|The D.A. Who Legalized Drug Dealing|
The District Attorney's Office, which has stonewalled this blog for four years, is suddenly talking about their decision to free a couple of accused drug dealers -- Mohammed and the Fatboy -- who got caught red-handed with 225 pounds of marijuana worth more than $2 million.
Here's what the D.A. had to say about dropping the charges against Mohammed and the Fatboy, along with some 800 other accused drug dealers previously arrested by former members of the Narcotics Field Unit South:
The DA's office is expected to seek justice, not just convictions. On occasion, that means we may be unable to pursue a case because of concerns about the trustworthiness of a particular witness. When that witness is a police witness, multiple cases may be affected. That is an unfortunate but essential element of our professional responsibility as prosecutors. Decisions of this sort are in no way unique to this office; federal officials have made similar determinations.
We waited four years for that? "Self-serving" and "disingenuous" was how one prominent criminal defense lawyer characterized it.
"The foundation in the D.A.'s office seems to be crumbling," said FOP President John McNesby. After he read the D.A.'s statement, McNesby expressed hope that Williams would lose his bid for reelection next year.
"Quite frankly, it's going to be a breath of fresh air" when Seth Williams is gone from the D.A.'s office, McNesby said. "Hopefully, we'll be dealing with someone with a clearer mind."
"This self serving and disingenuous comment of 'seeking justice, not just convictions' is nothing more than their inability to admit an extraordinary rush to judgment and monumental mistake," McMahon said about the D.A.'s office.
McMahon says the D.A.'s office bet the house on a hunch.
"What I believe happened was they [the D.A.'s office] knew there was a federal investigation and they tried to be way out ahead of it to show how 'responsible' and on top of things they were," McMahon said.
He was talking about how, back in 2012, D.A. Williams wrote a two-paragraph letter to the police commissioner, announcing that his office would no longer prosecute any drug arrests made by Lt. Robert Otto, and five members of the Narcotics Field Unit South.
"Seth figured the feds were going to do something sometime and didn't want to look like he was in the dark," McMahon said. "Problem is he did it on rumor and supposition and not on real evidence and simply figured that if the feds are involved, it 'must' be true."
"They were one of the best outfits in the city," FOP President McNesby said about the former members of the Narcotics Field Unit South.
"There were just so many holes" in the RICO case against the narcs, McNesby said, "And it all started with Seth . . . I think the D.A.'s office sold the feds a line of shit and none of it was true."
"Now, the city is paying out their ass for this," he said. McNesby was referring to the millions of dollars that taxpayers will have to fork over to pay for seven lawyers. They were hired to defend the city against 175 civil rights cases filed by the formerly accused drug dealers that Seth Williams set free.
"You've got a lot of drug dealers getting their records scrubbed clean," McNesby said. "They [the narcs] were taking a lot of drugs and money off the street; they were the go-to squad."
"What you've got is Seth Williams pointing the fingers at a lot of people who are out doing the job," McNesby said, at a time when the D.A. should have been more concerned about setting his own house in order.
McNesby was talking about recent disclosures that Williams accepted $160,000 worth of gifts, such as a new $45,000 roof, as well as sideline passes to Eagles games.
While the D.A. was trashing police officers, McNesby said, inside the D.A.'s office, "There was no kind of integrity." Williams, McNesby said, was the kind of guy who, "You could throw a fifty in his top pocket at the Union League and he'd keep walking and smoking his cigar."
Relations between the police force and the D.A.'s office are so bad these days, McNesby said, "You have to have an act of Congress to get someone arrested." Every day, McNesby says, he hears complaints from detectives that "They're not approving arrest warrants" at the D.A.'s office unless you have an "airtight, 100 percent case."
To underscore what McNesby is talking about, this weekend, according to a knowledgable law enforcement source, a couple of cops caught a suspect red-handed inside a Bank of America branch at 23rd and Oregon after the suspect had broken in. The bank had surveillance photos of the guy trying to open the vault.
But the district attorney's office declined to prosecute the case because there was no video of the break-in and the officers were the only witnesses.
That's how bad things are in Philadelphia, under the administration of D.A. Seth Williams. Maybe drug dealing isn't the only crime legalized by the district attorney's office. Bank robbery could be next.
Meanwhile, McNesby says about the D.A.'s office's recent holiday for drug dealers, "You just let 800 people hit the lottery."
According to McNesby, people in law enforcement have responded to Seth's anti-cop bias by tuning out the D.A.
"Now, when he [Williams] is screaming and yelling it's like pointing an unloaded gun at somebody," McNesby said.
"Nobody cares. They know it's just a matter of time before he's out."