A longtime federal prosecutor who had made a name for himself by helping to turn a terror suspect into a cooperator has been appointed the acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District, according to officials.
Seth DuCharme, in his new role, becomes the chief federal law enforcement officer for Long Island, as well as the rest of the district, which includes Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
DuCharme, 49, a Long Islander who also had been a deputy U.S. marshal before going to Fordham Law School and becoming an attorney, was sworn in by Roslynn Mauskopf, the chief judge for the Eastern District, in a private ceremony Friday afternoon at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn.
The appointment was announced by Attorney General William Barr, who said in a statement about DuCharme: “He is a talented and experienced prosecutor who manages with a steady hand. His experience in prosecuting violent crimes, terrorism, and public corruption will serve him well in his return to New York to lead the office.”
DuCharme, who has spent most of his 12-year career as prosecutor in the Eastern District, was most recently the chief assistant to the No. 2 person in the Justice Department, based in Washington, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. DuCharme replaces Richard Donoghue, who takes Ducharme’s position at the Justice Department.
DuCharme is highly respected by Barr and his colleagues throughout the department and would be among the leading candidates to get the Eastern District position permanently, according to several sources.
After being sworn in, DuCharme said in a statement: “I am deeply honored to return to my home in the Eastern District to serve as Acting United States Attorney. … I am firmly committed to serving our community and country to the highest and finest traditions of this office.”
DuCharme has previously held a number of posts in the Eastern District, including head of its Criminal Division.
He gained most media attention by spearheading an effort to turn younger terrorism suspects away from involvement in organizations such as the Islamic State or al-Qaida.
In the case of one terrorism suspect, Bryant Neal Vinas, a Suffolk resident, DuCharme testified in court at his sentencing about Vinas’ work with investigators. Vinas was sentenced to supervised release instead of a potential lengthy prison term.
The Eastern District has about 175 federal prosecutors based in Central Islip and in Brooklyn.