U.S. Attorney Mike Dunavant prepares to step down


Memphis, Tenn. — U.S. Attorney Mike Dunavant is marking his days.

February 28th he steps down from the law enforcement job he has held for almost four years.

“As I step away I am really really proud of the accomplishments we have made with our law enforcement partners,” Dunavant said.

Appointed by former President Donald Trump as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, Mike Dunavant led investigations and prosecutions of many cases.

Dunavant says he is most proud of his crime initiative that targeted carjacking, drug trafficking, and over-prescribing prescription drugs.

“We decreased federal prosecution of firearm offenses over a two year period of time up to over 68 percent.  I really believe that serves the purpose of preventing additional violent crime,” Dunavant said.

Dunavant also led the local effort that brought federal agents to Memphis to help fight crime to the consternation of some who wondered if they really made a difference.

“In 120 days we arrested 250 people and charged and prosecuted over 120 people for federal offenses. Last year Memphis set a record for homicides, 338. And the year before that it was 230 something.  10:26  And I would say we have made a difference because if we had not done Operation Legend the trigger pullers, the traffickers, the repeat offenders from the street that body count would have been higher,” Dunavant said.

Most recently Dunavant also led the prosecution of those in Tennessee who took part in the protests at the nation’s Capital. He says those investigations and prosecutions continue.

“We take those cases very seriously. There is really zero tolerance there. They attacked not only federal property,  but the very decency of our democracy in our country,” Dunavant said.

And as President Biden prepares to appoint new U.S. Attorneys across the country, Mike Dunavant is looking at his own future. He is not ready to say where he will be, but after a lifetime of public service he is pretty sure about what he will be doing.

“I hope that I will be in a position again soon to continue serving the people of our state and our nation,” Dunavant said.

The search for a new U.S. Attorney is underway.

In the meantime, the First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Joe Murphy, will serve in the position until it is filled.

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