South Dakota federal prosecutor recognized for superior performance in Indian Country

Troy R. Morley of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of South Dakota was one of only 172 members of the Department of Justice nationwide recognized by Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys Director James Crowell, IV at the 35th Director’s Awards Ceremony in Washington D.C. on June 20, 2019.

The District of South Dakota was one of 31 districts represented at the ceremony, which was held in the Great Hall at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building. U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons attended the ceremony with Morley.

In his prepared remarks, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen addressed the recipients and guests, saying, “Today’s honorees have earned the esteem of their colleagues. But most importantly, you have earned the gratitude of your fellow citizens — whose communities you have made safer, whose lives you have improved, and whose trust you have rewarded.”

Morley was awarded the Director’s Award for Superior Performance in Indian Country. As an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and Tribal Liaison for the District of South Dakota, Morley’s outreach to tribal communities has been pivotal in strengthening the District’s ties with tribal law enforcement officers, tribal courts, tribal social service agencies, and tribal decision makers. His body of work, including both zealous prosecutions and his Tribal Liaison outreach, exemplifies the very best of the Department of Justice’s efforts in Indian Country. His status as an enrolled member of a federally recognized Indian tribe enhances his ability to build bridges and promote cooperation among all levels of Federal, State, and Tribal law enforcement.

Morley joined the U.S. Attorney’s office in Pierre, South Dakota, in May of 2012, and for over five years, he prosecuted violent crimes occurring on the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota. In June 2017, he transitioned to similar work on the Crow Creek and Lower Brule reservations. He has been an exemplary prosecutor, winning convictions and long prison sentences for murderers, child molesters, online predators, and domestic abusers.

Morley became the District’s Tribal Liaison in March 2015, and in that role has had a deep and holistic impact on tribal communities throughout South Dakota. He has helped form working groups with state governments (both North Dakota and South Dakota) to implement reentry plans for individuals returning to the community after incarceration. He has worked closely with tribal officials on pilot programs to exercise special domestic violence jurisdiction. Morley also serves as a mentor in a special program he developed for the Pierre Indian Learning Center, regularly coaching students about how to succeed in life and avoid bullying behavior. Morley has been a key voice in discussions surrounding the selection of Special Assistant United States Attorneys assigned to four of the state’s nine reservations: Standing Rock, Sisseton- Wahpeton, Flandreau, and Rosebud. His partnerships have also helped identify cases leading to successful federal prosecutions. For instance, Morley’s work with a Tribal SAUSA has identified repeat domestic abusers, leading to an appreciable uptick in the prosecution of habitual domestic violence offenders harming women and children in our district.

“Troy Morley serves as a strong, dedicated, and essential Native American role model for federal prosecutors in Indian Country, the communities we serve, and the victims we seek to protect,” said U.S. Attorney Parsons. “I am very pleased, though certainly not surprised, that his stellar performance has been recognized with this coveted award.”

EOUSA provides oversight, general executive assistance, and direction to the 94 United States Attorneys’ offices around the country. For more information on EOUSA and its mission, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao.

Photo: James Crowell, IV, Jeffrey Rosen, Troy Morley, Ron Parsons