Bout Asks Judge to Throw Out Conviction

March 28, 2012

The New York Times on March 28, 2012 released the following:

“By BENJAMIN WEISER

Updated 11:30 a.m. | Viktor Bout, a former Soviet Air Force officer who was convicted in November of conspiring to sell anti-aircraft missiles and other weapons to men he believed were terrorists intending to kill Americans, apparently believes that he does not deserve the mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years — or any sentence, for that matter.

Mr. Bout’s lawyer has filed court papers asking a judge to refuse to sentence him next week in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

The lawyer, Albert Y. Dayan, argued in a 14-page memorandum filed on Wednesday morning that Mr. Bout’s prosecution by the United States government was “the product of malice” and “private politics” stemming from “the then White House,” a reference to the Bush administration; Mr. Bout was taken into custody in Thailand in March 2008, and later sent to the United States.

His arrest followed a lengthy undercover sting operation run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which relied on cooperating informants who posed as members of the Colombian terrorist group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or the FARC.

Under the law, Mr. Bout faces at least 25 years behind bars when he is to be sentenced on April 5, but Mr. Dayan, calling his client innocent and saying that his prosecution was the product of “outrageous, inexcusable” government conduct, called such a sentence “way too much under the facts and circumstances of this case.”

He asked that the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, dismiss the indictment. A spokeswoman for the United States attorney’s office had no comment.

After a three-week trial, Mr. Bout was convicted of conspiring to kill American nationals, as well as officers and employees of the United States; to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles (the count that carries the mandatory 25-year minimum term); and to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. He could face up to life in prison on some counts.

In February, Judge Scheindlin did agree to a request by his lawyer that Mr. Bout be transferred from solitary confinement into the general prisoner population in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he had been held for 15 months.

The judge, who held a hearing into the matter, ruled that she could not “shirk my duty under the Constitution” and Supreme Court precedent “to ensure that Bout’s confinement is not arbitrary and excessively harsh.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Solitary Confinement Is Too Harsh for ‘Lord of War’ Vicktor Bout

February 11, 2012

Courthouse News Service on February 10, 2012 released the following:

“By ADAM KLASFELD

MANHATTAN (CN) – International arms smuggler Viktor Bout should not face solitary confinement, a federal judge insisted at a combative hearing on Friday afternoon.

A Russian national, Bout was the subject of the nonfiction book “Merchant of Death,” and allegedly inspired the Hollywood movie “The Lord of War.” For years, he was suspected of arming dictators, despots and warring factions in the Congo, Angola, Sierra Leone and other conflict zones around the world.

Though sanctioned by the United Nations, Bout remained a free man for more than a decade until the U.S. government snared him in “Operation Relentless,” a sting operation with undercover informants posing as guerrillas from the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC).

A federal jury convicted him in November, and U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin refused to set aside the verdict at a hearing on Thursday.

At that hearing, Scheindlin reportedly criticized the conditions of Bout’s imprisonment as “harsh.” She convened the Friday afternoon hearing to leave no doubt that those conditions must change.

A Jan. 20, 2011, administration order called for Bout’s incarceration in a maximum-security cell of the Metropolitan Correctional Center for 23 hours per day. Adam Johnson, the prison’s supervising attorney, said that Bout usually declines the hour per day in which he is allowed to use the recreational center.

Bout’s attorney Albert Dayan says the center is an indoor cell much like his own, in which he cannot interact with the other inmates. Bout’s only source of outside air comes from the occasional “crack” to the recreation room’s window, Dayan said.

While the prison accommodates Bout’s vegetarian diet, Bout says he is only fed oatmeal, peanut butter and beans in a pot.

He can only place a phone call or meet with his family once a month, Johnson said.

Scheindlin told Johnson that he should call Bout’s prison conditions by their name.

“Long-term solitary confinement is the way to put it,” Scheindlin said, adding that “studies have been conducted” on its effects.

A 2009 New Yorker article titled “Hellhole,” explored the movement to define isolation as torture. Psychologists for Social Responsibility have called supermax prisons “cruel, unusual and inhumane” in an open letter opposing the confinement of alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, before he was transferred from Quantico.

Suzanne Hastings, a warden at MCC, claimed that solitary was necessary to keep Bout from harming the guards, other inmates and himself.

Scheindlin brushed aside that argument, arguing that nothing in the record indicated that Bout was violent or linked to any terrorist organization.

“This is a businessman,” Scheindlin said, indicating Bout. “You might not like the business he’s in.”

That business, the judge pointed out later, was “the arms business.”

“This country sells a lot of arms,” Scheindlin added.

Though convicted of arming terrorists, the FARC militants that Bout agreed to arm were all undercover government informants.

“I’m familiar with this case, and I can distinguish it from other so-called terrorism cases,” Scheindlin said.

Kenneth Kaplan, Bout’s other attorney, cited cases in which inmates in the MCC’s terrorism unit were ordered into more humane detention.

One, Kathy Boudine, was convicted of felony murder and armed robbery in an operation with the Weather Underground.

