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Ray Tierney Family Photo

Meet Ray Tierney

Candidate for Suffolk County District Attorney
A Career Prosecutor

Raymond A. Tierney was elected as the Suffolk County District Attorney on November 2, 2021, and assumed office on January 1, 2022. District Attorney Tierney is a career prosecutor, having served for 29 years as a prosecutor at both the state and federal levels. District Attorney Tierney is an independent prosecutor committed to enforcing the law in an ethical and accountable manner to protect the citizens of Suffolk County.

District Attorney Tierney started his career in law enforcement as an Assistant District Attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in 1992 where he served under then-District Attorney James Catterson. He worked his way up through the ranks of the office participating in all aspects of felony prosecutions including kidnappings, arson, violent sexual assaults, and murder. Tierney then worked as District Court Trial Supervisor where he supervised entry-level ADAs.

After seven years at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, Tierney joined a local law firm between 1999 and 2002, where he managed litigation for the firm, trying cases before juries in Bronx, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties.

In 2002, District Attorney Tierney returned to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office as an ADA, investigating and prosecuting felony cases including political corruption, organized crime, street gangs, homicides, violent street crimes, domestic violence, child abuse, and child pornography. These prosecutions included long-term investigations overseeing the efforts of teams of detectives, utilizing wiretaps, search warrants, grand jury investigations, and trials.

Beginning in 2008, Tierney served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Long Island Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where he oversaw complex criminal investigations and prosecutions on behalf of the United States Government.  Tierney served as lead counsel for all phases of jury trials in state and federal courts for crimes including complex white-collar schemes, internet crimes, international narcotics enterprises, money laundering schemes and violent crimes.  Tierney met and coordinated with the Department of Justice leaders regarding long-term international criminal prosecutions, international fugitives, and death penalty protocols. He debriefed the Attorney General on the status of MS-13 prosecution nationwide and in New York. District Attorney Tierney handled all phases of criminal prosecutions including drafting appellate briefs and arguing appeals before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Between 2019 and 2021, Tierney served as Executive Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, working for DA Eric Gonzalez. Tierney was the Executive in charge of Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, Crime Strategies Unit, and Body Worn Camera Unit. He oversaw all aspects of bureau activities and was responsible for long-term violent street gang investigations and prosecutions. He worked with NYPD and federal partners to develop investigations to seize illegal guns and best allocate resources to prosecute the many criminal street gangs causing most of the violence in Brooklyn.

During his long career as a prosecutor, District Attorney Tierney received numerous awards including:

  • Federal Law Enforcement Association Prosecutor of the Year for the successful prosecution of over twenty MS-13 members in United States v. Alvarenga, et al., November 2016.
  • FBI Long Island Gang Task Force “Meritorious Service Award” for successful prosecution and support of the FBI’s mission to combat, disrupt and dismantle the MS-13, March 2015.
  • Federal Law Enforcement Association Prosecutor of the Year for successful trial prosecution of several MS-13 members in United States v. Geovany Prado, et al., November 2014.
  • Federal Agent’s “True American Hero Award” for successful trial prosecution of Colombian Norte Valle Boss in United States v. Carlos Arturo Patiño Restrepo, March 2011.
  • Southampton Town Police Department’s “Full Court Press Prosecution Award” for successful prosecution in United States v. Manning, Coffey, Johnson, Hopson and Gilliam, September 2010.
  • Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office Distinguished Trial Advocacy Award for successful trial prosecution in People v. Austin Offen and Constantine Chronis, July 1999.

Upon taking office as Suffolk County District Attorney in 2022, District Attorney Tierney immediately formed the first Suffolk County Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau to combat organized crime and gang violence, as well as re-establishing the office’s Homicide Bureau as a distinct unit.

In February 2022, District Attorney Tierney formed the Gilgo Serial Homicide Task Force with the SCPD, State Police, Sheriff, FBI, and other law enforcement partners to re-invigorate an investigation of a series of horrific murders that occurred between 1996 and 2010 in Suffolk County.  In March 2022, the Gilgo Task Force developed a suspect which the Task Force investigated over the course of the next 16 months, culminating in the indictment and arrest of Rex A. Heuermann in July 2023 for three murders.  In January 2024, Heuermann was charged by the grand jury with a Fourth Gilgo murder.  The criminal case is currently pending and the investigation by the Task Force continues as to additional murders.  District Attorney Tierney will conduct the trial in this case along with a team of other experienced prosecutors.

District Attorney Tierney also formed special prosecution units, the Biological, Environmental, and Animal Safety Team (BEAST) and Hate Crimes, Elder Abuse, Anti-Bias/Immigrant Affairs and Human-Trafficking (HEAT) units.  These units, staffed by experienced prosecutors across the office, tackle serious criminal activity that can have far-reaching effects.

District Attorney Tierney also recognizes that robust community outreach is vital to a modern prosecutor’s office and as such, he formed a Community Outreach Bureau which coordinates outreach efforts.  The office hosts job fairs for Suffolk County youth, elder fraud seminars, school safety summits and events to help protect houses of worship.

District Attorney Tierney attended Brown University where he was a member of the varsity football team, and he received his Bachelor of Arts in History and English in 1988. He received his Juris Doctor degree from St. John’s University School of Law in 1992. While attending St. John’s, Tierney was an Articles Editor at the St. John’s International Law Review from 1991-92.

District Attorney Tierney is a lifelong resident of Suffolk County where he resides with his wife, Erica, and their four children.

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