Ken Gonzales has become New Mexico's newest federal judge.
Gonzales stepped down Thursday as the 44th U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico and took his judicial oath Friday afternoon.
Gonzales was appointed to replace retiring U.S. District Judge Bruce Black of Santa Fe. The seat is being moved to Las Cruces because of the high caseloads in southern New Mexico.
A New Mexico native, Gonzales has served as U.S. attorney since 2010. Before that, he spent 11 years working as an assistant U.S. attorney.
During his tenure, he was the first U.S. attorney to create an office dedicated to crime in Indian Country. His goal was to get federal prosecutors to work more closely with Indian communities.
His office also participated in a pilot project in which tribal prosecutors were trained in federal law.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.