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Topics relate to adult business, the War on Drugs, political prosecutions, censorship, and police, prosecutorial, and judicial misconduct

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Orlando MBI: The Long War on Adults

The War on anything adult and all publishers of ads for anything adult in the Orlando metro area started over 3 decades ago for Orlando's Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation (MBI) and continues today. The Orlando MBI's overzealous agents have left a trail of thousands of victims, many still in state and federal prisons. I was one of the lucky victims (lucky I'm not spending life in prison anyway) and Memoirs of an Accused Madam is my story.

The most vehement critic of the Orlando MBI was always the Orlando Weekly and the agency managed to silence the newspaper's investigative reporting with the October 2007 arrests of several advertising sales employees for selling ads to escorts and unlicensed massage therapists that offered more than the law allows.

Many around back in 1996 could testify to the fact that this was not a new strategy for the MBI, myself included. The War on publishers of ads for adult business began with the Yellow Pages Fiasco, discussed in Memoirs, in 1996, when Sprint Publishing was threatened with a RICO case over a refusal to remove the “escort services” category in the Central Florida yellow pages. Sprint did remove the category, stopping the presses (literally) on the 1997 directories printed and distributed by November of 1996.

Someone stated to me back in 1993-94 that Orlando was a testing ground of some sort in relation to the eradication of anything involving adult business or vice, from gambling and bingo to escort services and X-rated movies. I believe it. The MBI's War on Adults has spread throughout the US these days with the attacks on Craigslist (an MBI priority before anyone else ever touched it) and now on Backpage.

Enjoy Bingo?

The MBI would have liked to make sure that you would never enjoy bingo in Orlando; however, Philip Furtney of Ontario fought the agency from 1995, until he died in late 2007, while in-process of a civil suit against members of the MBI Governing Board to retrieve his stolen property. Furtney's brother Bruce, on behalf of the estate, carried-on with the suit and won a judgment. As far as I am aware, Furtney's estate finally collected from the State of Florida.

I would like to keep Philip Leroy Furtney's criminal and civil cases alive in our memories forever and do so with the inclusion of links to posts on this blog. Never forget what the MBI is capable of:

The Bingo Racketeering Case

The Great Bingo Fiasco

Most Bizarre Racketeering Case Ever

True Investigative Reporting of a Renegade Agency

Over the years, the Orlando Weekly and its investigative reporters were often nipping at the heels of the dogs at the MBI. Retaliation is hell and the Weekly and its employees paid dearly for placing the agency in the public eye. One day last week I did a search for MBI articles written by Weekly reporters and each link was dead. A fear of sorts gripped me at the discovery, a fear that all the solid online information concerning the vicious pursuits of the MBI was being deleted and removed. Whew! It didn't happen and a few days later the links were all working. One other thought I had was that perhaps the Weekly had commissioned a book – that would have been wonderful; it would become a bestseller overnight. (Idea for the Weekly to help make-up for lost revenue!)

To keep the information out there I have compiled a list of important Orlando Weekly stories about the MBI over the last 10 years. Whatever the Weekly did last week with the links has made it so that the articles are on a dark red background with dark blue text – if you highlight the text it is much easier to read. They are in no particular order and searching the Orlando Weekly for stories on the MBI revealed 135 results so these are my picks:

The Morality Police (scroll to view 2 images, 1 of the MBI director in 1989 and the other of Hitler's SA and both concerned over morality – scary stuff)

Score one for the MBI (about my federal civil suit being tossed with a twist at the end)

Something's Fishy (bad behavior of agents at a strip club)

Dirty Politics (on the Video Exposé takedown)

Legal Haze (smoke shop raids)

The links I have included reveal what the MBI really is, but there are many cases that even the Weekly was not aware of and many defendants that have suffered at the hands of the overzealous agents of the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation. Few appreciate this agency in Orlando – the citizens did not ask for this whacked task force to eliminate all that is adult in Orlando. I will leave it to you to figure out what monster enterprise did.

I have written about a variety of cases in Memoirs that are not in any Weekly articles. In the past couple of months I've discussed the Orlando federal conspiracy trial of the 11 defendants from Eastern Europe on this blog – this is indeed an MBI case. MBI is not a local agency. I am not clear on how the agency has changed since former Director William Lutz retired, though at the conclusion of Memoirs I did believe there had been a significant change. Well, I have changed my mind.

I consider it important to keep the information out there and perhaps if I had given away free copies of Memoirs a couple of years ago after it was published, the most recent case involving the Eastern European defendants would never have happened; maybe, just maybe, they would have passed on Orlando. If not for the arrests of the Weekly employees in late 2007, there would be many more articles of cases that are now buried by the MBI.

If you are an adult that likes to gamble, play bingo, visit smoke shops, rent X-rated movies, read X-rated books, get a massage with a happy ending, patronize strip clubs, or call escorts... well, Orlando is not the place to be. We live in a fantasy land for children here - think about it - Disney shut down Pleasure Island (the nightclub theme park) in late 2008, after 20 years, because of demands by visiting families. The MBI has not been dissolved yet, with emphasis on yet, and we can only hope that one day...

If you do not like me, realize that it is the MBI that made me the person that I am today. I like who I am, but if you don't, well, you should know that I used to be a nice, mild-mannered woman. More than a decade of continuous harassment, interference in my life, and a show trial that rivaled many in the Stalin era did it. Change can be a good thing. I learned to kick back.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jason Itzler Disappears

I have written a few posts recently about Jason Itzler and occasionally I will look online at his current criminal case to see if there are any updates. I last looked a few weeks ago and there was a future court appearance date, but otherwise everything was the same: Itzler was still in jail and couldn't make bond.

Well, I just now looked as I was in New York WebCrims to see if there were any updates on the NY High Class prosecution (there are not). To my surprise, the major case against Jason Itzler totally disappeared. There are no cases showing at all under his name and trust me, there sure was before. My only posts on this blog concerning Itzler are:

Jason Itzler of NY Confidential Fame: Clown or Killer?
Too Many Enemies
More on Jason Itzler and Sumnicht's Death

Itzler was arrested on a list of major charges back on September 8 or 9 of 2011 - as in three months ago. I have been having an argument of sorts with one of his fans (not) on this blog and we all know the case existed. There are still news articles out there concerning his arrest and court appearances.

