U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins’ main focus as the state’s top federal law enforcement officer will be on violent crime and trafficking in people, drugs and weapons, she told reporters in her first interview in the big new job, though she played it boring on several politically charged issues.
“I want to be a better partner for our local and state law enforcement partners … to become more involved in human trafficking, drug trafficking and the type of violent crime that deeply affects communities,” she said, adding that there is a “unique option “to search for” stricter sentences “.
Rollins got members of the media to come to a round table on Thursday, her fourth day as the top federal prosecutor in the state. The now former Suffolk County District Attorney took up questions and laid out her vision for the office in her new excavations on top of Moakley’s federal courthouse in the harbor.
She said the office will maintain its focus on fraud and white-collar crime, especially with regard to health care, after eradicating corruption there for years under its predecessors, including the recent former U.S. attorney, Andrew Lelling. Rollins said her deputy commander, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Levy, will be at the forefront of continued efforts on health fraud and prosecution.
In terms of focusing on violent crime, Rollins talked about exploiting the talent in the office as the top two prosecutors in the criminal department sat at the back of the room.
“We have the ability with the resources of the federal government to dig much deeper with (Deputy of the Criminal Department) Amanda (Strachan) and (the head of the Criminal Department) Bill (Abely) in the huge cases where we can put a really big hold together who is accustomed to this kind of either document-heavy or multi-jurisdictional investigations that are not days or weeks, but possibly even months or years. “
She said human trafficking – for the purpose of sex, work or the commission of other crimes, including drugs – is happening “at significantly high speeds in our society.”
“The federal government is uniquely suited to get involved,” Rollins said. “We can keep people for longer, often, than the state can, and I’m very aware that when it comes to violence, serious crime – that’s where I want to focus my attention.”
What does not come with her is a non-persecution list in the style of the one she had as a prosecutor. In her 2018 campaign as a district attorney, she made headlines with a list of minor crimes she tended not to prosecute.
“There is no list as an American lawyer – hard stop,” she said, noting that she has to be in charge of senior officials in the Department of Justice, and that it is normal for federal prosecutors to pick and choose cases carefully in a way , which a local DA can not.
Asked if she wants a reputation as a particularly progressive American lawyer, Rollins referred back to the decision to refrain from prosecuting minor crimes. “The progressive piece of it was so we could focus on violence, serious crimes,” she said.
Rollins held her cards close to her chest when asked about several hot-button issues. Will she continue the prosecution of Judge Shelley Joseph, who is criminally charged with helping an illegal immigrant out the back door to avoid the US authorities?
“I have not been informed of that,” Rollins said of the case, which is currently awaiting appeal in a higher court.
What about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber – if the courts send him back to be outraged, will she seek death, as her predecessors did?
“The first thing we want to do, the second we get a finding, is to reach out to the families of the people who lost their lives in the domestic terrorist attack and the hundreds of people who were maimed or injured,” Rollins said. and added. her own – unspoken – views on the death penalty in general are “not relevant.”
And safe injection sites where people can go to take illegal drugs?
“We’ll get our guidance from the Main Justice on that,” Rollins said, referring to the central upper echelons of the DOJ in Washington.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, which operated for nearly a year under acting U.S. Attorney Nate Mendell since Lelling left, has continued to toot. Most lawsuits are not going to change wildly under one U.S. lawyer unlike another, and Thursday ended with the FB accusing a Michigander of pandemic unemployment fraud while the office continued to work.