SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 28, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Department of Justice, Utah District, has issued a statement on the departure of John Huber, whose last day as U.S. Attorney is Sunday.
“After six years of leadership as the United States Attorney for the District of Utah, America’s longest currently serving U.S. Attorney is moving on. John Huber’s last day as the United States Attorney is Feb. 28,” the statement says.
In a separate statement, former Sen. Orin Hatch praised Huber for his service:
“I knew John would serve justice well as a U.S. Attorney, which is why I pushed for his nomination more than six years ago,” Hatch wrote. “As John concludes his tenure, all I can say is he did not disappoint. Our communities are stronger, our streets are safer, and our freedoms are more secure because of John Huber.
“As Utah’s U.S. Attorney, he has been involved in the highest profile cases, coordinating task forces on everything from counterterrorism to violent crime. Utah and the nation were fortunate to have him serving in this position. I commend John on a job well done and wish him and his family the very best.”
Huber was first nominated to the post by President Barack Obama, and was confirmed by the United States Senate in June of 2015, the Department of Justice, Utah District, statement says. Huber was later re-nominated by President Donald J. Trump, and unanimously confirmed by the Senate for another four-year term as U.S. Attorney beginning in 2017.
The rest of the DOJ-Utah statement, worded as provided, follows below:
During his time as United States Attorney, Huber served as a close advisor to three
Attorneys General and served as the Vice-Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee for Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions and Attorney General William Barr. Huber also led the Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on Terrorism and National Security and the interagency Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee in Washington D.C.
During his tenure, the cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Utah increased
in numbers, complexity, and notoriety. Huber transformed the culture of the office while
preaching productivity, and oversaw the physical move of the office in downtown Salt Lake
On the national security front, Huber oversaw the prosecution of two international
terrorists in Utah; many domestic terrorism matters; and a former United States Government employee acting as a spy for China. Huber also spoke regularly on the Department of Justice’s China Initiative in order to educate leaders of Utah industry on the threat posed by China.
On the violent crime front, Huber launched the Utah Gang Initiative within the U.S.
Attorney’s Office. Under his leadership, the office has prosecuted several high-profile gang
cases, including that of the nationally known white supremacist gangs Soldiers of Aryan Culture and Silent Aryan Nation. In addition, federal prosecutors have led high level prosecutions against the Norteno and the Glen Mob Street Gangs and numerous other gangs along the Wasatch Front with connections to Mexican drug cartels.
Prosecutors in his office successfully prosecuted what was the largest illicit dark web
trafficker of fentanyl-laced oxycodone in the United States and obtained a lengthy prison
sentence against a Utah doctor who illegally prescribed opioids to drug addicts. Huber also
prioritized cases involving child victims and his office brought numerous cases involving the
exploitation of minors, including the conviction of an ex-Ute Tribal leader who sexually abused a girl starting at the age of 10.
Huber was also a proponent of using targeted federal, state, and local partnerships to
combat violent crime in urban areas. Huber helped to lead a violent crime reduction partnership in Ogden, Utah, that contributed to the decrease in violent crime by as much as 30% and helped to create a similar partnership that is ongoing in Salt Lake City.
Huber also reached out to all of Utah’s rural counties and offered to prosecute criminals
that had disproportionate impacts on their communities. One of the most important prosecutions during his tenure was convicting the murderer of Millard County Deputy Sheriff Josie Greathouse-Fox, a case that Huber says “will impact him for the rest of his life.”
On the financial crime front, the United State’s Attorney’s Office took on record-
breaking fraud schemes in Utah. Huber’s office played a role in the prosecution of Northern
Utah’s Kingston Polygamist Clan, which defrauded the United States out of close to $500
million dollars, as well as the prosecution of Lyle Jeffs and members of the Fundamentalist LDS Church in Southern Utah, who were found to have defrauded the United States’ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Prosecutors in his office obtained a conviction and a lengthy prison sentence against Rick Koerber, and have now turned their sites on the pending Rust Rare Coin case, a case that prosecutors allege is one of the largest and most destructive frauds Utah has ever seen.
