Monday, April 10, 2017

Philly's Big Giveaway: 300 Drug Dealers About To Hit Lottery

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

A bunch of drug dealers who have already had their convictions overturned are about to hit the lottery.

In the courtroom of U.S. Magistrate Timothy R. Rice, a group of lawyers are quietly negotiating a "global settlement" for 75 civil rights suits filed against the city of Philadelphia.

The plaintiffs in these lawsuits are convicted drug dealers who have already had their convictions overturned because of alleged police misconduct. Now, the drug dealers are looking to cash in at the civil courts for their alleged pain and suffering at the hands of the cops who arrested them. The bad news for Philly taxpayers: once these 75 cases are settled, there are another 225 more cases right behind them that will also be settled, cases featuring 225 more newly emancipated drug dealers anxious to cash in.

The price of settling these 300 civil rights cases will no doubt cost the taxpayers millions of dollars. Taxpayers also spending millions more to hire 10 lawyers from two private law firms to defend these civil rights cases in court. But the city has given up, and is now in the process of negotiating a surrender to the drug dealers and their lawyers.

Another interesting subplot in the city's lottery for drug dealers: one of the defense lawyers in the lead case whose client is about to cash in is Larry Krasner, a Philadelphia civil rights lawyer.

Krasner's law firm has also taken a leadership role in negotiating the global settlement for the 75 cases now before the magistrate.

This is the same Larry Krasner who also happens to be running for the Democratic nomination for district attorney of Philadelphia. With, one would assume, the fervent support of every drug dealer in town.

A spokesman for Krasner, Rich Garella, wrote in an email,  "As this is an ongoing proceeding, Mr. Krasner would not be able to make any comment on it."

Garella went on to say that as a candidate for district attorney, "Mr. Krasner is campaigning for common sense reforms that would reverse mass incarceration policies and save millions for local taxpayers in Philadelphia."

That's of course after Mr. Krasner obtains millions of dollars on behalf of the drug dealers of Philadelphia, who have already been liberated from mass incarceration.

The city's ongoing lottery for drug dealers was made possible by the rash and irresponsible actions of our corrupt district attorney, Rufus Seth Williams. That's the same Rufus Seth Williams who's already under a 23-count federal indictment alleging bribery, extortion, wire fraud and honest services fraud.

Yes, our corrupt D.A., who refuses to resign, started this whole mess by tarring and feathering the reputations of the former narcotics officers targeted in the civil rights lawsuits.

Even though, court records show, when he was trashing the narcs, our D.A. never had one shred of evidence of police misconduct to back up his actions that will cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

When the civil rights cases from the drug dealers first hit the courts, U.S. District Court Judge Paul S. Diamond chose a dozen cases to be "bellwether cases." These are tests cases intended to try a widely contested issue, such as whether a bunch of drug dealers had valid civil rights claims against the city because of alleged police misconduct.

The lead bellwether case was McIntyre v. Liciardello, where plaintiffs James McIntyre, Wayne Layre, and Thomas Basara are suing the city for alleged civil rights violations. The plaintiffs claim that the day they got raided, the cops had no probable cause to believe any illegal conduct was going on, and that they entered the premises without a search warrant.

Krasner is listed on the court docket as the lawyer who represents McIntyre. On Feb. 7th, Judge Diamond appointed three lawyers to represent the interests of the plaintiffs in the first 75 cases to be settled, with those lawyers "to be selected by the firm of Krasner & Young."

Judge Diamond also appointed three lawyers to represent the interests of the city, along with the city solicitor. The chosen lawyers, according to the court docket, were supposed to meet with Judge Diamond to identify "common factors relevant to assessing settlement value, etc."

On April 5th, Judge Diamond referred the first batch of 75 civil rights cases to U.S. Magistrate Rice "for settlement purposes."  On the docket, the minutes of two settlement conferences held before Judge Rice on Feb. 16th and May 4th, were posted, but the press and public can't read them, because those records are confidential.