So what in the hell is going on with the guy and the case? Did he die in jail or is he being prepped/protected for his new career as a witness, namely in the Paul Bergrin case? If it involves being a witness, well, the guy has zero credibility so I cannot imagine what government prosecutors are thinking. He has always been rather close to a few news reporters, so I would think that it would be in the news if he died.

He is still showing on an inmate search for Riker's Island, for what that's worth. When I search WebCrims by the case number showing in NYC Dept. of Corrections, which states that Itzler is in the Manhattan Detention Complex (MDC), the result is "no cases found" - same as a name search.

Call me confused.

Edit 16 December 2011 @11:20am EST - Now the case shows in New York WebCrims. It also shows under "appearances" that Itzler was in court on 13 December 2011. Coincidence? I seriously doubt it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

In Support of Paul Bergrin

This post is to call your attention to the plight of high-profile defense attorney and former Assistant US Attorney Paul Bergrin of New Jersey. Paul Bergrin is a former military officer that represented one of the soldiers prosecuted in Abu Ghraib (Javal Davis) and Corey Clagett in the Operation Iron Triangle case in Iraq pro bono as he fought to hold Bush administration officials accountable for authorizing torture and violating the Geneva Conventions.

Paul Bergrin was fighting for Corey Clagett against all odds when he was himself arrested in 2007 on a slew of false felony charges in what was clearly a vendetta and a successful attempt to elicit guilty pleas from defendants and suppress further testimony in the Operation Iron Triangle case. By 2009, federal prosecutors added a lengthy list of outrageous counts against Bergrin, including murder conspiracy charges, and he has been awaiting trial in federal court in New Jersey since. The first trial on several severed counts resulted in a hung jury and mistrial on November 23, 2011. The judge stated at that time that the next trial, on 31 counts, would begin on January 4, 2012.

Paul Bergrin needs your support in the form of publicity. Please do not allow the federal government to quietly bury this zealous defense attorney that supported and represented US military soldiers against the Bush administration. The mainstream media is not reporting the truth about the cases against Paul Bergrin or the serious lack of evidence in these false allegations.

To find out more about how you can organize and help Paul Bergrin, please contact Creative Spirits of the State of New Jersey, a grass root organization founded in 1979, at 973-551-4235. Please visit the organization's website, to learn more about Paul Bergrin's courageous defense of US soldiers prosecuted overseas and his current predicament. Please do feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have regarding this extremely urgent matter.

Help us to make sure that the world is watching!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Paul Bergrin Trial: Egregious Prosecutorial Misconduct

We have watched it before in high profile cases and as we sit on the sideline discussing the Paul Bergrin trial, it is omnipresent once again. In fact, for Bergrin, the egregious misconduct by prosecutors has continued since at least 2009, with no relief in sight. How many trials will this zealous defender of the persecuted be required to contend with himself?

The first trial is over, but may indeed be repeated as jurors have already announced to Judge Martini that they are deadlocked. How much fucking money will prosecutors spend to have it their way? Is there no end to the deep pockets of the Department of Justice? Oh wait – it is all taxpayer money so there's an endless supply available.

It is apparent to me that the jury in Paul Bergrin's trial has jurors that think like I do and want to see actual evidence if they're going to send a man to prison for life and jurors that just believe what a prosecutor says just because the prosecutor is supposed to represent the people and would never lie. Prosecutors are not supposed to seek convictions like notches on a belt; they are supposed to seek truth and justice.

Is a parade of convicted felon witnesses seeking reduced sentences in their own criminal cases seeking truth and justice? How about an FBI agent that threw the informant down a proverbial drain when she didn't help him before he was murdered on a Newark street? There are a few inconsistencies in testimony that tell me there is no way that the prosecutors in the Bergrin trial are not aware that their witnesses are lying on the stand.

I originally believed that the jury would find Paul “not guilty” on both counts quickly, but after a couple of days I realized that there is at least one of those types that blindly believe the statements of anyone claiming to represent the people and the government in a courtroom. These types do not even feel that a trial is necessary as after all, he was indicted and isn't that evidence enough?

Who needs trials and juries when everyone arrested and indicted must be guilty?

Isn't a random convicted felon serving a 10 or 20 year sentence that allegedly spent a few minutes discussing an informant with Baskerville in jail a few years ago a good witness? Do you really believe that Baskerville was so stupid as to discuss some intention to kill an informant with a cellmate? What does the cellmate have to gain by testifying? Years off his sentence.

And what of Paul's ex-girlfriend Yolanda “Jezebel” Jauregui that had a heated romance with drug trafficker Alejandro Castro – a man that she admitted to helping with his drug operation? What possible reason could Jauregui have to lie? She used Paul until there was no more to use and now she needs to weasel her way out of a 15 to 20 year prison sentence because she needs to “stop the lies” and “see her daughter”. It is clear that her daughter was far from the first thought on her mind for years. She was a busy little bee for sure.

But that Anthony Young – now he was a serious piece of work. This guy actually confessed to murdering Kemo Deshawn McCray on a Newark street even though the only witness, Kemo's stepfather, described a shooter with dreadlocks when Young had a shaved head at the time. He doesn't even bother to pretend he wore a wig and we are simply supposed to believe that the only real witness can't tell the difference between bald and dreadlocks. It's not enough that the agent in charge of handling Kemo refused to help him – now prosecutors must paint his stepfather as an unbelievable idiot when he was actually the only witness.

So why would Anthony Young confess to a murder that he didn't commit? Well, it was a lengthy story in the trial, but apparently he read a book that described what prosecutors and agents will accept in a witness and what they won't. They'll accept him if he was the shooter as long as the murder was ordered by someone else – enter Paul. We can suppose that Anthony Young is in witness protection now – he met the criteria.

A so-called witness can still be in a prison, but they're in under an alias. There's all sorts of benefits available to this type of witness, including a major reduction in sentences. I know (or rather knew) someone that was in federal prison under an alias. He tried to set me up, but thanks to a cop's advice I thought before I acted. It was nothing mysterious and something most people wouldn't think about twice and I didn't either, until the nice cop made a clear statement. Today he's free and clear and informing on an unknown number of people in South Florida, but before he decided to work with the feds he had a slew of charges, including importing cocaine (federal) and kidnapping with a weapon, conspiracy to commit murder etc... from the state. Now he has a clear record and only had to spend less than 10 years in prison for all of his crimes (state and federal). He testified against the Colombians to get it all though. Risky business indeed.

