U.S. Lawyer Kurt Alme declares resignation

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US attorney Kurt Alme

Kurt Alme, US attorney for the Montana district, who was appointed to the office by President Donald Trump in 2017, announced his resignation on Monday, effective December 2.

Alme was recommended for the post by Senator Steve Daines, R-Mont., And was unanimously approved by the Senate. He replaced Mike Cotter, who was appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama in 2009. Cotter said in 2017 that Trump requested that he and 45 other Obama candidates step down.

Alme is a Montana native and has served as the President and General Counsel of the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation, which supports the ranch as it serves over 600 youth with emotional problems, including those with substance abuse disorders.

He thanked Daines and Trump for their support.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to work with the excellent lawyers and professional staff in this office,” he said in a press release. Alme, who graduated from Miles City high school, did not discuss future plans.

Alme supervised over 70 employees in Billings, Great Falls, Helena and Missoula. The USAO also represented the United States in civil proceedings in Montana. He said his staff were focused on reducing violent meth-related crimes, deaths from opioid overdose, and Native American reservation crimes.

Alme said that under his direction, U.S. assistant attorneys and professionals increased federal prosecutions by 15% to over 400 defendants per year, except during a brief hiatus from COVID earlier this year.

These have included drug trafficking, Native American reservation violent crimes, child pornography, human trafficking, financial and government fraud, immigration, and firearm violations.

The office launched the Safe Neighborhoods project in 2018, working with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to focus on meth-related violent crimes. Prosecution of meth traffickers, armed robbers, and violent criminals with firearms has been given priority, according to a press release.

More than 670 cases have been prosecuted in Montana and 293 cases in Yellowstone County alone, in which 333 pounds of meth and 343 firearms, including 78 semi-automatic rifles, were seized. Murder, robbery and assault decreased by 25% in Missoula County until they increased again after the onset of COVID, the press release said.

Alme is a graduate of the University of Colorado and Harvard Law School. He worked for the U.S. District Judge of Montana, Charles Lovell, was a former partner in the Crowley Fleck regional law firm, was director of the Montana Treasury under Gov. Judy Martz, and served as U.S. assistant attorney and ultimately first assistant in the U.S. -Public prosecutor.

This story will be updated.

Reporter Phil Drake is our eye on the state capital. For tips, suggestions, or comments, he can be reached at 406-231-9021 or pdrake@greatfallstribune.com. To support his work, subscribe today and receive a special offer.

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