The city also filed a motion, approved by the judge, to seal all pre-trial discovery and depositions in the civil rights cases to the press and public. The outside lawyers hired by the city have also declined to comment.

So Philly's lottery for drug dealers is being conducted behind an official wall of silence. That's a shame because the people on the other side of that wall, the taxpayers, are going to get stuck with the bill.

The lead bellwether case, McIntyre v. Liciardello, arises out of a June 23, 2011 raid on an auto body shop at 529-35 W. Sedgwick Street that was conducted by Officer Thomas Liciardello and other officers from the police department's Narcotics Field Unit South.

Layre, according to his lawsuit, was a self-employed auto mechanic and welder who claims he was falsely arrested and robbed of $34,400 by the cops. McIntyre claims he was robbed of $9,400 in cash. Basara claims he was badly beaten by the cops and denied medical treatment.

The cops targeted in the lawsuit have heard these claims before.

"McIntyre's complaint is a simple reinstatement of the original, unsuccessful criminal indictment," wrote James W. Christie and Michael H. Malin on Feb. 1st. The two lawyers were hired by the city to defend Lt. Robert Otto, the former supervisor of the narcs, who is a named defendant in the lawsuit.

In McIntyre's complaint, he cites a Dec. 3, 2012 two-paragraph letter written by D.A. Rufus Seth Williams to then-police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

The two-paragraph letter is the root of all the civil rights lawsuits. In the letter, Williams announced to the police commissioner that the D.A.'s office would no longer prosecute any arrests made by Lt. Otto and five former members of the Narcotics Field Unit South that Otto used to supervise.

"The District Attorney has never explained the basis for his decision," the lawyers for Lt. Otto wrote.

Amen.

Twice, court records show, the public defender's office asked Ed McCann, former first district attorney, to turn over any so-called "Brady material" that would show evidence of police misconduct.

The public defender's office believed that Rufus Seth Williams must have had some evidence in hand when he wrote his letter to the police commissioner that basically torched the careers of the narcotics officers he targeted, without due process of any kind.

Brady material refers to a landmark 1963 case, Brady v. Maryland, where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors must turn over any evidence that might be beneficial to defendants.

But on two occasions, court records show, McCann was pressed to turn over so-called Brady material. And twice, McCann admitted that there was no Brady material. And that the D.A. wrote his letter trashing the narcs based not on any evidence of police misconduct, but on so-called "prosecutorial discretion."

McCann, through a spokesperson, has declined to comment on his actions.

To finish the job he started, D.A. Williams, according to a defamation suit filed by the cops, leaked the letter he wrote the police commissioner to Fox 29. 

The leak went through Tasha Jamerson, then the D.A.'s spokesperson, who was acting under McCann's orders, according to the defamation suit. At the time of the leak, Jamerson, a former Fox 29 reporter, was married to the managing editor at Fox 29.

If there was any justice in the Philadelphia court system, Rufus Seth Williams and Ed McCann would be hauled  under subpoenas into federal court tomorrow at 9 a.m., sworn in as witnesses, and forced to testify about why they did what they did.

But this is Philadelphia, where we have an alleged criminal still in office as our chief law enforcement officer. And the only thing left to figure out is just how many millions the horrible judgment and irresponsible actions of Rufus Seth Williams and Ed McCann will cost the taxpayers.

The city could have instructed its hired defense lawyers to fight it out in court on the bellwether cases. D.A. Williams, it has already been proven, had no evidence in hand to back him up when he wrote that rash letter to the police commissioner. 

Most of the drug dealers who filed these lawsuits pleaded guilty to the charges. Often, those pleas came after the drug dealers were caught with large quantities of drugs, large sums of money, as well as guns.

If the city had the will to fight, it could prove in court that these drug dealers were lucky enough to have their convictions overturned. And that they do not deserve to exchange their get-out-of-jail-free cards into lottery tickets.

But this is Philadelphia, where our head law enforcement official is accused of being a petty crook. Where one political party has run the city for the past 65 years, and corruption reigns. 

