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Long IslandCrime

Prosecutor from LI heads U.S. attorney criminal division

A lawyer who was reared on Long Island and has successfully prosecuted scores of members of the violent MS-13 gang has been appointed head of the criminal division of the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District.

Richard Donoghue, 42, named to the position by U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, will supervise 117 of 175 assistant U.S. attorneys in the district, which covers Nassau and Suffolk counties, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Donoghue, a graduate of St. John's University School of Law and of Hofstra University, where he made Phi Beta Kappa, had been acting head of the criminal division and, before that, chief of the office's Long Island criminal division.

He joined the Eastern District in 2000 and specialized in gang and political-corruption cases. In six trials since 2001, his work resulted in the conviction of more than 70 members of the MS-13 gang, including more than a dozen for murder, according to Lynch.

He also was among the government's lawyers in the case against Roger Corbin, 63, the former Nassau legislator who earlier this year pleaded guilty to tax evasion and filing false tax returns. Last month, Corbin was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Lynch, in naming Donoghue to head the division, said he has served with "consummate skill and distinction."

"It's an outstanding appointment. Donoghue has unqualified integrity, intellect and an abiding sense of justice," said defense attorney Richard Haley of Islandia, who has represented numerous defendants whom Donoghue has prosecuted.

Donoghue, whose family moved to Long Island from Queens when he was 2, joined the Army Reserve at 17 while he was attending high school in Uniondale.

Before joining the Eastern District, he was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and a lawyer for the Army.

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