SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The nation’s longest-serving U.S. Attorney, Utah’s John Huber, is leaving his post after six years.
Huber was first nominated to the post by former President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June 2015. He was later re-nominated by former President Donald Trump and unanimously confirmed by the Senate for another four-year term as U.S. Attorney beginning in 2017.
During his time as U.S. Attorney, a Friday release says Huber served as a close advisor to three Attorneys General and served as the Vice-Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee for Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions and Attorney General William Barr.
Huber also led the Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on Terrorism and National Security and the interagency Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee in Washington D.C.
Huber oversaw the physical move of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Utah in downtown Salt Lake City.
Regarding national security, Huber oversaw the prosecution of two international terrorists in Utah; many domestic terrorism matters; and a former U.S. Government employee acting as a spy for China. He regularly spoke on the Department of Justice’s China Initiative in order to educate leaders of Utah industry on the threat posed by China.
During his tenure, a Friday release says Huber launched the Utah Gang Initiative within the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Under his leadership, the office has prosecuted several high-profile gang cases, including that of nationally-known white supremacist gangs Soldiers of Aryan Culture and Silent Aryan Nation.
Additionally, federal prosecutors have led high level prosecutions against the Norteno and the Glen Mob Street Gangs and numerous other gangs along the Wasatch Front with connections to Mexican drug cartels.
Officials say prosecutors in Huber’s office have successfully prosecuted what was the largest illicit dark web trafficker of fentanyl-laced oxycodone in the United States and obtained a lengthly prison sentence against a Utah doctor who illegally prescribed opioids to drug addicts.
Huber also prioritized cases involving child victims and his office brought numerous cases involving the exploitation of minors, including the conviction of an ex-Ute Tribal leader who sexually abused a girl starting at the age of 10.
Huber was a proponent of using targeted federal, state, and local partnerships to combat violent crime in urban areas. Huber helped to lead a violent crime reduction partnership in Ogden, Utah, that contributed to the decrease in violent crime by as much as 30% and helped to create a similar partnership that is ongoing in Salt Lake City.
One of the most important prosecutions during his tenure was convicting the murderer of Millard County Deputy Sheriff Josie Greathouse-Fox, a case that Huber says “will impact him for the rest of his life.”
On the financial crime front, the United State’s Attorney’s Office took on record-breaking fraud schemes in Utah. Huber’s office played a role in the prosecution of Northern Utah’s Kingston Polygamist Clan, which defrauded the U.S. out of close to $500 million dollars, as well as the prosecution of Lyle Jeffs and members of the Fundamentalist LDS Church in Southern Utah, who were found to have defrauded the United States’ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Prosecutors in his office obtained a conviction and a lengthy prison sentence against Rick Koerber, and have now turned their sites on the pending Rust Rare Coin case, a case that prosecutors allege is one of the largest and most destructive frauds Utah has ever seen.
Huber’s office fought. successfully, to keep snowboarders out of Alta Ski Resort, a decision that still garners mixed reviews amongst snowboarders in Utah. In addition, the office engaged in important civil rights work related to Utah’s public universities; successfully held doctors and pharmacies accountable in the midst of the opioid epidemic; and engaged in numerous cases related to the misuse of taxpayer funds amidst the global pandemic.
Of all of his accomplishments, Huber is most proud of the fact that he has hired over 50 percent of the office’s nearly 60 prosecutors. This, Huber says, will be his most important legacy, as he will be “extremely proud to see all that they will accomplish on behalf of the United States of America.”
Huber graduated with honors from The University of Utah and went on to complete his juris doctor degree at The University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law.
Huber’s public service began in the Weber County Attorney’s Office, later serving as the Chief Prosecutor for West Valley City before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
He first joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office as Special Assistant United States Attorney and rose within the office to become the Executive Assistant United States Attorney until his appointment to U.S. Attorney.
His resignation ends continuous public service career of 27 years. His final day is February 28.