King Hall Class of 2000
A Washington-based federal prosecutor in the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section of the Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Marlon Cobar `00 has enjoyed a successful career prosecuting international and transnational crime. In 2003, Marlon was appointed a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California in San Francisco; a year later, he became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central Valley-based Eastern District of California. Serving in the Narcotics and Violent Crime Unit, he focused on the investigation and prosecution of drug trafficking cases. Several were multijurisdictional and international cases of national impact, coordinated by the Special Operations Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
While working as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Marlon completed several overseas details for DOJ’s Criminal Division, participating in its Justice Sector Reform Program and training hundreds of Colombian prosecutors and investigators in trial advocacy and evidence collection. Marlon also served as a Resident Legal Advisor in Iraq, where he worked to develop a provincial terrorism prosecution task force. For the latter service, he received the U.S. Army Commander’s Medal for Civilian Service, a personal Citation from General David H. Petraeus, then Commander of U.S. Forces in Iraq, and a special citation by then-U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey.
A diverse set of legal, diplomatic, strategic and operational skills are in use at Marlon’s current post, which concentrates on international narcotics trafficking and narcoterrorism cases. International travel in the past few months alone has included Afghanistan, Dubai, Germany, Turkey, Panama, and Mexico. In Mexico, Marlon is investigating and prosecuting one of the country’s most powerful and violent drug trafficking cartels with DEA. In Afghanistan, Marlon and another federal prosecutor are leading the prosecution of a heroin trafficking organization that financially supports the Taliban. Marlon was among the team members nominated for DOJ’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security on account of their work in the Afghanistan case.
Marlon graduated from California State University at Sonoma, and then completed a Coro Foundation graduate fellowship in government, politics and public policy, with a focus on criminal justice policy. Crediting his professional success to the mentorship of Dean Kevin Johnson and others at King Hall, he writes:
"As a law student, I always knew that I wanted to be a prosecutor but did not think I could be living my wildest professional dream job on a daily basis. By providing me with a solid legal education to think, reason, analyze, write, and advocate with an equal balance of logic and passion, amazing professors such as Diane Marie Amann, Ed Imwinkelried and Floyd Feeney enabled me to build a solid foundation to face the novel and evolving challenges involved in prosecuting extraterritorial crimes in the international arena. As I walk through the hallowed halls of the Department of Justice, all I can elegantly say is: Thank you."
In 2013, Marlon has been honored with the Assistant Attorney General's Award for Exceptional service. The honor recognizes Cobar's role in the successful investigation and prosecution of heroin trafficker Haji Bagcho, who used profits from his drug dealing operation to fund the Taliban insurgency in his native Afghanistan. Cobar's work on the case is detailed in an article in the most recent issue of the Law School's Counselor magazine.