Sometimes I think about the many people that he helped lock away for life. As far as informant witnesses go, he was as dirty as they get, with the exception of Sammy Gravano. So why do federal prosecutors befriend and help such criminal witnesses? Because they're more than willing to lie on the stand and help a prosecutor create a career from dirt. The prosecutors in the Bergrin trials will be forever remembered favorably in their career field of choice if they get the convictions. This one could be eying the Attorney General position in his future.

The so-called evidence that we have witnessed in this trial is nothing more than a charade, a farce, and a criminal fraud perpetrated against the people and Paul Begrin. What can we possibly expect in the next trial? Truth and justice? LOL

On another note, I started a blog for Paul Bergrin and in the future intend to post all related posts on that blog. I have invited a couple of people to contribute and ideally I imagine 4 to 10 people contributing posts on a regular basis in relation to Paul Bergrin's next trial. I haven't decorated the blog yet and decided it would be 100% ad-free, but if you (the reader) have an interest in contributing, please do contact me. There will be no off-topic posts on that blog – it will be all about the next trial. If you are serious about participation, I will give you admin access so you can also design and change the blog. More on this soon...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Paul Bergrin's Closing Argument: Truth and Justice

While the Sammy Gravanos of the world enjoy first class witness protection, the Kemo Deshawn McCrays are shot dead on the street. Was Kemo far less important to his handlers than Sammy was to his? Does the level of protection correlate to the level of information offered by the witness?

Kemo did make many controlled drug buys for his FBI handler, Shawn Brokos. His work as an informant was so important that it successfully dismantled what prosecutors have repeatedly referred to as a “violent Newark gang” and placed William Baskerville in prison for life. Was Kemo not deserving of actual protection? He was denied entry to the Federal Witness Security Program according to trial testimony. Think about that for a moment.

The same people that denied Kemo protection for his risky work on their behalf seek to place Paul Bergrin in prison for life over the allegation of mentioning his name.

The same people that denied Kemo protection resulting in his murder on a Newark street offered a parade of convicted felons that traded testimony for relief in their own cases as witnesses against Paul Bergrin.

The same people that denied Kemo protection intend to reduce the prison sentence, yet again, of his confessed killer. Do they secretly know that Anthony Young was not the killer as they offer his perjured testimony for the jury or are they just kicking Kemo one more time?

Kemo has been dead for many years now and the same people are still kicking him, but now they make absurd attempts to blame his death on Paul Bergrin. How is that for truth and justice? Doesn't exactly make one want to run out and become the next informant for them, does it?

This case will soon be with the jury if it isn't already at this moment. I will be seriously and thoroughly shocked if Paul Bergrin is not acquitted on all counts. Is there still some semblance of truth and justice in the United States?

More soon...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Case Against Paul Bergrin is a Charade

I must imagine that Judge Martini and the jurors expected to see actual evidence as they sat through a trial that has already lasted close to a month. They must be truly disappointed and feel that federal prosecutors have wasted their time. I know that I view it as time for Paul Bergrin to file a motion for acquittal as soon as prosecutors conclude their case, which could be today or tomorrow.

Prosecutors grabbed attention worldwide utilizing tools familiar to many, including me. They used the media to create a public charade and turn public opinion on Bergrin. They counted on the fact that perception often overrides actual evidence and influences jurors. The reality here is that there is no evidence that Bergrin is guilty of the crimes which he is on trial for.

Today the prosecutors have Thomas Moran, convicted felon seeking leniency, claiming a conversation with Paul as they walked through the Essex County jail one day so long ago. According to Moran, Paul Bergrin admitted to giving Baskerville's associates the name of the informant that was gunned down on a Newark street several months later. I seriously doubt everything that Moran says.

First of all, Baskerville doesn't sound like a stupid man to me. I have little doubt that he could figure out who the informant was in the case against him. It was a drug case and there were large drug sales to the informant (Kemo) and all it takes to figure out whodunnit is to know the amount of drugs involved in each sale and the approximate dates of each sale. Even without that, Baskerville most likely already had an idea. Most drug traffickers realize when they may have made a mistake.

This entire trial is a parade of convicted felons saying anything that seems to fit with the ultimate goal of knocking years off their own sentences. It is a charade care of federal prosecutors – far from the first time it's been done, and certainly not the last. This charade has included career criminals, jailhouse snitches, a mistress involved in drug trafficking with a lover, convicted felons that Paul gave a chance in life and allowed to work in his office, and anyone willing to tell a fictional tale of a non-existent conversation. What it does not include is any evidence at all.

If I were judge or jury, I'd feel scammed.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Paul Bergrin Trial: Week 3 Notes

This is my journal of weekly news and events in the ongoing Paul Bergrin trial. It is a summary of how I read the events and testimony and includes the news source. At the end of the post you'll find my assignment of points to the feds and to Paul Bergrin, and again this week to Judge Martini as well. I have my own personal point system that is interpretive and from my perspective and will most often be based on belief or disbelief of testimony. Points will accrue as the trial moves forward. Any statement in brackets should be attributed to me.

For me it is hard to understand how anyone can believe the testimony of the procession of convicted felons seeking to reduce their own prison sentences in exchange for testimony that helps to convict Paul Bergrin, but that is a reflection of my own experiences. Without going into too much detail here, I will say that listening to testimony that changed significantly from original deposition prior to my arrest to trial testimony was insightful and helped develop my understanding of how prosecutors work a case wherein the defendant must be discredited and viewed with contempt to achieve guilty verdicts.

In my own case, one witness stated in her original deposition that she had never met me, didn't know me, and only spoke with me briefly one time when I called my co-defendant's escort business looking for him and she answered the phone; this was the truth. By the time she plopped her ass on the witness stand during trial, that testimony changed to a claim of many conversations with me, including one in which I begged her to work for me and sex on calls was the topic. She was brought-in the courtroom in shackles, but this was hidden from the jury (they were removed from the courtroom) until she stood-up during testimony in an absurd attempt to make a point. She was incarcerated on some unrelated felony and faced several years in prison and she was working to reduce that sentence.

