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. Andrews was the first special agent from the U.S. Department of State to receive this award, which honors women federal law enforcement officers who display an unusual degree of courage, stamina, and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty, resulting in exceptional heroic achievement.


Government Computer News IT Leadership Award - Donald Reid (5/2007)
As DS Senior Coordinator for Security Infrastructure, Don Reid was named one of ten winners of the 2007 IT Leadership Award honoring the nation’s top federal, state, and local government leaders in the field of government information technology. He was cited for his groundbreaking and innovative IT security solutions at the State Department, and for more than 35 years of government service as a computer security professional.


Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Group Achievement Award - Kevin Whitson, Earl Miller, Tom McDonough, Mario Reta, Brian Wood, Bryan Scruggs (4/24/2007)
Six DS special agents were honored for their efforts in “Operation Triple X,” a joint investigation by DS and the Indonesian National Police targeting illegal Indonesian counterfeit syndicates linked to terrorist networks operating in Southeast Asia. The international investigation resulted in 84 arrests and the elimination of 12 major criminal syndicates that manufactured and sold fraudulent U.S. travel documents in Indonesia. RSO Whitson of the U.S. Consulate in Surabaya, Indonesia, led the U.S. participation in the criminal task force at both the national and local levels, which shut down extensive U.S. visa fraud activities, sophisticated document counterfeiting, illegal immigration, production of counterfeit Indonesian passports, alien smuggling, trafficking in persons, drug trafficking, gun trafficking, and money laundering.


Federal Computer Week Rising-Star Award - Christopher Lukas (10/06)
Christopher Lukas conducted a specialized penetration test of the State Department’s security infrastructure. The test results uncovered vulnerabilities that required officials to establish new configuration schemes, change operating standards, and improve the Department’s monitoring methodology.


Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Investigators of the Year Award - Kendall Beels, Donovan Williams (10/06)
Agents Beels and Williams were honored for their outstanding achievement in overall case management and exceptional investigative skill in shutting down a visa fraud ring involving approximately 350 sham marriages between U.S. citizens and Chinese nationals.


Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Investigative Excellence Award - Kevin Whitson (10/06)
Special Agent Whitson led a group of six DS special agents in an undercover task force targeting Indonesian criminal counterfeit syndicates involved in extensive U.S. visa fraud activities, sophisticated counterfeit document fraud, illegal immigration, production of counterfeit Indonesian passports, alien smuggling, pedophile operations, trafficking in persons, drug trafficking, gun trafficking, and money laundering. Some of these criminal syndicates had a nexus to the terrorist network known as Al-Jama’ah Al Islamiyyah and other Muslim extremist groups.


Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Investigative Excellence Award - Vincent O. Martinez III (10/06)
Special Agent Martinez rescued and transported to safety a Detroit woman who had been held captive in Pakistan for more than a year. He personally rescued the woman, transported her to safety at the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, and arranged for her immediate return to the United States.


National Center for Missing and Exploited Children National Missing Children’s Award - Jim Minor (5/10/06)
Agent Minor was honored by the NCMEC for his work in locating a kidnapped child and returning him to his father in Texas. The case involved federal and state officials in the U.S. and Thailand, as well as Thai immigration and police authorities. The boy, aged six years, was returned to family members in the U.S. only eleven days after Agent Minor received initial notification of the case.


Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Bravery Award - Earl Miller (2006)
Agent Miller received the 2006 FLEOA Bravery Award for assisting the Indonesian National Policy in the arrest of 12 terror suspects wanted for the murder of two Americans and one Indonesian, and the wounding of eight other Americans, during an incident occurring in Indonesia during 2002. Eight of the suspects were convicted of the terrorist attack, and the leader was sentenced to life imprisonment.


Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Bravery Award - Nick Pietrowicz, Mark Typinski (11/4/05)
The 2004 FLEOA Award for Bravery was presented jointly to the two DS agents for sustained superior performance, for numerous acts of courage and dedication to duty, and for protection and safety of embassy employees while serving as ARSOs at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince during a domestic political crisis involving intense violence and instability. Agent Pietrowicz was cited for evacuating U.S. Embassy personnel and aid workers, and their families, and for other courageous acts; while Agent Typinski was honored for placing himself at risk to rescue dozens of trapped Americans, for evacuating the U.S. Consulate, and for numerous other acts of leadership and courage during the crisis.


Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Investigative Excellence Award - Matthew Maguire, Stephen Marquette, Matthew Lappe, Hunter Martin (10/05)
Agents Maguire and Marquette received awards as co-case agents in “Operation Mei Paradise” who halted a large-scale fraudulent marriage ring involving 25 co-conspirators in the United States and China that led to dismantling of corrupt immigration/travel agencies. Agents Lappe and Martin were honored as co-case agents in “Operation Chinese Apple” involving sham marriages in China for the purpose of obtaining a U.S. visa. Their investigation included more than 50 co-conspirators in both countries, leading to arrests and closure of an illicit immigration services office in New York City.


Women in Federal Law Enforcement Distinguished Performance in an Overseas Arena Award - Charlene Lamb (6/15/05)
Agent Lamb received the Distinguished Performance Award at the annual WIFLE Conference in recognition of her sustained superior performance, courage, and unrelenting drive while serving as an RSO at several posts overseas. While serving as RSO in Guatemala, Lamb orchestrated the capture and deportation of a fugitive on the U.S. Marshals’ “Top 15 List” and led coordination of rescue efforts on behalf of a kidnapped American child.


Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Investigator/Prosecutor of the Year Award - Gasman Xhudo (10/28/04)
DS New York Field Office Special Agent Xhudo was named the 2004 Investigator/Prosecutor of the Year for his work with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York City. He, along with his fellow undercover agents, investigated several foreign nationals seeking legitimate status as U.S. citizens under assumed identities, to sell drugs to foreign countries. As a result of Agent Xhudo’s work, the foreign nationals were arrested, and assets valued in excess of $100,000 were seized.


Women in Federal Law Enforcement Julie Y. Cross Award (Distinguished Honorable Mention) - Justine Sincavage (6/21/04)
Agent Sincavage received Distinguished Honorable Mention for her performance as regional security officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, from 2002-03. She was the first permanently assigned RSO since the Embassy’s closure in 1989, and developed a comprehensive security program to protect the Embassy’s personnel, facilities, and information during a period of heightened threats from al-Qaida, the Taliban, and other insurgents.


Law Enforcement Officers Foundation Federal Agent of the Year Award - David Nieland (2/21/04)
Agent Nieland was named the 2003 Federal Agent of the Year by the LEO Foundation based in Miami, Florida. He was honored for his work in running several successful undercover operations, as well as his investigative excellence in leading the investigation in the kidnapping of a fellow DS special agent in South America.


Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Medal of Valor Award - James Bacigalupo (11/19/93)
The first DS special agent to receive the FLEOA Medal of Valor, ARSO Bacigalupo was recognized for coming to the aid of a U.S. soldier under attack by a gang of assailants in Guatemala, thereby placing his own life in danger and suffering extensive injuries himself as a result.



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