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

Friday, September 28, 2012

Drug War Failure: The Case of James Martin Malone

While researching in PACER last night I decided to download numerous documents in the James Martin Malone case. Malone was a fugitive for 22 years and lived in Ecuador until his arrest earlier this year. He originally went to trial in the case, but fled before the trial was over and the jury acquitted him on one count and convicted him on the other. On 26 September 2012, he was sentenced to 262 months (almost 22 years) in federal prison.

Here is a man that lived a productive and peaceful life in Ecuador for almost 22 years while a fugitive only to be brought back to the US at great expense to be incarcerated for the next 20+ years at an even greater expense. I am curious how much money was spent to arrest and extradite Malone to the US. There should be an accounting of expenditures for all of those involved. If you read Drug War Profiteers not the usual suspects, then you'll have an idea where all of the money ended-up.

James Martin Malone had a relatively minor role in a case sensationalized to support a government agenda. In short, he was a part of a set-up by a DEA confidential informant (CI). To understand his actual part, refer to pages 5-6 in this document:

If you have read the relevant two pages, you're now aware that Malone did not actually import the cocaine and had no part in the importation. His co-defendant in the case and the CI were the importers and Malone just picked-up his co-defendant at the marina, some of the cocaine was loaded into his trunk, and then they drove to the co-defendant's home. He was arrested the following day. Basically, Malone was just a driver that transported the co-defendant and his drugs to a residence.

Somehow the government managed to justify charging Malone with conspiracy to import cocaine. If actually importing the cocaine there is a 20 year mandatory minimum sentence. The statute reads 20 to life for the particular count of importing cocaine, but Malone was acquitted in trial on that. The jury verdict never attributed a specific amount of cocaine to Malone and that alone should eliminate the 20 year sentence. It is possible that the sentence will be overturned on appeal, but if it is not, it's probable that Malone will die in a US prison.

I have seen far too many of these mandatory minimum drug conspiracy cases to remain silent and have been a supporter of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) since its inception in the early 1990s. Often it is the low-level participant that ends-up with the most serious sentence. Participants at higher levels usually have enough information and assistance to exchange for much better deals.

In this case, there is little doubt that the CI was caught-up in his own serious charges and turned informant, setting-up an unknown number of people for the agents. There is no CI named in any of the documents and never will be; however, the entire scenario fits a CI that I used to know. All of the elements are there: the year of 1989; Moore's Island in the Bahamas; transported to a Miami marina.

The CI that I used to know (long story) was working for the DEA in Miami and setting-up people to import cocaine from Moore's Island area in the Bahamas to Miami via cigarette boats. Remember those? He had been busted in the Bahamas in a messy case involving a freighter commissioned by a group of Colombians and faced a life sentence when he began working with the DEA. Of course he took everyone down with him, and a couple are serving life sentences. In the end and as a result of his substantial assistance, he served just under 10 years in a US prison under an alias.

So anyway, here is James Martin Malone living a peaceful life in Montanita, Ecuador with his wife and now adult child when he was arrested. There are numerous letters in support for Malone in the case file and he was a family man, entrepreneurial business owner, contractor, and often helped the indigenous people in the area. The man was a peaceful surfer. Now he is remanded into custody to live the rest of his life in a US prison, unless the sentence is overturned on appeal, but even then there's little doubt that he would face at least 10 years.

This case elicits various emotions including sadness and anger. Malone is far from alone. The US War on Drugs has, undoubtedly, sucked more lives down the proverbial drain than there are deaths as a result of using those drugs. The so-called cure is far worse than the problem.

Updated on 9 November 2012 @3am:  Mr. Malone (Martin) has contacted me. He has a blog set-up by his family with his contact information for friends that wish to contact him: James Martin Malone

Martin is currently in a federal facility in downtown Miami, but expects to be transferred in the next week or two to a Central Florida facility. If you want to contact him via snail mail, it is best to wait until the transfer is complete. I will update this post and I'm sure the information will be posted on Martin's blog as well.


Dr Mary Ann Staffire said...