Another so-called witness testified that she went to an occasional call (once a month or so) during the six months she worked with me, charged additional $s for sex, and her and I never discussed sex when she was deposed; this was the truth. When she testified in trial, that statement abruptly transformed to her going to hundreds of calls in the brief time she worked with me and we discussed sex on calls frequently. Wow! Right?

Now these particular two so-called witnesses were just escorts – one answered my co-defendant's telephones on occasion and the other briefly worked with me. The seriously damaging statements came from other escort service owners as each was threatened with a major felony prosecution. There really was solid evidence against these other escort business owners for actual criminal activities (in one situation it involved credit card theft, forgery, and fraud), but instead of prosecuting any one of them, the MBI and prosecutors suborned their false, perjured testimony in my case.

Consider Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano

Sammy murdered anyone that stepped in his way and that included cops, innocent citizens, and fellow mobsters. Yet Gravano was a witness for federal prosecutors and helped them lock away an unimaginable number of people that committed crimes far less serious than his own. He served only a couple of years for the uncountable number of murders he committed as a result of selling his testimony to the government in exchange for a minor sentence. Being a career criminal, this later backfired on Gravano as he was sentenced to 19 years for his ecstasy trafficking ring and is currently in the Supermax USP in Colorado.

The Gravano story is clear evidence that prosecutors have no concern whatsoever when it comes to how horrific the crimes of informants are. In my own case, state witnesses were guilty of various crimes and escaped prison sentences by selling their false testimony to prosecutors. In the Paul Bergrin trial, the parade of criminal informants/witnesses that sold their testimony to the government are already convicted of crimes and seeking to reduce their own sentences. This is most often referred to as a Rule 35 Motion.

Note that Rule 35 omits the word “truthful”

There is nothing in Rule 35 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that states a requirement of truthful testimony or substantial assistance based on truth and facts. This is the most abused rule in existence in relation to federal crimes. It is frequently used in the pursuit of select defendants targeted by government prosecutors, for example Paul Bergrin. Paul is an attorney that frequently interacted with criminal defendants in connection to his law practice, so it wasn't too complicated for prosecutors to dig-up 20 people that have met and interacted with him on various occasions in a variety of locations.

When Paul allowed several of these so-called witnesses to work in his law office he must have seen the possibility of redemption and a changed life. In reality, several of them connected with other criminals under his nose and in his offices. Instead of being a positive influence in their lives, he gets this current parade of criminal liars that would say or do absolutely anything to get that sentence reduction under Rule 35. It's easy to say that he should have known better in hindsight. We often learn the hard way when it comes to helping others – I know that I sure did as I recounted the help I gave to several state witnesses in my own trial when I testified.

Do I still walk out on a limb to help people? No, not really, I tend to stay far away from people. I love animals though and have been known to feed the squirrels nuts and talk to the kitty cats around here. I admit to not even bothering to meet any neighbors. People can be dangerous. As stated in past posts, informants are a main reason that I passed on law school. The bottom line is that if no one really knows me or anything much about my life these days, well, no one can offer false testimony as there are no facts to include – facts of time, place, and events are necessary to connect the false testimony, throw in the damaging lies etc.... Yes, I blog... And?

Week 3 of the Paul Bergrin Trial

The trial didn't resume until Wednesday so it was a short and mostly uneventful week. Paul continued his cross-examination of the feds so-called witness and confessed killer of Kemo, Anthony Young. There was additional rehashing of the infamous evolving comment, “no Kemo, no case” that is really about an attorney telling a client that a crime with an actual eyewitness is a viable case.

Young is the one to claim that Paul Bergrin spoke to a group of major drug dealers on a dark Newark street corner and made some far-fetched directive to kill Kemo.

[Isabella's was used as some sort of stash house by Yolanda Jauregui and her drug trafficking relatives and cohorts.]

Source: Peter J. Sampson – The Record

[So now prosecutors have Paul making this estranged statement to drug dealers on a dark street corner and a client in Isabella's. Will they also claim that he shouted it from the rooftops of Newark and how will it evolve if they do?]

Thursday began with Paul continuing the cross-exam of Anthony Young; however, about an hour into it Judge Martini called a recess, excused the jury, and voiced his displeasure with the star witness:

“This man has admitted to lying back and forth all over the place,” the judge said, referring to Young. “Every time he spoke to the FBI, he admitted to lying ... now he’s telling the truth.”

Judge Martini then put prosecutors in their place, having already warned both Gay and Minish privately: “When I rule against you, don’t shake your head,” Martini said. “You don’t like my rulings, sit down and keep a straight face.”

Judge Martini then made the most important declaration of all: ““You brought this indictment against this man, and he’s entitled to a fair trial,” Martini told the prosecutors, referring to Bergrin.”

The cross-examination eventually resumed and as Bergrin was concluding with Anthony Young, the so-called witness admitted that the “entire reason” he came forward, “was to gain his freedom and reduce his time in prison”. Young already received one letter of cooperation from prosecutors in the Baskerville case and is now working on another one.

Source: Peter J. Sampson – The Record

On Friday prosecutors called Abdul Williams to the stand. Williams is a convicted felon that Paul tried to help and was working in the law office for a short time in 2007. According to Williams, Paul confided in him that he feared Baskerville would implicate him. Williams described Paul as “agitated, annoyed, concerned, and flustered” on that day so long ago when he became confidant to Paul.

According to Jason Grant with The Star Ledger, Abdul Williams seemed to enjoy testifying against Paul. Williams often smirked, smiled, mocked and laughed during his testimony and in response to Paul's questions.

[Williams is nothing but a career criminal seeking a reduced sentence for his latest legal turmoil.]

[Recall for a moment the testimony of Yolanda Jauregui. Yolanda claimed that Paul referred to Baskerville as his “brother”. So why in the hell would Paul suddenly have this strange fear that he easily professed to career criminal Williams? This is the root problem with testimony filled with lies – the stories never really mix. Williams wouldn't have any testimony to offer if not for this claim, but prosecutors didn't foresee that it clashed with Yolanda's statement. The testimony from all government witnesses in this case is filled with similar inconsistencies.]

