News Column

Obama Nominates Minn. US Attorney to Lead ATF

Jan. 17, 2013

Mark Stodghill, Duluth News Tribune

B. Todd Jones, the man President Obama intends to nominate to be the next leader of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, has a good reputation with law enforcement authorities in the Northland.

Jones is the U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota.

St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin said he couldn't think of a better person for the position.

"I have been fortunate to call B. Todd Jones a colleague and a friend for quite some time," Rubin said. "Soon after I was elected in 2010, Todd was quick to visit me in Duluth and offer the support and encouragement of his office to work collaboratively in our fight against crime."

The relationship led to two St. Louis County prosecutors being appointed special assistant U.S. attorneys for the District of Minnesota. Jones also has helped lead joint efforts to combat firearm, drug and synthetic drug offenses in the Duluth area, Rubin said.

Duluth police Chief Gordon Ramsay said he speaks regularly with Jones, who often hosts a lunch for police chiefs.

"He has been a great partner in our efforts to bring about federal charges to our habitual, violent offenders," Ramsay said. "He is more than just talk and he makes an effort to build relationships with his criminal justice partners. He's a good guy."

Jones is a 1979 graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul and received his law degree from the University of Minnesota. He served as an officer in the Marine Corps as defense counsel and as prosecutor in courts-martial proceedings.

Obama nominated Jones as U.S. Attorney for the Minnesota District in June of 2009, and he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. In 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Jones acting director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

In 2010, Jones honored ATF Special Agent Darin Nemerow with the 10th annual U.S. Attorney's Office Law Enforcement Recognition Award, which is presented annually to a local, state, or federal law enforcement officer who has performed outstandingly on federal cases. Nemerow was based in St. Paul, but worked one or two days a week in Duluth for seven years to help dismantle drug and gun trafficking organizations here.

Source: (c)2013 the Duluth News Tribune (Duluth, Minn.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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