U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday made several announcements concerning the Trump administration’s efforts to combat international organizations named as threats to U.S. interests. Among the initiatives announced were the appointment of two former Miami prosecutors to top leadership positions.
Robert Emery, assistant U.S. attorney, will lead a commission combating Colombian drug cartel Clan del Golfo. Sessions also announced the appointment of Adam Cohen, the present chief of the Criminal Division Special Operations Unit’s Office of Enforcement Operations, to his new position as the director of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force.
Emery and Cohen’s appointments accompanied the attorney general’s announcement of the formation of the Transnational Organized Crime Task Force, an agency aimed at tackling the groups “who flood our streets with drugs and violence,” according to the attorney general. As noted in the press release containing Session’s announcement, the newly formed task force will be divided into separate subcommittees targeting and investigating respective groups “that threaten the safety and prosperity of the United States and its allies.” Among the organizations named are MS-13, Hezbollah, and Sinaloa Cartel in addition to Clan del Golfo.
The release notes that Emery has previously convicted several Clan del Golfo leaders including Henry de Jesus Lopez Londoño, who the release details as having “commanded over 1,000 armed men for the cartel.”
In addition to his work within federal law enforcement, Cohen also spent seven years as a state prosecutor with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office between 1991 and 1998.
These announcements are consistent with the Trump administration’s focus on prosecuting crime purportedly facilitated by non-U.S. born forces. The press release cites President Donald Trump’s February 2017 executive order, which dictated that the federal government “ensure that Federal law enforcement agencies give a high priority and devote sufficient resources to efforts to identify, interdict, disrupt, and dismantle transnational criminal organizations[.]”