HARRISBURG – Attorney General Linda Kelly has congratulated Chief Deputy Attorney General Andrew M. Rongaus of the Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force and Drug Law Enforcement Section on receiving the National Outstanding Drug Prosecutor Award.
Kelly said that Rongaus received the award last week in Washington D.C. at the National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Conference. The award is given annually by the Executive Office of the President of the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program was created by Congress in 1988 as part of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, and provides assistance to Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States.
Rongaus was recognized for his work and leadership in the disruption and dismantling of numerous drug trafficking organizations on a local, state and federal level through the timely development and application of innovative legal tools. He played an integral role in the arrest, prosecution and conviction of individuals engaged in large scale illegal drug activities.
The award also commended Rongaus for his leadership in developing the formation of a statewide synthetic drug task force, known as Operation Artificial High, where federal, state and local law enforcement developed a three phased response to combat the prolific abuse of synthetic drugs in Pennsylvania.
Kelly said that Operation Artificial Highresulted in the seizure of more than 300,000 individual doses of synthetic marijuana and illegal bath salts, with an estimated street value of $1.25 million dollars. Additionally, more than 50,000 pieces of drug paraphernalia related to the smoking or consumption of synthetic drugs were seized, along with approximately $250,000 in cash and assets.
Rongaus is a 1999 graduate of Villanova University and a 2001 graduate of Villanova University School of Law. He was a local prosecutor with the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office and the Chester County District Attorney’s Office before his appointment to the Office of Attorney General in 2007 with the Philadelphia Drug Strike Force Section. In 2010, Rongaus was appointed Chief Deputy Attorney General of the Drug Strike Force / Drug Law Enforcement Section. He, his wife Rachel and their two children, reside in Chester County.