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Assistant US attorneys honored by Justice Department

Two assistant U.S. attorneys from the Buffalo office were honored for their work in an awards ceremony Friday at the Justice Department in Washington.

Joseph M. Tripi received a Director's Award for obtaining 67 convictions that broke up Buffalo's 7th Street and 10th Street gangs. The six-year racketeering probe solved 10 murders and dozens of other shootings. Tripi also convicted four members of the Bloods gang of kidnappings and robberies of rival drug dealers, and obtained indictments for violent crimes against 16 members of the Kingsmen motorcycle club.

Michael S. Cerrone was honored for winning 11 civil cases on behalf of the federal government in the past year. They involved issues including alleged unlawful searches, Freedom of Information requests, employment discrimination and medical malpractice. He was saluted for his "persuasive research and writing" and his "aggressive and creative litigation skills."

The two were among 179 members of the Department of Justice recognized by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

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