- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Vermont’s top federal prosecutor says he’ll step down next month to join a private law firm.

Fifty-one-year-old Tristram Coffin was appointed to be U.S. attorney by President Barack Obama in August 2009. He had previously served 12 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the same office.

Coffin has been a key law enforcement leader in the fight to stem the growth of opiate drug abuse in Vermont. During his tenure, his office also has handled several high-profile criminal cases, including the prosecution of Michael Jacques in the sex assault and killing of 12-year-old Brooke Bennett.

Coffin is winning praise from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and from Sen. Patrick Leahy, who backed his appointment in 2009.

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