Moreno to serve as U.S. Attorney for Houston, South Texas

The SE Texas Record Jul. 29, 2010, 8:36am


Jose Angel Moreno has been appointed by the judges of the Southern District of Texas to serve as U.S. Attorney.

One of the largest of the nation's 94 federal judicial districts, the SDTX consists of 43 counties from Huntsville to Laredo and includes the metropolitan region centered by Houston, the Texas Gulf Coast region with the Padre Island National Seashore and Wildlife Preserve, the King Ranch and other vast ranch lands and the United States-Mexico border along the stretch of the Rio Grande River from Brownsville to Laredo.

Houston is headquarters for the district. Staffed branch offices are located within the district at Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Laredo, McAllen and Victoria.

Moreno, of Laredo, is a former U.S. Marine and 1984 graduate of The University of Texas School of Law. He has a long and distinguished career as both a state and federal prosecutor.

His early legal career began in Del Rio in 1984, first as an assistant with the District Attorney's Office prosecuting felony cases. That was followed by a brief tour of duty as Sector Counsel for the Border Patrol providing legal assistance to sector personnel and agents at 10 substations in a 47 county area.

In 1989, Moreno moved back to his hometown of Laredo to serve as the First Assistant District Attorney in the Webb County District Attorney's Office.

As the FADA, Moreno managed and directed the administrative and personnel matters of the office as well as directly supervised seven assistants and six investigators and nine support staff performing the functions involved in the prosecution of felony and misdemeanor violations of state law.

Moreno also prosecuted a number of high profile cases during his tenure with the District Attorney's office including capital murder, public integrity, election code violations, as well as complex white collar offenses. He was also responsible for spearheading and coordinating the effort to computerize a case tracking system for that office.

In September 1991, Moreno began his federal career as an AUSA for the Southern District of Texas in the Laredo Division office. In 18 years of service with the SDTX, Moreno has served as an OCDETF AUSA, prosecuting a number of high profile cases targeting drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.

He also successfully prosecuted the first federal capital case in the district. He has held a number of supervisory positions including five years as the AUSA in Charge of the Laredo Division office, the Deputy Criminal Chief for Narcotics Enforcement in the Houston office for approximately one year and since 2003 as an Assistant Deputy Criminal Chief and South Texas OCDETF Coordinator.

Moreno's talent as a trial attorney and legal expertise has long been recognized not only in this office but also by the Executive Office of United States Attorneys in Washington, D.C., where he served a one year detail as the Assistant Director of Criminal Programs.

In that capacity, Moreno planned and implemented a number of seminars to train other AUSAs in a variety of areas of litigation including the first national seminar on Capital Litigation in May 1995. He was also a member of the working group responsible for developing the Federal Death Penalty Protocol.

In March 2001, Moreno was selected by the Department of Justice to serve a one year detail at the American Embassy in Bogota, Colombia, to oversee the Justice Sector Reform Project in Colombia, an $88 million technical assistance program designed to strengthen the Colombian justice sector and its institutions toward the development of a more effective criminal justice system.

Throughout his federal career, Moreno has been a sought after speaker. He has addressed prosecutors, investigators and even judges on a variety of topics in the United States as well as abroad.

In July 2008, Moreno served as an instructor/lecturer under the Department of State's U.S. Speaker and Special Program Grant in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and El Salvador on strategies for combating organized crime and related matters.

The Department of Justice Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training has frequently invited Moreno to serve as an instructor for prosecutors in Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Panama on a variety of subjects with the latest having been to prosecutors and investigators in Kampala, Uganda, on the subject of trial advocacy in February 2009.

Moreno has chaired or served on a number of task forces or working groups and earned a number of accolades for his outstanding performance as an AUSA including the EOUSA Director's Award for Superior Performance by an AUSA.

Moreno will lead the district until a new U.S. Attorney is appointed by the Obama administration.

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