On Tuesday, United States Magistrate Judge Joseph Perez-Montes was honored as the 2016 Southern Region Legal Support Person of the Year by the United States Department of Agriculture. The DOA annually recognizes one individual from each of its Regions for outstanding contributions to its Law Enforcement and Investigations Division. The Southern Region covers roughly 14 states.
Magistrate Judge Perez-Montes presides over criminal proceedings arising from misdemeanor offenses committed on federal land. In addition to the DOA’s investigators, Magistrate Judge Perez-Montes hears cases involving officers from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. All of these law enforcement agencies also presented Magistrate Judge Perez-Montes with a plaque “[i]n appreciation for [his] constant loyalty, support and dedication to all branches.”
Magistrate Judge Perez-Montes is a native of Pineville. He has presided over an eight-parish division, which includes Rapides Parish, since 2015.