The last paragraph explains it all: sadness and anger. When did we fall so far as a society that we send someone to prison for their life for picking someone up at a boat/ The only reason these controlled substances are a difficulty is that , as a population, we want them: and yet they are denied by others who believe they can better run our lives. You can't change human nature: stop trying. let's be a free society with individual choices made by individuals.

Anonymous said...

My brother is a good man,he will probably never see his daughter.The govt paid the CI,33,000$ to testify.That fact is in the court documents.This is our justice system

Anonymous said...

You should also know,that according to court documents,the govt paid that CI 33,000$ to testify against my brother.He will probably never see his daughter.We still love and support him.We have filed an appeal and would appreciate any help.Thank you.

Vicky Gallas said...

I actually believe that your brother has a good chance of having the sentence overturned on appeal. The way I view the case against him is that it was the DEA importing the cocaine and not him. At most he should have been sentenced to right around 2 years.

The main reason that I believe his chances are good is that the jury did not attribute any specific amount of cocaine to him, but I will imagine that his attorney has informed you of this major issue in his favor.

I do have most of the case documents on the Updates (Documents) page of my website, but haven't come across the one that describes the $33K payment to the CI yet. I'm going to look tonight or tomorrow (in PACER) and see if anything new is posted. Here's a link to that page on my site:

I wish you, your family, and your brother the best outcome here.


Vicky Gallas said...

To Malone's brother:

I doubt this will help with the appeal, but I want to say something anyway... No doubt it will seem confusing because I can't spell it out here. On the informant situation mentioned in this post...

The person I knew has a mixed-up and hidden history. But I know his real name (knew his mother) along with a couple of the aliases. Most of his serious criminal history has disappeared from any findable or trackable records.

This person may or may not have any connection to your brother's case, but as stated in the post...

Here is a quote from an article regarding what was done for decades with files and records in South Florida. It's an enlightening article:

"One of Fernandez Rundle's top assistants, Jose Arrojo, has said prosecutors have gotten judges to secretly alter public records to shield informants and investigations for at least two decades.

"''We are hearing it's a statewide practice, at least in the urban circuits,'' Martinez said"

"The disclosure late in the inquiry that court officials in Miami-Dade had actually falsified records added a new dimension. For that reason, the state's public defenders -- whose clients include informants -- told justices that further study is needed because some proposals might jeopardize informants."

This practice was rampant - I can guarantee that part. The article has nothing to do with the person I knew, but I was trying to find any information on all of the missing and altered files from past cases. There's not much info out there or none at all on the practice in federal courts, but trust me - it was rampant in past.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your interest and help.If you know of anyway we can generate funds to hire a lawyer for the appeal,could you let us know.He currently only has a public defender.Your knowledge could help.Thank you again.

Vicky Gallas said...

Well, an appeal would be made on legal points in this situation. I do not view anything stated about the original case as material to the situation, but say it all anyway because so many in this country are naive in reference to the role and use of informants in the US criminal justice system. Informants are a topic I have written extensively on in past.

Some of the best attorneys in the system work for the Federal Public Defender's Office.... though they're often overwhelmed with work. At the appeals level this is almost immaterial. If sentencing laws were applied incorrectly in your brother's case, he will have the sentence overturned on appeal. I suppose it is a remote possibility that a new trial would be ordered, but it's unlikely.

In other words, having a public defender at this point is probably a good thing.

Greg Caton said...

I knew "Marty" Malone well here in Ecuador while he was living in Guayaquil -- well before he headed off to Santa Elena Province to live on the beach. Although I never knew the particulars of his Federal case, I knew it was only a matter of time before they "got him" when we met in 2006.

There is no one, and I mean NO ONE, here in Ecuador who is familiar with Marty's situation who does not know that that evil, vindictive Rocio Mata -- the woman the media referred to as Marty's "common law wife" -- engineered this whole thing. Rocio screwed every business contact I ever knew. She is well known to have paid off attorneys and various officials here to get what she wanted, and she ended up costing Dr. Gary Young (of "Young Living" essential oils fame) more than $700,000 through a very elaborate, fraudulent real estate scheme in Guayaquil.

