Brian Skaret, ’02 J.D., Awarded Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award

Author: Charles Williams

Brian Skaret and Jimmy Gurule

Brian Skaret, ’02 J.D., has been awarded the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for the successful investigation and prosecution of the Barrio Azteca criminal organization earlier this year. This prestigious award is the second-highest conferred by the U.S. Attorney General. Skaret follows in the footsteps of NDLS Professor Jimmy Gurule, who won the same award in 1990 for his role in the prosecution of those responsible for the murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena.

When notified of Skaret’s award, Dean Nell Jessup Newton said she was delighted. “With his exemplary service to our nation and system of justice, Mr. Skaret is a prime example of the ‘Different Kind of Lawyer’ that NDLS prides itself in educating.”

Skaret, of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecution Section, was the lead attorney who prosecuted Arturo Gallegos Castrellon, the leader of the cross-border Barrio Azteca drug gang. Evidence showed that under Castrellon’s leadership, teams of assassins killed nearly 1,600 people. Castrellon, who also ordered the 2010 triple homicide of a U.S. Consulate employee, her husband, and the husband of another U.S. Consulate employee in Juarez, Mexico, was found guilty on all counts, including five counts of racketeering, narcotics trafficking, narcotics importation, murder in a foreign country, and money-laundering conspiracies as well as six counts of murder. Read more.