Reward increased to $2.5M for information in slaying of Seattle federal prosecutor

Reward increased to $2.5M for information in slaying of Seattle federal prosecutor
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The Department of Justice this week increased its reward for information leading to an arrest in the 2001 slaying of a federal prosecutor in Seattle.

The department announced Monday that it was upping the reward from $1 million to $2.5 million in the killing of Seattle Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Wales. The announcement was made on the 20th anniversary of the day Wales was shot.

The gunman allegedly stood in Wales’s backyard and shot him several times through a basement window while Wales was sitting at his computer around 10:40 p.m. Wales, 49, died at the hospital the next day.

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The FBI said a lone male suspect was seen fleeing Wales's property on the night of the shooting.

Authorities had long focused on a commercial airline pilot who Wales unsuccessfully prosecuted for fraud in 2000. Now, authorities are pursuing evidence that indicates a Mexican drug cartel had recruited a low-level drug dealer who they believe killed Wales to pay off a debt, The Seattle Times reported.

In addition to the reward, the Justice Department said Monday it was taking steps to “redouble its efforts to pursue justice” for Wales.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington will be working with the Seattle Prosecutor Murder Task Force, which was created to investigate Wales’s death.

The task force includes the FBI, Department of Justice and King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

“The Department of Justice will never forget Tom’s contributions to the department and the cause of justice, nor will we forget the tragedy of his death,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a statement Monday.

“Somebody knows something about this murder, and we want to do everything we can to encourage them to come forward now.”