CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Surrounded by family, friends and dignitaries, R. Booth Goodwin II was sworn in as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia on Friday.
During brief remarks, Goodwin listed his priorities as the top federal law enforcement official in the state's southern district.
"To stand here as U.S. Attorney is one of the greatest honors imaginable in this profession," he said.
He pledged to redouble the office's efforts against prescription drug abuse, which he described as an epidemic, and out-of-state drug dealers who victimize West Virginians by peddling narcotics.
"I am going to lock them up, or drive them back to where they come from," he said.
Goodwin also promised to remain vigilant against sex offenders who use the Internet to prey on the innocent, saying that no matter how many sex crimes he sees prosecuted, they continue to sicken him.
Public corruption, which had been a major focus of Goodwin's nine years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, will also remain a top priority.
"Public officials who abuse their positions are going to face a new level of scrutiny," he said.
Significantly, Goodwin spoke about workplace safety crimes, referring to the criminal investigation underway by his office in the wake of the April explosion that killed 29 miners at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County.
"We need to make it clear that big business plays by the same rules as the rest of us," he said. "People who commit crimes that callously risk the lives of workers will be punished in this district."
The assembled crowd, which filled the ceremonial courtroom in the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse in Charleston, rose to its feet and applauded.