Source: Jason Grant – The Star Ledger

All considered it was another uneventful week in the Paul Bergrin trial as prosecutors presented yet another career criminal seeking a reduced sentence to testify against Paul. The irony of this, at least to me, is that the vendetta against Bergrin is so strong that prosecutors are more than willing to put career criminals and confessed murderers back on the street in exchange for their false testimony. How many more so-called witnesses will later be filing that Rule 35 motion? How many more will be given letters of cooperation in prearranged deals for their state court cases?

Many defenders of the prosecution have mentioned this idiom often: If you lie down with dogs, you end-up with fleas. Clearly this is applicable to the federal prosecutors and their witnesses in this case.


Paul Bergrin – 6 (accrued – 21)
U.S. District Judge William Martini – 5 (accrued – 10)
the feds – 0 (accrued – 1) 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Paul Bergrin Trial: Week 2 Notes

This is my journal of weekly news and events in the ongoing Paul Bergrin trial. It is a summary of how I read the events and testimony and includes the news source. At the end of the post you'll find my assignment of points to the feds and to Paul Bergrin, and this week to Judge Martini as well. I have my own personal point system and it is not scientific, but more interpretive and from my perspective and will most often be based on belief or disbelief of testimony. Points will accrue as the trial moves forward. Any statement in brackets should be attributed to me.

Week 2 of the Paul Bergrin trial started off with a bang as the jury heard from Paul's former girlfriend, Yolanda Jauregui, who is occasionally referred to as “jezebel” herein. The Urban Dictionary defines “jezebel” as “a girl who is incredibly manipulative and fucks with dudes minds,” and that is also my definition and viewpoint of Yolanda. 

The week ended with a bang as the man referred to as prosecutors' “key witness” testified and Paul exposed the many discrepancies in his testimony. Judge Martini declared a recess until Wednesday, November 2, 2011, probably to decide if he should toss the entire case out.

Week 2 Trial Events and Testimony Recap

The mental picture of a soft-spoken, meek Yolanda Jauregui testifying against Paul doesn't match the description of her that I have heard in past, but then she is the actress and the courtroom is her stage as she works it to gain favor with prosecutors in her own drug trafficking case. Not much unlike working Paul for years.

Jezebel cried crocodile tears to gain sympathy from unsuspecting jurors and when the prosecutor asked her why she was cooperating with the government against Paul Bergrin, “Through tears, she said, “I want it to end, the lies. ... I just wanted to end the lies, the lifestyle I was living in.””

[No problem dear. That lifestyle, care of Paul Bergrin, is over forever. Get used to your new digs in club fed, cause you're going to be there for years to come.]

Source: Jason Grant – The Star Ledger

Jezebel had the audacity to look at Paul with a half smile, sit down on the witness stand, and pour herself a glass of water. She testified that as a 17 year-old she went to Paul's office under false pretenses and flirted with him to get his attention. She played games with frequent phone calls and drop-in visits for years and when she was 25 years old, the relationship turned romantic [i.e. Paul eventually fell for her trap]. A short time later (2002), she became “partners” in the restaurant with Paul.

Ms. Jauregui testified concerning the alleged conversation Paul had with Curry and Claudio in the restaurant back in 2003, admitting that she couldn't hear a word. On cross-examination, Paul pointed out the various inconsistencies between her testimony and her statements to the FBI, and she responded, “They probably misunderstood me wrong, you know?”

“She acknowledged she had an intimate relationship with Alejandro Barraza-Castro, who also pled guilty to drug trafficking in this case, while she was living with Bergrin. Jauregui faces 20 years to life in prison on her charges.”

Source: MaryAnn Spoto – The Star Ledger

[So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye...]

Tuesday and Wednesday would reveal an array of testimony, from a crime scene investigator that changed his report years later to a jailhouse snitch to a career criminal and Kemo's stepfather, Johnnie Davis.

Kemo Deshawn McCray's stepfather, Johnnie Davis, testified and was able to misdirect his anger at Paul Bergrin, though in reality we all know the family blames the FBI for his murder on a Newark street.

“In the year before his murder, McCray had worn a wire for the FBI as he made six crack cocaine purchases from a dealer named William Baskerville.”

Davis had identified someone with dreadlocks as the shooter of his stepson, but prosecutors would be calling a bald Anthony Young to the stand next. Young “confessed,” was convicted in the murder, and would testify to further reduce his 30 year prison sentence.

Source: Peter J. Sampson – The Record

[What happened to Kemo is sad and I feel for his family. Apparently the feds were able to push buttons with Johnnie Davis and misdirect his anger at Paul. The bottom line is that Kemo played in a heavy game, helping the feds set-up major drug traffickers, and they did not protect him. He should have been in WitSec.]

Richard Hosten, another convicted drug dealer seeking favor with prosecutors, testified that major drug trafficker Baskerville discussed his case with him in lock-up. Since few people in such positions are that stupid, or they wouldn't have such a position, and Hosten is another convict looking for a better sentence, I will leave this one. Enough is enough guys, really...

A former client of Bergrin's, Albert Castro, claimed that Paul offered him $10K to kill Kemo and even added that Paul tried to sleep with his 5 ft. 350lb. 21 year-old daughter. Oh well – at least he cut his deal to save his daughter from drug trafficking charges when kilos of coke were seized from her home, though they were probably his kilos.

“Bergrin initially represented Castro after he was arrested in 2008 by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office on charges of drug trafficking, attempted murder of a police officer, gun possession and planning to rob a restaurant.”

[Alrighty then. One more lying loser. Good grief!]

Source: Peter J. Sampson – The Record

The articles concerning the evolving testimony of a forensic pathologist seem to be missing in action. I recall reading the testimony though, and it changed substantially from his original report.

The next on the stand to testilie would be “confessed” shooter Anthony Young. According to Young, Paul plainly spelled out the directive to kill Kemo to five different people, contradicting earlier testimony by prosecution witnesses. Young actually claimed that Bergrin stated this directive on a Newark street corner to five major drug dealers

According to Young, alleged drug organization leader Hakeem Curry offered $15K to the first one to find and kill Kemo. “Young said he wanted the cash because, although he had $50,000 to $60,000 stashed at his house, he wanted extra funds to finance an upcoming trip to Los Angeles for the NBA All-Star Game.”

