CONCORD – United States Attorney Scott W. Murray today announced that he will resign from his position effective March 6, 2021.
The resignation was submitted in response to President Biden’s call to replace nearly all remaining Presidentially-appointed/Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorneys.
U.S. Attorney Murray is the chief federal law enforcement officer in New Hampshire. He was nominated by President Trump on December 1, 2017, and confirmed by the United States Senate on February 15, 2018. He was sworn in as the 57Th U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire on March 5, 2018. He was serving his fourth term as Merrimack County Attorney when he was nominated by the President. He previously served as the Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the City of Concord from 1983 to 2011.
In announcing his departure, U.S. Attorney Murray said, “It has been my greatest honor and privilege to serve as U.S. Attorney for the past three years. I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to protect the people of New Hampshire through the application of federal law. For a career prosecutor, this was the chance of a lifetime.”
Noting the many changes that had taken place in the U.S. Attorney’s Office since his arrival, Murray said, “During the past three years we have added prosecution and support positions, changed the structure of our Criminal Division and hired over a dozen new staff members. Going forward, I have every confidence that our hard-working dedicated professionals will ensure that federal law is vigorously enforced and that the public interest is effectively advanced.”
Throughout his tenure, U.S. Attorney Murray stressed cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement officers as essential to address New Hampshire’s drug and violent crime problems. He attended local law enforcement meetings in all 10 counties and improved communications with county attorney’s offices and the New Hampshire State Police. He also coordinated Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) trainings around the state to brief police on federal firearms laws. Under PSN, federal prosecutors brought charges against violent criminals, drug traffickers who used guns, convicted felons who possessed guns and those who unlawfully supplied guns to criminals. Many of those prosecutions were adopted from state court cases.
U.S. Attorney Murray conducted regular meetings with the leaders of federal law enforcement agencies operating in New Hampshire and hosted the first New England regional meeting of U.S. Attorneys in Concord in November of 2018. He also implemented regular meetings involving federal drug prosecutors and DEA agents from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts to improve regional drug enforcement coordination.
Under U.S. Attorney Murray’s leadership, his office devoted substantial resources to combatting drug trafficking, particularly fentanyl and methamphetamine. As part of this effort, U.S. Attorney Murray requested that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions include New Hampshire as one of only 10 districts nationally to receive additional resources under Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (SOS). Sessions visited the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Concord in July of 2018 to announce implementation of the program. Under Operation SOS, the U.S. Attorney’s Office teamed with the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office and law enforcement agencies throughout Hillsborough County to target fentanyl dealers. To date, over 90 federal prosecutions have been initiated under Operation SOS.
During U.S. Attorney Murray’s term, prosecutions were launched against large drug trafficking organizations, resulting in the convictions of dozens of dealers. These included trafficking organizations based in Massachusetts and the Dominican Republic who sought to sell lethal drugs to Granite Staters. One notable dealer was sentenced to 45 years in prison for leading a continuing criminal enterprise that distributed multikilogram quantities of fentanyl and reaped millions of dollars in profit from sales in New Hampshire.
U.S. Attorney Murray also pursued significant prosecutions to protect crime victims. These included cases against offenders who produced child pornography, exploited the opioid addiction of young women in order to profit from prostitution, engaged in fraud and theft schemes, and extorted victims on the internet.
Pursuant to the Vacancies Reform Act, First Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Farley will serve as Acting United States Attorney until a new Presidentially-appointed U.S. Attorney takes office. Farley previously served as Acting U.S. Attorney from March 2017 until U.S. Attorney Murray took office.