Christina Meister, firstname.lastname@example.org, (703) 358-2284
Resident Agent in Charge Leo Suazo of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement was honored today as the federal recipient of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s 2014 Guy Bradley Award.
Service Director Dan Ashe joined David Gagner, Government Relations Director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in presenting the award to Suazo at a ceremony at the offices of the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C.
Named after the first wildlife officer killed in the line of duty in 1905, the Guy Bradley Award is presented each year by the Foundation to recognize individuals for outstanding lifetime contributions to wildlife law enforcement.
“We are proud to honor Special Agent Suazo for his outstanding contributions to protecting and conserving our treasured wildlife resources. His dedication and accomplishments provide a model for all those charged with enforcing our wildlife laws,” said Gagner.
“We join the Foundation in applauding Leo’s accomplishments as a wildlife crime investigator,” said Ashe. “His work and that of his federal, state and international counterparts worldwide truly make a difference for wildlife.”
Suazo, who has worked in federal or state wildlife law enforcement for 33 years, was honored for his success in investigating wildlife crimes that ranged from international smuggling to the industrial take of eagles. A skilled undercover officer, he infiltrated the illegal sea turtle skin and shell trades in a case that disrupted the smuggling of more than $1 million-worth of sea turtle parts and products, and secured the convictions of 24 individuals or businesses.
Earlier in his career, he successfully investigated illegal big game guiding in Colorado, was the lead undercover officer in an investigation that documented large-scale killing and sale of eagles, and provided critical covert assistance to a joint U.S.- Canada investigation of illegal commercialization of black bear gall bladders.
Suazo’s accomplishments also include securing the first successful criminal prosecution of an electric utility company for electrocuting eagles. This 1999 case served as a catalyst for renewed industry commitment to protecting birds from power line electrocutions through both voluntary agreements and avian protection plans.
Suazo now works as a supervisor with the agency’s Special Investigations Unit.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
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