[I thought Kemo was killed in early March. The game referenced by Young was on February 15, 2004 – thank you MotoGP in the article Comments section. This is a major conflict with the testimony, but no more so than imagining Bergrin standing on a street corner in Newark with five major drug dealers, directing them to kill Kemo.]

Source: MaryAnn Spoto – The Star Ledger

[MaryAnn – Excellent coverage of the trial! One thing though, concerning the title of this article: You are referring to testimony damaging to the government, right?]

Before Paul Bergrin would get the chance to cross-examine Young, the jury would be removed from the courtroom twice by US District Judge William Martini. The judge is already tired of the government procession of lying convicted felons brought from prison to testify against Paul Bergrin.

[So are we Judge Martini, so are we.]

Source: MaryAnn Spoto – The Star Ledger

Finally we reach the end of the week and the cross-examination of Anthony Young. It's clear that Young was coached by prosecutors, and probably coached for a week. When a “witness” tries to memorize false testimony, well, it's bound to be mixed-up. It was indeed confusing and Paul hammered away at each and every discrepancy. Young denied being coached, though his testimony had changed substantially to fit securely into the prosecutor's description of events. This guy is so used to lying on the stand that he's almost got it down to a science; however, he was no match for Paul.

Source: MaryAnn Spoto – The Star Ledger

[I truly would not be surprised if Judge Martini tossed this abhorrent parade of convicts seeking leniency and obviously malicious prosecution next week.]

There is a recess until Wednesday, November 2, 2011.


Paul Bergrin – 11 (accrued – 15)
US District Judge William Martini – 5
feds – 1 (accrued – 1)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Paul Bergrin Trial: When Prosecutors Lose Focus

US District Judge William Martini has a new admirer: me. Prosecutors are supposed to represent the people and seek truth and justice, but it is all too obvious that Bergrin's prosecutors lost their way long ago, as many have in courts around the US.

We are in week #2 of one of the most watched trials in recent history and US District Judge William Martini is already tired of the government procession of lying convicted felons brought from prison to testify against Paul Bergrin. One can only imagine what Judge Martini would have thought if he had presided over the Nino Lyons trial in the Middle District of Florida with 31 convicted felons transported from prisons to testify (or rather testilie) for prosecutors.

These days prosecutors ignore truth and forget that they're supposed to be representing the people. The one and only goal is to obtain convictions at all costs. According to MaryAnn Spoto with The Star Ledger, Judge Martini has sent the jury out of the courtroom twice so far today to refresh AUSA Joseph Minish's memory as to why he is there: “The process here is to search for the truth.’’

If these prosecutors had ever been searching for truth, there wouldn't be a trial.

Peter Sampson with The Record reported that AUSA Stephen Sanders had the audacity to complain to Judge Martini and actually stated that, “It is the jury’s job to determine who is telling the truth”.

Yes, it is the jury's job to determine truth; however, it is the prosecutor's job to present witnesses that they at least believe to be truthful. With the witness testimony in the Bergrin trial and a list of other cases I have watched, including my own in past, it is clear that these prosecutors are either dumb as doorknobs or knowingly offering-up liars with the hope that the jury is.

It's great to know there are still judges around that believe in truth and justice in the courtroom!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Paul Bergrin Trial: Twisting Words and Meaning

At the root of the case against Paul Bergrin is a statement that he allegedly made to associates of client William Baskerville. That statement has been used in the prosecution's opening statement and thrown-in during testimony by government witnesses. Each time the statement is used it is in quotation marks, so I am going to assume that the reporter writing the article is quoting from actual trial testimony.

The varied quotes of the statement

In the prosecutor's opening statement it reads, “No Kemo, no case.”

Source: Jason Grant – The Star Ledger

When Ramon Jimenez testified for the prosecution, his quote of the statement alters the meaning in favor of Paul Bergrin:

“During two hours of testifying for the prosecution, Jimenez also said he overheard Bergrin tell Curry if “there had been no witness, there would have been no case.’’

Source: MaryAnn Spoto – The Star Ledger

During cross-examination of Ramon Jimenez, Paul Bergrin quotes the statement as:

“”On all these meetings (you had) with the government, with your attorney present, isn’t it a fact that you never mentioned that statement you say you heard from me, ‘If there is no witness, there is no case? ' “” Bergrin also establishes that Jimenez never mentioned this statement to the feds until much later, when he found out he was going to be charged with a serious drug crime.

Source: Jason Grant – The Star Ledger

According to the summary of the racketeering count in the actual indictment, the statement is much more involved:

1. Racketeering Act One: In 2003 and 2004, Bergrin, as a partner in PB&V, represented a client with the initials ―W.B.,‖ who was being held on federal drug trafficking charges. W.B. informed Bergrin during a private attorney-client visit that ―K.D.M.‖ was the government's key witness against him. Bergrin relayed that information to W.B.'s drug associates along with his own message that if they killed K.D.M., he could assure that W.B. escaped prison, but if they did not, W.B. would spend the rest of his life in jail. Those associates subsequently murdered K.D.M.

Source: Who is Paul Bergrin? The Feds 39 Count Indictment

11. Thereafter, in a telephone conversation and a face to face meeting, BERGRIN
passed the identity of the informant on to William Baskerville’s drug associates and told them that if they didn't kill “Kemo,” William Baskerville would spend the rest of his life in jail. After BERGRIN discussed how Baskerville’s drug associates were going to pay BERGRIN’s legal fee for his representation of William Baskerville, BERGRIN said that if there was no “Kemo” to testify against William Baskerville, there would be no case against William Baskerville. BERGRIN said that if “Kemo” was dead, that William Baskerville would definitely get out of jail. When BERGRIN left the meeting, he said “remember what I said, no Kemo, no case.”

This simple statement has seriously evolved, depending on who is repeating it

Federal prosecutors took that simple statement related by a convicted drug dealer (Ramon Jimenez) long after it was allegedly stated and twisted it into a murder plot to obtain the indictment, and it worked. DEA Agent Michael Smith made a sworn certification about a murder plot derived from a statement that didn't exist, at least not according to the witness that overheard it, Ramon Jimenez. Prosecutors then repeatedly stated to news reporters and in the opening argument at trial a shortened version: “No Kemo, no case.”