How on earth could Marty not see that if he had problems back in the States it was only a matter of time before Rocio -- who is the type of personality who would have her own parents killed for a couple hundred bucks -- turned him in when the opportunity presented itself?

I liked Marty a lot. But he was blind. He personally witnessed Rocio Mata destroy life after life after life after life with her mafia-style business practices. The mistake Marty made wasn't leaving the U.S. when he realized that a system with no respect for truth or verifiable facts was turning its guns on him. The mistake he made was allowing himself to be close to Rocio's massive campaign to rip off as many people as she possibly could . . . and then think that somehow, as if by magic, he was immune.

By the way, I can speak with authority about what happened to Marty, in terms of the "standard operating procedure" here for kidnapping people and getting them out of the country. Why? Because I was kidnapped myself in very much the same fashion and did almost two years in Federal prison back in the States. I provide all the evidence and documentation at :

Meditopia -- Chapter 3, Section 3

Greg Caton

Anonymous said...

We,Marty,s family Knew her as Rosie.She is the mother of his Daughter.I do believe she had turned him in,although he denies it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Greg: For your information and knowledge, after 7 years of legal battles we proved in Court that Gary Young LIED, he lied when he accused me and a panel of three judges agreed totally on THAT. The prosecution attorney decided TO WITHDRAW the accusation. As for the lies you are writing and for which you have no way to support in Court, all I have to say is that I will pray for you.
As for what happened to Marty, he was KIDNAPPED, there was anything we could do. I went to the place where they had him, the person in charge dissappeared and locked the documents, he transferred him to Guayaquil, I thought they had taken him that night, the next night I found out he was in the airport without food for two days. I went there with SIX LAWYERS, they did not let us get through, and the MARSHALLS TOOK HIM
I wrote a letter to the President, HE FIRED the person in office that allowed that, so I had no part in them kidnapping him, sorry to inform you, but I am not evil and have never destroyed anyone's life
We all get what we desere according to our acts.
That is all I will say.
I will pray for you.

Vicky Gallas said...

@the last Anonymous

Well, praying for people while calling them liars makes no sense. I'm not religious and a main reason for that is this sort of 'prayer' and how people that claim to be religious use such statements. It's like saying I pray you will have bad luck or die or have a car accident.

I will say that Marty has never made any negative statement about you to me and I obviously was not there, so no clue what the truth is. I do know that he is now in a camp, which is much better than where he was when I wrote this post.

I also know that the feds (usually DEA) have been known to kidnap suspects and/or defendants that are in other countries - I suppose they consider it much easier than the legal route of extradition. Cutting corners and committing crimes in the process - this is why I have zero respect for any of them. Their crime is worse than the so-called crime Marty was accused of, but they're privileged, above the law, and will never be charged with anything. Hell, they kill people and are rarely charged.

Have you been in touch with Marty?


Anonymous said...

That was a reply from Rosie. Marty told his family as well as the judge, He was pulled over for a traffic violation. He has not been in touch with her,and believes she did have something to do with his being caught. We,his family, have been in communication with hi. He is in a low facility in Central Florida.He is doing well. Most of us are planning a visit,soon. We love him. His daughter got married July of 2014. We love her as well. I have never talked to Rosie, my Mom loved her,and trusted her.It would have broken her heart to know that Rosie did this. Thank you,Vickie.

Anonymous said...

My brother,Marty,came to believe,that Rosie did turn him in. We are in constant communication with him. He is doing well,under the circumstances. He lost his appeal, but we are not giving up. We love him and his daughter very much. I have never spoken to Rosie,my mother would be heartbroken if she was still alive. She loved and trusted her.

Vicky Gallas said...

@Anonymous (Marty's brother) -

I have followed-up in past and saw that your brother was moved to Coleman low (not a camp, but almost as good) and lost on appeal. He is such a positive and peaceful person that I know he is doing well.

Congratulations to Marty's daughter! I hope that she is able to visit with her father often.

I am going to guess that Rosie just found this blog post yesterday. At any rate, knowing the circumstances, I'm sure no one needs her to pray for them (Greg), so I had to speak-up here. Please give Marty my best!


Anonymous said...

Thank you. I will.He talks to her monthly, but she hasn't been able to visit.