24 Federal Prosecutors Take the Oath of Office in the Northern District of Oklahoma

12 mins read

TULSA, Okla. – Twenty-four federal prosecutors have joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office within the last year and were sworn-in Wednesday by Chief U.S. District Judge John F. Heil III, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

The prosecutors were hired from across the nation to help prosecute the exponential increase in Indian Country cases following the Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v Oklahoma. The Court asserted the Creek Nation reservation was never disestablished by Congress when Oklahoma became a state; therefore, criminal jurisdiction within the reservation’s boundaries lay with the Federal Government and the Muscogee Nation.

“Twenty-four Assistant U.S. Attorneys have answered the call to uphold federal law and serve the citizens of the Northern District of Oklahoma,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “I have witnessed their talent, innovation and willingness to learn as this office has faced numerous challenges over the last year due to our expanded jurisdiction. I am proud of their work and commend them for their spirit of service and dedication to justice.”

Judge Heil thanked the prosecutors for their service to the United States and to the district’s citizens. He further explained that as prosecutors for the United States they wield great power, but he reminded them to do so with wisdom and discernment. He then administered the oath of office to the following individuals:

Adam Bailey is a Colorado native who attended the University of Colorado and received his JD from the University of Denver. After nearly ten years as a state prosecutor, he served as counsel for the Department of Homeland Security’s Denver Field Office before coming to Oklahoma and the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Justin Bish attended undergraduate and law school at The Pennsylvania State University. While serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of New York, Justin volunteered for a six-month detail to the Northern District of Oklahoma to assist with the large numbers of Indian Country cases following the Supreme Court’s ruling in July 2020 and has remained with the office.

Niko Boulieris grew up in Chicago and holds degrees from Marquette University and the Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. He came to the Northern District of Oklahoma from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis, after five years as a prosecutor.

John Brasher graduated from Texas A&M and obtained his law degree from Oklahoma City University. He served as an Assistant District Attorney in Tulsa County for 12 years after two years with the Oklahoma Attorney General’s and came to the Northern District of Oklahoma Office.

Steve Briden went to law school at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. After graduation, he worked for New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan, and then served as a prosecutor in Carroll County, New Hampshire, for four years before joining the Northern District of Oklahoma.


Thomas Buscemi attended undergraduate and law school at the University of Georgia. He joined the Northern District of Oklahoma after serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Glynn County, Georgia, for five years.

Julie Childress graduated from Appalachian State University and received her JD from Elon University School of Law. Before joining the Northern District of Oklahoma, she was a member of the U.S. Women’s Bobsled Team, interned with the United Nations at the Hague, and served as the Domestic Violence prosecutor in North Carolina.

Chantelle Dial grew up in Washington State, where she taught junior high Language Arts before attending Michigan State University College of Law. She joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle as the 2017 Department of Justice Honors Indian Country Fellow and later volunteered for a detail to the Northern District of Oklahoma after the Supreme Court’s ruling. She has remained with the office.

Gina Gilmore graduated from the University of Texas and received her JD from the University of Arkansas School of Law. After serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Galveston County, Texas, for eight years, she became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Texas. She initially came to the Northern District of Oklahoma as a volunteer following the Supreme Court’s ruling and has remained with the office.

Michael Harder graduated from Willamette University in 2015 and obtained his law degree from the University of Oregon in 2020. While in law school, he interned at the Northern District of Oklahoma. After graduation, he rejoined the office as the 2020 Department of Justice Honors Indian Country Fellow.

George Jiang graduated from Vanderbilt University and received his JD from Notre Dame Law School. He clerked for a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Texas and a U.S. District Judge in the Western District of Pennsylvania. Before joining the Northern District of Oklahoma, he served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington D.C.

Aaron Jolly completed his undergraduate degree at Columbia College while working as a deputy sheriff and detective in Camden, Missouri. He later earned his JD from the University of Missouri–Columbia, served for three years as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Missouri, and then joined the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Chris Kelly attended Binghamton University and earned his JD from the University of Richmond. Before joining the NDOK, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in New York for fourteen years.

Valeria Luster received her BA from Oklahoma State University and a JD from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Before joining the Northern District of Oklahoma, she served as an Assistant District Attorney in Adair County for nearly six years.


Nathan Michel is a native of Dodge City, Kansas, and a graduate of Baker University and the University of Kansas School of Law. Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he served for ten years as a judge advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps.

David Nasar attended the New York University School of Law and graduated in 2003. Before joining the Northern District of Oklahoma, he served an Assistant District Attorney at the New York County District Attorney’s Office for 17 years. Nasar joined the office’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force team.

Leah Paisner received her BA from the University of Virginia and her JD and MA from American University. Before joining the Northern District of Oklahoma, she was a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California in Oakland.

Alex Scott grew up in Marshall, Missouri, before attending the University of Missouri and later graduating from the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law. He joined the Northern District of Oklahoma in August, after serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Kansas for more than eight years.

Brandon Skates was born and raised in Indiana, where he earned his law degree from Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law. Before joining the Department of Justice, he spent six years as an Assistant District Attorney and another two years as a Deputy Attorney General in Indiana.

Stacey Todd received her BA from Benedictine College and a JD from Quinnipiac University School of Law. Before joining the Northern District of Oklahoma, she served as the Assistant District Attorney of Modoc County for more than five years. She also served two years in civil litigation in Southern California.

Ben Tonkin grew up in Asheboro, North Carolina, and graduated from Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. He practiced at a firm in New York City and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Texas. After the Supreme Court’s ruling, Ben volunteered to come to the Northern District of Oklahoma to assist and has remained with the office.

Sandra Urban was born and raised in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, attended Widener University, and earned her JD from the Stetson University College of Law. Before arriving in the Northern District of Oklahoma, she served as an Assistant District Attorney in the greater Philadelphia area for 12 years.

David Whipple holds undergraduate and graduate accounting degrees from Brigham Young University and received his JD from George Washington University Law School. Before joining the Northern District of Oklahoma, he worked at Fried Frank in Washington D.C. for three years and as trial counsel for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for seven years in Ft. Worth and Salt Lake City. Whipple works white collar crime cases for the district.


Cymetra Williams graduated from Holy Cross, earned two masters degrees at Columbia University, and received her law degree from Seton Hall. After two judicial clerkships, she worked in private practice and served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in New Jersey. She later volunteered to assist the Northern District of Oklahoma following the Supreme Court’s ruling and has remained with the office.

Victim Witness Assistance

Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.


 

Learn More

Project Safe Childhood




Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.


 

Learn More