Do you see the serious differences and twists of this statement? This has really bothered me – anyone can take any statement out of context, but this is far more than an out of context statement; it is a complete rewrite of the screenplay.

When Paul Bergrin supposedly had this conversation that Ramon Jimenez overheard, the statement, at least according to Jimenez's testimony was, “if “there had been no witness, there would have been no case.’’

It could easily be interpreted as Paul Bergrin stating a pure fact: This is a case that wouldn't exist, but it does because there is a witness to the act and there isn't anything you can do for your associate. It sure as hell doesn't translate to an order or even an idea to kill, if it was ever stated to begin with.

No motive, no case.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Paul Bergrin Trial: Where's the Outrage?

I am trying to limit my posts on the Paul Bergrin trial to the end of week notes with points for the prevailing party, but every time I look at the news on the case a different thought comes to mind. This one concerns Bergrin's fellow attorneys – a reference to every attorney in this country. Paul Bergrin is a strong defender and a champion attorney that gave anyone he defended a zealous legal defense. Many could learn from him.

I would love to watch this trial and would be there if not for personal issues. I have always been an attorney watcher and Paul Bergrin in a courtroom would be downright exciting to me. He has a commanding presence and when he speaks, everyone is listening and all eyes are focused on him and nothing else.

Consider the idiom: If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

What criminal defense attorney does not, at one point or another, associate with criminals? Paul made the mistake of falling for jezebel, but does he deserve life in prison for it? I read the testimony quoted by the reporters from news covering the trial (excellent coverage by the way) and realize the case for exactly what it is: Criminal defendants and informants willing to say or do anything, including throw their own defender under a bus, to knock time off their sentences.

If you practice criminal defense then you've met at least one just like the members of this group and probably many. Be outraged that a fellow attorney has been indicted and is on trial on the word of these losers!

Thus far the list of government witnesses includes an FBI agent that should be held liable for an informant's death, at least in part, and a bunch of convicted drug traffickers seeking time off for cooperation with the government. How many more drug traffickers will the feds call to the stand? Does it matter? One is no different than the other, so whether 1 or 20 testify, it should result in the same verdict: not guilty on all counts.

In respect to the government witnesses, this trial reminds me of the Nino Lyons trial in Orlando federal court back in 2001. In the Lyons case, federal prosecutors had a parade of criminal “witnesses,” though each resided in prison at the time of testimony – 31 convicted felons in prison testified against Nino Lyons to get time off their own sentences . Somehow the jury bought it, hook, line, and sinker, but the convictions were overturned by U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell and he was eventually exonerated completely in the case. Interested in the Nino Lyons fiasco? Read about the USA Today investigation:

Be outraged about what they are doing to Paul Bergrin and that he is on trial to begin with!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Paul Bergrin Trial: Week 1 Notes

I have decided to post notes on the Paul Bergrin trial at the conclusion of each trial week. At the end of the post you'll find my assignment of points to the feds and to Paul Bergrin. I have my own personal point system and it is not scientific, but more interpretive and from my perspective and will often be based on belief or disbelief of testimony. Points will accrue as the trial moves forward. Any statement in brackets is mine.

Opening statements:

Federal prosecutor John Gay claimed that Paul Bergrin was a part of a Newark drug ring and disclosed the name of an informant to one of his drug defendant clients. That informant was later gunned down on a Newark street. Gay alleges that Bergrin told the client, “No Kemo, no case,” before Kemo Deshawn McCray was killed and that McCray was a threat to Bergrin due to his involvement in the drug ring.

Paul Bergrin stated in his opening argument that the prosecutor's opening was pure fiction and the case “relied only on convicted felons who would lie and testify against him to get lesser sentences in their own cases”. Paul stated that prosecutors would be presenting testimony that they knew was false. As one might imagine, Paul's opening statement was emotional. It's not easy to sit and listen to repeated serious lies about one's person.

Source: MaryAnn Spoto – The Star Ledger

The Trial Begins 

Kemo Deshawn McCray began his short career as an FBI informant while a member of the Grape Street Crips back in 2002-03 when agents jammed him on a gun charge. He chose to be an informant and in short time was collecting cash for his information. According to the FBI, he was paid a total of $25K for information during this time.

Source: David Porter – Associated Press

Once the opening statements were out of the way, prosecutors called the FBI agent that pursued Paul Bergrin in this case, Special Agent Shawn Brokos. To make a long story short, Brokos was mixed-up on her facts regarding the fatal shooting of Kemo Deshawn McCray. From the getaway car to the pathologist's report and everything in-between, Brokos didn't seem to know what she was talking about.

Source: MaryAnn Spoto – The Star Ledger

During FBI Special Agent Brokos testimony it was revealed that McCray feared for his life and sought help from the FBI; however, was refused as he had lied to agents in a different investigation, telling them that two people were involved in a conspiracy when they didn't even know each other. “He was on his own,” Brokos stated. McCray's family blamed the feds for refusing to protect him.

[The feds murdered Kemo Deshawn McCray when they didn't immediately make an effort to protect him. After all is said and done, he was doing their dirty work.]

Source: MaryAnn Spoto – The Star Ledger

On Thursday Yolanda Jauregui's brother Ramon Jimenez (a convicted drug dealer) testified for the government. Jimenez had worked in Paul Bergrin's law office back in 2002 after serving 10 years of a 23 year sentence in prison. “Under cross-examination by Bergrin, Jimenez conceded he had no place to live and no prospects at the time, and vowed never to do anything that would land him back in prison.”

Of course this was short-lived and soon Ramon Jimenez would be connecting with Bergrin's clients, attempting to set-up major drug deals. Angered when Bergrin cut him off at the pass after discovering his deal to make $25K, Jimenez pursued more of Bergrin's clients trying to set-up even bigger deals. Bergrin easily poked holes in the fictional account of this drug dealer and Jimenez even admitted to lying to FBI agents. Jimenez faces years in prison for a parole violation in the earlier case and 15 years in a federal cocaine trafficking case.

[This idiot repaid Paul Bergrin with this current hell for helping him when he had no job prospects and nowhere to live. I hope he rots.]

