WHEELING - Joseph E. Barki III, an assistant prosecutor in Brooke County, has been named a special assistant in the U.S. attorney's office.
U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II said Barki primarily will handle cases that arise out of Hancock, Brooke, Ohio and Marshall counties, with a priority being placed on cases involving heroin trafficking and possession of firearms by prohibited persons.
"We're very excited to have Joe Barki on board," said Ihlenfeld. "He is one of the most experienced state prosecutors in the Northern Panhandle, and he'll be a great addition to the United States attorney's office."
According to Ihlenfeld, Barki is the first of several special assistant prosecutors that will be added to the staff of the U.S. attorney's office.
In addition to the Wheeling office, new assistants also will be added in the Clarksburg and Martinsburg offices to handle the increase in gun prosecutions expected in those parts of the district.
"The increase in staffing via special assistants is part of our comprehensive antiviolence strategy," Ihlenfeld said. "We have sought out referrals of cases from our law enforcement partners and the response has been terrific.
"These new attorneys will help to make sure that the referrals are reviewed and prosecuted in a timely and efficient manner."
Barki also is an assistant prosecutor in Ohio County, where he has been working since 2001. He has been an assistant prosecutor in Brooke County since 2003.
In addition, he previously served as a Hancock County assistant prosecutor. Barki handles primarily drug and violent crime prosecutions in those jurisdictions and previously served as a domestic violence prosecutor.
"I am very pleased to see Joe Barki designated as a special prosecutor for the office of the United States Attorney," said Brooke County Prosecuting Attorney David B. Cross.
"Joe will continue on my staff as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Brooke County, while he serves in the prosecution of federal offenses in his new position.
"He is a skilled and effective prosecutor, and I believe his new role will enhance the good working relationship my office has with federal prosecutors in the Northern Panhandle."
A graduate of Brooke High School, Barki received a bachelor of arts degree in political science and psychology from Bethany College.
He is a graduate of the West Virginia State Police Academy and served as a West Virginia state trooper in Martinsburg before earning a law degree from Widener Law School.