Francis Jerome “Jerry” Diskin, a federal prosecutor who handled terrorism, fraud and drug cases, died on June 1 from complications of brain surgery. He was 57.
A native of Mineola, N.Y., Diskin graduated from Catholic University in Washington D.C., and earned his law degree from Georgetown University. He clerked for Judge Harry E. Wood at the U.S. Court of Claims for a year, then spent three years with the Army Judge Advocate Corps at Fort Lewis Base in Washington.
Diskin launched a 30-year career with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1976. Working out of the Western District of Washington branch, he served as chief of the criminal division, senior litigation counsel, supervisor of the drug unit and interim U.S. attorney.
In 2001, Diskin gained national attention for successfully prosecuting the “Millennium Bomber.” Algerian terrorist Ahmed Ressam was arrested in 1999 as he tried to enter the U.S. from British Columbia through Port Angeles, Wash. In a truck filled with bomb-making materials, Ressam planned to drive down the West coast and blow up Los Angeles International Airport. Instead, he was apprehended by authorities and prosecuted by Diskin for plotting terrorist activities.
Ressam was convicted of conspiracy to commit international terrorism and on various explosives charges. In exchange for a reduced prison sentence, he has provided information to the government about Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.
Diskin’s superior performance as an assistant U.S. attorney was recognized in 2001 when he received a Director’s Award from the United States Attorney General.
I haven’t seen Jerry for many years, but went to grammar school with him, and we were in Boy Scouts together. I believe the first baseball game I ever played was in his yard on Forest Ave in Baldwin. Jerry lost his mother at an early age but never revealed his grief to the rest of the kids. Jerry’s accomplishments do all of his school mates proud. There is little doubt he will be missed by his young famly, but he has left them a lasting legacy that would do any man proud. Jerry is with his Mom, Dad and brother Phil now-they have been reunited after many many years. Farewell old friend………….Steve
I remember piling into Jerry’s Ford Fairlane after school, with no particular place to go. Great memories of a wonderful and honorable guy. He was a good friend at Baldwin High and we stayed in touch with holiday cards over the years. It was a sad day when I learned of his death. His family should be very proud of the man he was and the life he lived. I know I am.
I corresponded with Jerry for several years as we worked together tracing his Claffey ancestors. He was a meticulous researcher and a descendant of those in law enforcement. I sure do miss him.
Jerry Diskin was a crooked prosecutor who would not look past doing something illegal to win a case. I saw him call witnesses who were clearly lying in a case that he was clearly loosing. And when the judge declared a mistrial, he completely lost his composure and started yelling and screaming at the jury for not finding in his favor. What a hack.
I agree with Michael! Diskin was a top crook – too imaginably mean for words! He didn’t care at all if a witness lied & if you were uncooperative as his “wanted witness” he would do indescribable things to people to try to make them lie for him – the most horrible individual I have ever met! A total horror of a human being. He didn’t care if his tactics led to suicide, if it would further his cause to WIN a case, even if he was totally wrong.
Michael and Connor are both dead on. Jerry Diskin would pay witnesses and routinely coach them to lie in court. He went way overboard in his zeal to prosecute marijuana cases. Routinely giving people 5-10 years in Federal prison. Here is the ironic part. Mr. Diskin died of a brain tumor and complications from surgery. US Patent #6630507 proves the brain protecting, and most likely cancer protecting qualities of THC and CBD. Had Mr. Diskin used some of the substance he fought so hard against he might still be alive. I hope all his lies haunt him in the afterlife.