Johnson picked to head U.S. Marshals Service in Alaska

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- President Bush has nominated a longtime employee of the U.S. Marshals Service to head the agency in Alaska.

Randy Johnson of Anchorage would become marshal for the District of Alaska, if confirmed by the Senate.

Johnson, 50, has supervised operations for the service since 1989. If confirmed as marshal he will take over both operations and administrative duties.

Marshals provide federal court security, chase fugitives and transport prisoners between courts and prison. In Alaska, the federal government holds court in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Nome, Juneau and Ketchikan.

Marshals also seize and auction illegally used property and operate in armed tactical groups during special operations.

Johnson, contacted Wednesday by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, said he was asked by the White House not to say much about his nomination until after he is confirmed.

As marshal, Johnson would be in charge of 12 law enforcement personnel and six administrative staff members in Anchorage.

John Murphy, who held the marshal post for the past six years, described Johnson as capable and knowledgeable.

''He knows the issues up here with the marshals service,'' he said Wednesday.

Murphy left the job in October and was hired in December as Alaska-area security manager for the General Services Administration's Federal Protective Service, which provides security for all federal buildings.

Johnson first came to Alaska with the Army in 1972 and was stationed at Fort Greely.He later earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa and worked as a police officer in Iowa City, Iowa.

He returned to Alaska in 1984, taking a job with the General Services Administration. He moved from the GSA to the marshals service in 1986.

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