The United States Attorney’s Office has a branch office located in the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Santa Ana. The Santa Ana Branch Office investigates and prosecutes federal crimes occurring in Orange County. With over 3 million residents, Orange County is the third largest county in the state of California.
The Assistant United States Attorneys (“AUSAs”) in Santa Ana prosecute a wide variety of criminal matters. A large portion of the branch office’s prosecutions involve economic crimes such as mail and wire fraud, health care fraud, bank and mortgage fraud, securities fraud, investment fraud, money laundering, identity theft and tax evasion. Defendants in other recent prosecutions have been charged with crimes such as public corruption, racketeering, narcotics trafficking, child exploitation, illegal possession of and trafficking in firearms, counterfeiting, and bank robbery. Santa Ana AUSAs also pursue cases involving espionage, theft of trade secrets, smuggling, human trafficking, conspiracy, and fraud against the United States. NSD AUSAs also work in the branch and investigate terrorism related crimes and the illegal export of products and data.
Santa Ana AUSAs investigate and prosecute cases in partnership with agents from a variety of federal law enforcement agencies. The Office works closely with state and local law enforcement, as well as with interagency groups such as the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Orange County Gang Task Force, and Southern California Regional Sexual Assault and Exploitation Felony Enforcement Team.
Assistant United States Attorney Benjamin Barron serves as both Chief of the Santa Ana Branch Office and as Special Counsel to the United States Attorney on Opioids. Mr. Barron graduated magna cum lauded from Harvard Law School in 2007, following which he clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He joined the United States Attorney’s Office in 2008 as part of the DOJ Honors program, following which he joined the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) Section in June 2010. Mr. Barron became a Deputy Chief of that Section in 2014, a position he held for the next five years ,both in that capacity as deputy chief and as the office’s longtime opioid coordinator.
Mr. Barron has overseen criminal prosecutions of more than two dozen medical professionals and related conspirators involved in opioid trafficking, prescription drug fraud, and similar offenses. He also has organized more than a dozen community outreach events for students at all levels, authored three articles for the DOJ Journal (formerly USA Bulletin), and conducted more than three dozen trainings nationally to law enforcement and health care professionals, including putting together DOJ’s national training video on prosecuting corrupt doctors, organizing and participating in multiple seminars at DOJ’s National Advocacy Center (“NAC”), and presenting at two DOJ national training conferences. Mr. Barron also has initiated and overseen multiple large-scale programs targeting opioid trafficking and related offenses, including the recent takedown in Operation Hypocritical Oath targeting corrupt doctors and the recently initiated High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (“HIDTA”) overdose task force.
Mr. Barron’s other major cases include a 47-defendant prosecution of a kingpin-designated transnational organization responsible for murder and multi-ton cocaine trafficking; a 38-defendant racketeering indictment of the Mexican Mafia-affiliated Harpys street gang; an 18-defendant prosecution of a $20 Medicare fraud scheme perpetrated by Armenian organized crime; an 18-defendant prosecution of a Sinaloa-affiliated network; and a six-defendant prosecution targeting the owners of two wholesale drug companies for large-scale tax fraud and currency structuring. Mr. Barron has received a DOJ Director’s Award and an OCDETF Director’s Award in recognition for his work.
Section Contact Information
The United States Attorney's Office
Central District of California
Santa Ana Branch Office
411 West 4th Street
Santa Ana, California 92701
(855) 898-3957 (Toll Free)