Patricia L. Diaz is a highly experienced trial attorney and negotiator.
Prior to joining Diaz Reus in private practice, she served six years as Division Counsel for the Miami Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration—covering the State of Florida and the Bahamas—and spent twenty-one years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida prosecuting hundreds of complex, international money laundering cases.
She is uniquely qualified to guide clients through sensitive federal criminal investigations, prosecutions, and negotiations. Her experience with the inner workings of the DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office lends a multifaceted perspective in handling the defense of complex litigation in white collar crimes and money laundering.
“With my extensive background and know-how, I am often able to help clients navigate a successful resolution for their case, no matter how complex it may seem at the onset,” says Ms. Diaz. “As a Federal Prosecutor I spent most of my career assigned to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, a task force dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of high level international money laundering organizations. Our work resulted in hundreds of successful prosecutions in numerous high profile cases.”
A member of the Florida bar since 1988, Patricia’s practice includes white collar criminal defense, internal corporate investigations, general civil litigation, civil and criminal forfeiture, money laundering, RICO, and dispute resolution.
After a prestigious judicial clerkship with the Honorable Eugene P. Spellman, District Court Judge, Southern District of Florida, Patricia joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida where she spent twenty-one years representing the federal government before the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida. Patricia presented and prosecuted hundreds of cases and was also responsible for initiating and directing complex criminal investigations, participating in grand jury proceedings, and guiding and recommending the sentencing of offenders. She also served as a Deputy Chief in the Major Crimes Unit, supervising and training new prosecutors in criminal trial investigation and prosecution.
For a large part of her career, Patricia carried out her duties as a prosecutor assigned directly to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF), handling comprehensive, multi-level investigations of major regional, national, and international money laundering organizations. For over ten years, she was embedded as an attorney in both the Miami-Dade and Broward High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Forces (HIDTA), which are designed to provide assistance to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the U.S. Patricia was the first attorney assigned to both HIDTA units and spearheaded the coordination of prosecutors and law enforcement personnel working side-by-side in the same location. During her tenure as an OCDETF attorney, Patricia coordinated the investigative and prosecution strategy for hundreds of investigations, targeting the entire infrastructure of extremely complex, criminal organizations that laundered illicit proceeds, continued their criminal activities as fugitives, and participated in alleged terrorist activities.
In 2010, Patricia left the U.S. Attorney’s Office to become Division Counsel for the Miami Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, which encompasses Florida and the Bahamas. There she was involved in all legal matters and issues concerning the Division, including criminal, civil, and administrative law matters. This included substantive drug-related and money laundering statutes, investigative methods and techniques, search and seizure, electronic surveillance, interview and interrogation, evidence, discovery, drafting and reviewing legislative proposals relating to criminal law and procedure, and federal sentencing guidelines, legal training, and legal review of operational policies and procedures. It also included handling matters related to the support of civil and administrative litigation, including regulatory issues under the Controlled Substances Act (21 USC § 801 et seq.), as well as personnel and fiscal law questions.