Another, Mafia soldier Vincent Basciano, was placed in the section of the prison normally reserved for convicted terrorists until the 2nd Circuit intervened, Kaplan said.

“He was a dangerous guy,” Scheindlin said. “Didn’t he threaten a judge? I haven’t been threatened [by Bout].”

Scheindlin requested that prosecutors and defense attorneys file arguments about her ability to change the conditions of Bout’s confinement and judicial precedents for such actions.”

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


McKenzie J. Carson is Charged in a Federal Criminal Complaint in the U.S. District Court in Chicago

January 4, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on January 3, 2012 released the following:

“Bolingbrook Man Arrested for Sex Trafficking of Minor

A 39-year-old Bolingbrook man was arrested earlier today on charges he recruited and forced a minor female to engage in prostitution. The arrest was announced by Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

MCKENZIE J. CARSON, also known as “Casino,” whose last known address was 200 Campbell Drive in the western suburb, was arrested early this morning at his residence by FBI special agents and local police, without incident. CARSON was charged in a criminal complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of sexual trafficking of children by force, fraud, or coercion, which is a felony offense.

According to the complaint, CARSON has been actively recruiting young females, including minors under the age of 18, to work for him as prostitutes in and around the Chicago area since at least 2010. CARSON advertised their services over the Internet and used cellular telephones to schedule and book “dates” for the girls. CARSON is believed to have employed others to assist him with running his prostitution operation, driving the girls to motels, hotels, and other locations to meet with customers.

It is also alleged that CARSON used violence and threats of violence, including sexual assault, to force the women and young girls to work for him. One of the victims, a then-17-year-old female, was allegedly raped by CARSON and forced to perform oral sex the first time they met. Afterwards, CARSON then sent the victim out that same night to engage in prostitution.

A second victim, who was 20 years old at the time, claimed that she was beaten and raped by CARSON on numerous occasions, including once when she told CARSON that she no longer wanted to work for him.

CARSON appeared before Magistrate Judge Young B. Kim this afternoon, at which time he was formally charged. CARSON was ordered held without bond pending his next court appearance, which is scheduled for Friday at 1:30 p.m.. Until then, CARSON will be held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Chicago. If convicted of the charge filed against him, CARSON faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ incarceration to a maximum of life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

This case was investigated by a multi-agency task force, led by the Chicago FBI, and assisted by the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, the DuPage Metropolitan Enforcement Group, and the Bolingbrook, Channahon, Downers Grove, Joliet, Marseilles, Naperville, Oswego, Romeoville, Shorewood, and Westmont Police Departments.

The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Christopher Kice Charged by a Criminal Complaint With Allegedly Possessing Child Pornography

August 26, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 25, 2011 released the following:

“Shorewood Man Arrested for Possession of Child Pornography

A southwest suburban man was arrested earlier this week at his Shorewood residence and was charged with possession of child pornography. The arrest was announced today by Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

CHRISTOPHER KICE, age 41, of the 1100 block of Callaway Drive West, was arrested Monday night, without incident, by Special Agents assigned to the Chicago FBI’s Innocent Images Task Force (IITF). KICE was charged in a criminal complaint filed earlier this week in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of Possession of Child Pornography, which is a felony offense.

According to the complaint, investigators were first alerted to KICE’s possible involvement in the collection of child pornography by his employer, an unnamed Chicago area law firm where KICE was employed in the Information Technology Department. When co-workers noticed that numerous large files with suspicious sounding names, such as “kiddie” and “pre-teen”, had been downloaded on a company computer then transferred to removable storage devices, they notified the IITF.

Initial investigation by IITF personnel developed probable cause to conduct a search of KICE’s residence, which took place on March17th of this year, pursuant to a Federal search warrant. During the search, several computer hard drives and other digital storage devices were seized. A preliminary forensic review of the digital devices recovered during the search discovered numerous images and videos of what appeared to be child pornography.

A subsequent forensic examination conducted by the Chicago Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory (RCFL) discovered alleged pornographic images on one of the computer hard drives of what appeared to be a minor female child. Investigators recognized the background on these images, indicating that they might have been taken inside KICE’s residence. This discovery led investigators to arrest KICE that same evening.

KICE appeared before Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez in Chicago on Tuesday, at which time he was formally charged. KICE was ordered held without bond, pending his next court appearance, which is scheduled for tomorrow (Friday) at 2:00 PM before Judge Valdez. Until then, KICE will be held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Chicago. If convicted of the charge filed against him, KICE faces a possible sentence of up to ten (10) year’s incarceration.

A photograph of KICE accompanies this release. Anyone recognizing him or having any information which might be relevant to this investigation is asked to call the Chicago FBI at (312) 421-6700.

The FBI’s Innocent Images initiative was established in 1996 and is part of a nationwide effort to combat the manufacture, distribution and possession of child pornography. At present, there are 43 separate Innocent Images task forces in various FBI offices around the country, which are investigating similar cases.

The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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