HOUSTON – The meeting started off with a simple introduction by the top law enforcement official in our area: “My name Alamdar Hamdani. I go by Al.”
Hamdani is the new sheriff in town for the feds, better known as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas.
His direct order to his army of over 200 federal prosecutors?
“Do justice,” said Hamdani during a recent meeting with members of the media.
The primary focus for the first U.S. Attorney of South Asian descent in Houston and the fourth nationwide? To cut homicides down in Houston back to pre-pandemic levels.
“I want to bring down that murder rate,” said Hamdani.
Another one of Hamdani’s focuses will be combatting the opioid epidemic and fentanyl.
“A drug like I’ve never seen before,” said Hamdani who arrived at the Houston office in 2015.
Hamdani’s past has been primarily in two specific areas.
“Most of what I do is go after National Security and Public Corruption issues,” said Hamdani.
The University of Houston Law School grad is known as being a “tough as nails” prosecutor who has not lost a case since 2009. One case to note in recent years is when Hamdani was the prosecutor involved in getting former HPD Officer Steven Bryant to admit his guilt in the deadly drug raid on Harding Street.
However, in the case of Bryant’s partner Gerald Goines, who is charged with civil rights violations connected to the deaths of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas, still nothing.
“Yes, cases move at different paces and I cannot discuss that case specifically because it’s an ongoing case,” said Hamdani.
Another case Hamdani could not weigh in on due to its ongoing status involves the former Director of City Councill Relations appointed by Mayor Sylvester Turner, William-Paul Thomas.
Thomas is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to conspiracy tied to cash bribes last summer.
Hamdani’s message on public corruption was simple.
“We will prosecute without favor, without fear, it doesn’t matter what political party anybody may be a part of, it doesn’t matter what uniform somebody will wear,” he said.