Indian American attorney receives US Justice Dept.’s highest honor

WASHINGTON (TIP): Assistant U.S. Attorney Aloke S. Chakravarty from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Massachusetts received US Justice Dept.’s highest honor as one of the members of a team that worked on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev case. US Attorney General’s David Margolis Award for Exceptional Service, the department’s highest award for employee performance, was presented on November 10 at the 64th Annual Attorney General’s Awards Ceremony.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch recognized 376 Justice Department employees for their distinguished public service at the Ceremony. Forty-seven other individuals outside of the department were also honored for their work. This annual ceremony recognizes individuals for their outstanding service and dedication to carrying out the missions of the Department of Justice.

“The Attorney General’s Awards provide us with a rare opportunity to honor the efforts of outstanding department employees and our invaluable partners across the federal government and at the state and local levels,” said Attorney General Lynch. “Their work has made our nation – and our world – stronger, safer and more just, and I am proud of and inspired by each and every one of them.”

The Attorney General’s David Margolis Award for Exceptional Service is the department’s highest award for employee performance. This year’s award was presented to the team responsible for the investigation and prosecution of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

On April 15, 2013, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev detonated two powerful improvised explosive devices near the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three, maiming 17 and injuring hundreds more in the largest mass-casualty terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. Following a manhunt during which the brothers killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shoot-out with police and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested.

Members of the FBI’s Boston Field Office oversaw a worldwide investigation that involved more than 6,000 items of physical and digital evidence, over 100,000 photographs and videos and more than 1,000 witness interviews. Tsarnaev was charged in a 30-count indictment with numerous crimes of terrorism and other violent offenses. Over the course of a 10-week trial, the prosecution team introduced over 1,000 exhibits and called more than 100 witnesses to the stand, including 14 victims who lost limbs in the bombings; family members of the murdered; other survivors and eye witnesses; fingerprint, DNA, bomb, ballistics and terrorism experts; and law enforcement officers. The prosecutors also cross-examined nearly 50 defense witnesses during the penalty-phase defense case. A jury found Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts in the indictment. He was sentenced to death on six counts and to life in prison on 11 other counts, and was ordered to pay $101 million in restitution to the victims.