Federal prosecutors: Defense bid to remove Bulger judge ‘frivolous,’ immunity claim ‘absurd’

July 10, 2012

The Washington Post on July 9, 2012 released the following:

“By Associated Press,

BOSTON — Former mobster James “Whitey” Bulger’s request to remove the judge at his upcoming trial is “frivolous and unsubstantiated” and should be dismissed, federal prosecutors said Monday in a court filing.

Their motion also calls “absurd” a related claim by Bulger’s attorney that the one-time FBI informant shouldn’t be prosecuted on charges he participated in 19 murders because the government promised him immunity for past and future crimes.

Bulger’s attorney J.W. Carney Jr. filed a motion last month to remove Judge Richard Stearns because he was a top federal prosecutor during a period when Bulger is accused of having committed crimes with impunity. The defense motion argued that the judge would do what he could to shield his former colleagues and could not be impartial. Carney said he might call the judge as a witness.

Carney had said he would file a motion to dismiss the charges against Bulger, who’s 82, because “a representative of the federal government” gave Bulger blanket immunity during the 1970s.

A former Bulger cohort, who also was an FBI informant, used a similar defense, which was rejected by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The cohort is serving a life sentence.

Prosecutors said Bulger “has utterly failed to identify anyone who supposedly promised the defendant immunity from prosecution for committing such crimes as murder. Thus, there is no factual basis for the motion and it should be summarily denied.”

They said the claims in the recusal motion “are little more than unsubstantiated speculation.”

Bulger was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., last year after 16 years on the run. His trial has been set for next March.

His girlfriend, Catherine Greig, who was captured with him, pleaded guilty last March to conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy. She admitted she helped Bulger while he was a fugitive, using false identities, accompanying him to medical appointments and picking up his prescriptions. She was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Prosecutors say Bulger and Greig, who’s in her early 60s, posed as married retirees from Chicago and had a stash of more than $800,000 in cash and dozens of weapons in their apartment when they were captured.”

————————————————————–

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense 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 Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

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.


RI governor makes case before US appeals court

April 5, 2012

Boston.com on April 4, 2012 released the following:

“By Laura Crimaldi
Associated Press

BOSTON— A lawyer for Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee asked a U.S. appeals court Wednesday to rule that he doesn’t have to surrender state custody of an inmate who could potentially face the death penalty if tried and convicted in federal court.

The legal tug of war over Jason W. Pleau, 34, went back before the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, where a federal prosecutor argued the Woonsocket man should be handed over to federal authorities to stand trial in the fatal shooting of a gas station manager outside a bank.

Federal prosecutors have not said whether Pleau would face the death penalty if convicted of killing David Main, 49, in 2010. Rhode Island does not have the death penalty, and Chafee has said prosecutors want to try Pleau federally to make it a possible punishment.

Chafee, an independent, is believed to be the first governor to refuse to surrender a state inmate under a federal law governing the transfer of prisoners among states and the U.S. government. The National Governors Association and Council of State Governments have filed papers in court supporting Chafee.

Chafee’s lawyer, Claire Richards, said the provision allowing governors to refuse to surrender inmates does not carve out exceptions in cases when federal authorities seek to take prisoners into custody. She said 47 states and the federal government are bound by the law, the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act.

“The United States must comply with all the terms of the agreement,” Richards said.

Chafee released a statement calling Pleau a “career criminal who deserves to answer for his crimes and spend the rest of his life in prison.” He said his role in the case is about protecting Rhode Island’s opposition to the death penalty by invoking his right to refuse to surrender Pleau.

“Although seldom exercised, that right is crucial to ensuring that a state’s important public policy prerogatives are honored both by sister states and by the federal government,” Chafee said. He also extended his condolences to the victim’s family.

Main’s relatives attended the hearing and spoke with U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha outside court. They declined to comment.

In June, Chafee refused a request from federal prosecutors to surrender Pleau so he could be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Providence. The fatal shooting took place at the threshold of a federally insured bank, giving federal authorities the jurisdiction to prosecute Pleau.

Pleau and two co-defendants were indicted in federal court in 2010. Federal prosecutors say they hatched a plot to rob Main at least two days before the killing.

Main was shot as he approached the Woonsocket bank to deposit receipts from the nearby gas station where he worked. Prosecutors say Pleau was wearing a mask when he chased and shot Main several times. He’s accused of making off with a bag containing more than $12,000.

Pleau’s attorney Robert B. Mann said federal prosecutors could have gone a different route in seeking to take Pleau into custody but are now bound by their choice, which gives Chafee the authority to keep Pleau in state prison.

Lawyers for Pleau contend federal prosecutors are seeking to gut the law giving governors that discretion. They want Pleau to remain in state custody, where Pleau has offered to plead guilty to state murder charges and serve life in prison without parole.

If the appeals court rules against Pleau, his defense lawyers are asking the panel to delay his transfer to federal custody so he can appeal his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Pleau is serving an 18-year sentence in state prison for violating his probation in another case. One of his co-defendants pleaded guilty to robbery and other charges and is being sentenced in September; the other’s case is pending.”

Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act

US v Jason Pleau, et al – Federal Criminal Indictment

18 U.S.C. § 924

18 U.S.C. § 1951

————————————————————–

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

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Appeal

————————————————————–

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.