By Josh Hurwit, United States Attorney for the District of Idaho
I joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2012 as an Assistant United States Attorney because I wanted to contribute to public safety in a place that was home to my family. Every day since then, I have been grateful to be part of the larger team of public servants that seeks to maintain our great quality of life in Idaho. And, in the year since I became United States Attorney for Idaho, it has been my privilege to travel around our great state to meet with many of our county law enforcement partners. Each visit has reinforced my gratitude for our partnerships, and it has been a privilege to better understand the issues facing Idaho’s counties and to find new ways in which we can work together. To invite more of these conversations, I would like to take this opportunity to summarize just a few of the important ways in which our office can be a resource for Idaho’s counties.
Removing Dangerous Felons and Drug Dealers
I am proud of the success we have had in targeting and prosecuting violent offenders and those who bring poisonous drugs, like fentanyl, into our communities. We work directly with sheriffs’ offices, either by connecting deputies with federal law enforcement resources or by prosecuting cases solely with sheriffs’ offices. We encourage all county officials to reach out to us if they encounter a specific crime problem that has been difficult for them to address alone. We are eager to partner with counties to find solutions to protect public safety through federal prosecution or otherwise.
Protecting our Children and Elders
As I’m sure you’ll agree, the wellbeing of our communities depends on protecting the most vulnerable amongst us. That is why my office is focused not only on prosecuting crimes when they occur, but also raising awareness to protect potential victims in the first place. Nowhere is this effort more critical than in combatting the fentanyl epidemic, which, sadly, is resulting in the deaths of over 300 Idahoans each year, including many teenagers and young adults. Similarly, Idahoans young and old face evolving online threats from sexual predators and those who would exploit their vulnerabilities.
Working with partners such as the DEA, the Idaho State Police, the Governor’s Office of Drug Policy, and the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, we routinely deliver prevention presentations to students, educators, civic groups, and other public officials. I invite you to call on us whenever we can assist in educating young people and parents about the dangers of illicit drugs like fentanyl and/or about best practices for internet safety.
We also are seeing significant financial victimization among Idaho senior citizens. We have investigated all sorts of online romance scams, spoofing attacks, and investment scams in recent years. We are committed to prosecuting such crimes to the fullest extent of the law and encourage individuals and families to contact us as soon as they suspect fraud so that we can work with the FBI to attempt to recover stolen funds. And, again, we stand ready to share best practices directly with your citizens through presentations or trainings.
Safeguarding Public Assets and the Business Community
The strength of our cities and communities also depends on a strong and resilient economy, in both the public and private sectors. Counties, school districts, and businesses face constantly evolving threats from fraud and cyberattacks. We work closely with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in these areas and have had success not only in prosecuting criminals involved in cyber schemes, but also in recouping stolen funds for victims. When a threat is detected, we hope you will reach out to us. We would also welcome the opportunity to arrange trainings with public institutions, school districts, or business groups about best practices to protect against threats such “business email compromise schemes” and cyberattacks.
Thank you for this opportunity to discuss our common mission of protecting and strengthening Idaho’s communities. I look forward to finding ways for us to work together, and please contact me any time at email@example.com or (208) 334-1718. You can also learn more about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho on our website.