3 earn U.S. Attorney's Award

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Edward J. Tarver, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, announced the 2010 recipients of the District's annual United States Attorney's Award.

ATF Special Agent Louis Valoze, DEA Special Agent Michael Sarhatt and Department of Defense Special Agent Clifford Curington were honored with the United States Attorney's Award.

The award was established in 2005 to recognize top performance by law enforcement officers and others who have contributed significantly to the Department of Justice's mission.

Valoze was cited for his 12 years of outstanding work in the district. He had a lead role in recent undercover operations that federal and state law enforcement carried out in Augusta and Statesboro, according to a news release. More than 150 people were successfully prosecuted on firearms and drug charges from the two investigations.

Sarhatt was recognized as the lead federal agent on the investigation into a 45 defendant cocaine trafficking organization in Savannah and Atlanta. He led a task force of state and local officers that used a variety of evidence gathering methods including several electronic court-approved interceptions of telephone calls, according to United States Attorney's Office Southern District of Georgia. It was estimated that over a two-year period the organization distributed over 200 kilograms of cocaine in the Savannah area.

Curington was recognized for his work on civil and criminal cases. He successfully assembled a case in which a military supplier was accused of overcharging the Department of Defense.  The civil case resulted in the recovery of $650,000 from the military supplier. He was also the lead agent that busted a stolen military equipment ring operating in and around Fort Stewart. Curington's investigation led to court marshals against more than 10 soldiers from Fort Stewart and the indictment of four civilians on federal charges.

Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.