On the civil side, Huber’s office successfully fought to keep snowboarders out of Alta
Ski Resort, a decision that still garners mixed reviews amongst snowboarders in Utah. In
addition, the office engaged in important civil rights work related to Utah’s public universities; successfully held doctors and pharmacies accountable in the midst of the opioid epidemic; and engaged in numerous cases related to the misuse of taxpayer funds amidst the global pandemic.
Of all of his accomplishments, Huber is most proud of the fact that he has hired over 50
percent of the office’s nearly 60 prosecutors. This, Huber says, will be his most important
legacy, as he will be “extremely proud to see all that they will accomplish on behalf of the
United States of America.”
Leaders in the law enforcement community offered accolades regarding U.S. Attorney
“For the past six years, John Huber has been a valuable partner and a strong supporter of
the FBI and our mission,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Meacham of the Salt
Lake City FBI. “As Utah’s U.S. Attorney, Huber had a genuine interest in keeping our
communities safe. He never hesitated to devote resources to aggressively investigate and
prosecute cases, from gangs and drugs to fraud, and national security threats. He was hard on crime but maintained a personable relationship with those of us in the law enforcement
community. All of us at FBI Salt Lake City wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
United States Marshal for the District of Utah, Matthew Harris stated that “what I respect
the most about John, is that he is the same imperturbable man he was nearly two decades ago when I first met him, a dedicated public servant of the highest moral character, who used the ascendancy of his position, not to enrich himself, but to make Utah a safer place for its citizens.
Not only was John a friend of federal law enforcement, but he earned the respect of local and state officials by helping remove the most violent criminals from their communities. He is the epitome of what Americans should expect from their U.S. Attorney. His leadership will be greatly missed.”
Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Denver Field Division David S. Booth stated that
“Mr. Huber is a strong advocate for ATF and violence related prosecutions, especially those
cases involving the use of firearms. This stance has led to a marked reduction in violent crime in the State of Utah. The collaboration between ATF and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah under Mr. Huber has led to hundreds of violent criminals being taken off the streets and has made Utah a safer place. John balances this approach with absolute respect for fairness and an unwavering adherence to equal justice under the law. ATF has been proud to partner with Mr. Huber. He is a true defender of the law and a public servant to the people of Utah. He is professional, passionate, knowledgeable, and someone whose vision of serving the people of Utah mirrors ATF’s core mission of fighting violent crime.”
Michael J. Tinkler, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Salt Lake City Drug
Enforcement Agency stated that “on behalf of the Drug Enforcement Administration, I would like to thank U.S. Attorney John Huber for his outstanding support and partnership with the Salt Lake City District Office and the Metro Narcotics Task Force. John has been a friend and mentor to many throughout these past six years and will be sorely missed. During his tenure, several significant drug trafficking organizations were disrupted that directly impacted the citizens of this state and nation. His dedication to upholding the rule of law and serving others are tenets that he followed and served as a motivation for others.”
“Homeland Security Investigations is fortunate to have U.S. Attorney John Huber as an
advocate and partner in prosecuting criminals in the great state of Utah,” said Steve Andres, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Utah. “His tireless advocacy for justice resulted in several significant outcomes including the successful prosecution of a North Korean state actor seeking sensitive U.S. technology, a life sentence for a major DarkWeb narcotics dealer and ensuring numerous child predators were put behind bars. We appreciate his dedication to our shared mission of protecting the homeland and will miss his leadership.”
“Change is never easy, especially when that change brings an end to such a great working
relationship. U.S. Attorney John Huber has been a great partner to our department, and I have enjoyed working with him. It is obvious he cares about the safety and security of Salt Lake City and the state of Utah,” said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown.
Huber graduated with honors from The University of Utah, and went on to complete his
juris doctor degree at The University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. He began his
public service in the Weber County Attorney’s Office, and later served as the Chief Prosecutor for West Valley City before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Huber first served joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a Special Assistant United States Attorney and rose within the office to become the Executive Assistant United States Attorney until his appointment as the United States Attorney. His resignation ends a chapter of 27 years of continuous public service.