Source: Peter J. Sampson – The Record

Jimenez was cross-examined by Paul Bergrin and it was revealed that he was actually facing over 25 years in prison over his drug dealings. Jimenez explained one deal he had arranged with a Bergrin client and on cross-examination, Paul asked, “Never meeting you before, he (Castro) proposed a $500,000 deal with Ramon Jimenez, correct?” and Jimenez responded, ”Correct.”

[Being familiar with the world of drug trafficking I can confidently assert that this is pure fantasy on Jimenez's part. No way that anyone at this level of the drug world would make such an arrangement with a stranger.]

Source: MaryAnn Spoto – The Star Ledger

FBI Special Agent Brokos returned to the stand and cross-examination continued. It is expected that prosecutors will be calling Yolanda Jauregui (Paul's former girlfriend that made a plea deal) to testify next.


Paul Bergrin – 4
feds – 0 

Monday, October 10, 2011

More on Jason Itzler and Sumnicht's Death

I have discussed Jason Itzler of New York Confidential fame in the last two posts. For the full picture read both first:

Be clear on my viewpoint here that whoever drugged Julia Sumnicht with GHB (the date rape drug) back in March of 2010, deserves to pay legally for her tragic death. I just do not believe that it was Itzler. I do believe that he was set-up within a few weeks of starting a new business as a result of someone's perception that he drugged this girl, so the end result is that Jason Itzler will pay for her death whether he had anything whatsoever to do with it or not.

I do not like Itzler much as is evident by my last two blog posts. This should give weight to my defense of the guy and I do hope that the Sumnicht family's private investigators take notice of my thoughts. I am sure not his friend, though I do not doubt that he has friends, unlike the party that commented on the one post. I do read people decently and my take is that Itzler was also a victim that could have died that day.

The fact is that Itzler has too many enemies to consider a return to the escort business. He screwed-up royally with that move. The same could be stated about me having too many enemies, except that I stay a far distance from drugs and anyone involved with them so I have less to fear. Still... Regardless, Itzler should never have made a return to the business and by the looks of his situation today, it has cost him the rest of his life.

I just took a look at Itzler's case in the New York State Unified Court System and his bond is currently set at $200K in the list of charges from the “promoting prostitution” case that he was arrested in early September on. He is being represented by Legal Aid and his next appearance is on October 18, 2011.

The Miami Herald published an article on Saturday October 8, 2011:

The noted article states much more than any earlier articles anywhere. Kudos to the reporter, Lomi Kriel, for really digging around before publishing. It is a two page article and once you reach the last half of the second page, you'll see that I am not the only one not ready to throw Itzler under the bus in the case.

I have been drugged in a club before. It happened in June of 1994 in Orlando, but I was lucky as I was with a couple of my cousins that had entered the club before I did and were playing pool. I sat down at the bar and ordered a Heineken bier. The only one that ever touched that bier was the bartender and myself and trust me; I didn't drug myself. I was deathly ill for several days, but thanks to my cousins I made it home. I only drank two Heineken biers that night so it wasn't the alcohol that did it.

According to the article in the Herald, Julia Sumnicht was not drugged in any club and this comes from the timeline given by the medical examiner. The question to consider here is: Who was not drugged that day? Read the article and you'll get my point. Enough said.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Too Many Enemies

A couple of days ago I wrote a post about Jason Itzler's current problem involving Julia Sumnicht's death in Miami in March of 2010, and have decided to expound on the issue: Jason Itzler of NY Confidential Fame: Clown or Killer?

After reading the news release from the New York County District Attorney's Office dated September 9, 2011, I got to thinking about his situation. According to this press release, the big set-up involving a “client” paying for an escort for 3 days and Itzler's alleged sale of $4700 worth of cocaine to this client in two separate visits to the hotel room transpired after he had only been in business for “a few weeks”.

Now I will be the first to tell you that this is unheard of in relation to escort services. Cops simply do not set-up and close a business within “a few weeks” of its opening. Jason Itzler has serious enemies as do many in adult business, but in this situation, I would step out on a limb and state that the evidence gathering by private investigators working for Julia Sumnicht's family and Jason Itzler's September 9, 2011 arrest by the Manhattan D.A. on a list of felony charges are interconnected.

Sumnicht's family believes that Jason Itzler slipped GHB (the date rape drug) into their daughter's drink without her having any idea that this was done. In one article I read that the private investigators could actually prove this. I made it an exercise to list any possible means by which the P.I.s could prove that Itzler slipped GHB into her drink and there is no way that is possible. There is a possibility that his Miami roommate stated this to them, but I consider that doubtful and even then, this wouldn't be proof.

So it looks like the private investigators for the family are spreading rumor and innuendo as fact. From where I stand it also looks like they may be the party that set-up Itzler in relation to his brand new business. I find this disturbing for several reasons.

Jason Itzler has made many enemies over the years because of his incessant rattling to news reporters. I don't like him because of it. Why? Well, he presents himself as being at the high-end of the escort business, and he is in relation to $s he charged for escorts, but then in the same breath he calls himself the “king of all pimps” and I find the term denigrating and a reflection on the business in its entirety. If this high dollar operator calls himself a pimp, what would the general population consider everyone else in the business to be? To me he is a walking conflict: He acts low-end and charges high-end while claiming class.

Still, even though I dislike Itzler, I dislike the thought that renegade adult business haters are quite possibly stalking him for the purpose of set-up even more. The women that worked for him made a lot of money for themselves and did so entirely voluntarily. I do not believe that there was ever any claim that he coerced anyone into anything. The guy just has a big mouth, but reminds me more of mighty mouse than anything else. I do not believe he needs to drug anyone for sex or any other reason. He's a popular guy with lots of friends no matter what I think of him.

Renegade adult business haters come from many backgrounds – I have my own, so I know. My angry followers are religious zealots. They say things like, “I pray to God that her telephones and websites are wiretapped” and “God bless you” all in the same sentence. Newsflash: I have always, as far back as day 1 in the escort business, talked and acted as if my telephones were wiretapped and email was monitored. That is why I was acquitted.

I really do not like the idea that someone other than skilled detectives accountable for their actions have been allowed to play stalk and set-up with Itzler and there is little doubt that this is the situation.