If Philadelphia had a free and independent press, you'd be reading this story on the front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer, instead of on this blog. But the sad state of the local media is a topic for another day.

Meanwhile, the lawyers in magistrate court continue their efforts under cover of darkness to negotiate their surrender to the local drug dealers, and their lawyers.

In the lead bellwether case of McIntyre v. Liciardello, the plaintiffs claim that Officer Thomas Liciardello and other officers "did extensive damage to autos, antique autos, antique motorcycles,
parts and inventory in the shop," damage that amounted to $72,154.

Lt. Otto, the lawsuit claims, "failed to supervise, monitor, prevent, sanction and report on" alleged misconduct by the narcs he was supervising.

In court, Otto's lawyers asked McIntyre and his fellow plaintiffs to provide witness statements to back up his story of alleged police misconduct. The end result: McIntyre had nothing to offer. But when the lawyers who represent the city you're suing have already decided to surrender, it doesn't really matter.

Otto's lawyers, however, say the cops saw McIntyre throw a cooler bag into a dumpster that contained 24 grams of crystal meth and a sock stuffed with $24,000.

The police forfeiture unit subsequently raided Layre's account at National Penn Bank and Citizens Bank, along with a safety deposit box belonging to Layre, and they recovered $379,654 in cash. The cops also seized from the defendants $181,000 worth of crystal meth and numerous firearms.

Wayne Layre was originally scheduled to tell his story in court in 2015. That's when six former members of the Narcotics Field Unit went on trial charged in a 26-count federal RICO indictment with the systematic beating and robbing of the drug dealers that they arrested.

The federal indictment charged that the cops forced their way into Layre's auto body shop, kicked him in the groin, knocked his teeth out and hit him over the head with a steel bar before stealing $30,000.

But Layre never got to tell his story in court. That's because he got busted a month before trial, on Feb. 25, 2015, along with 31 others as part of a heroin and meth trafficking ring operating in Montgomery County. That prompted the feds to drop Layre from the federal case against the narcs.

At the federal trial, the six former narcotics officers were acquitted on all 47 charges on all 26 counts. 

But in the city's criminal courts, the public defender and the D.A.'s office continued to act as if the narcs had been convicted of police misconduct. Layre was one of 899 convicted drug dealers who have had their convictions overturned after D.A. Williams wrote his letter to the police commissioner.

And we're not quite done yet. There are 330 more cases that the public defender is seeking to overturn, cases involving more drug arrests made by the former members of the Narcotics Field Unit South.

With the feds crawling all over our district attorney, you would think that the D.A.'s office might have second thoughts about green lighting the overturning of 330 more drug convictions.

But you would be wrong. Because even though the boss is under indictment, down at the D.A.'s office, it's still business as usual.

"As far as the remaining cases our concerned, we will continue to review them and make the decision about the next steps only after the review is completed," said Cameron Kline, a spokesman for the D.A.'s office.

So if you're one of those lucky 330 convicted drug dealers who is about to get your conviction overturned, it may not be too late to get in on the lottery.

Call the law offices of Larry Krasner right away. If he's not out campaigning for D.A., Larry will be standing by, waiting for your phone call.

And if you're a drug dealer who's a registered Democrat, then you're even more fortunate. Because on May 16th, you can proudly cast your vote in the Democratic primary for Larry Krasner as our next District Attorney.


16 comments:

  1. Seth Williams Never Cared About The LAW!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. All dirty. Top to bottom. Stop living in Dreamworld.

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  3. It's the narcotic officers who are to blame for the millions the taxpayers are about to pay.They should have done their job properly.They couldn't control their own greed and now we are all paying for it.

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  4. These cops thought they were untouchable. The one cop perry betts had to resign before he was fired for failing a drug test after he was given his job back.Thats the kind of police officer you'd back Ralph.I guess Perry Betts was setup lol.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. If the narcotics officers you're blaming were dirty, then the feds really blew it with the worst prosecution case I've ever seen put on.

    Has anybody ever heard of a RICO case with 6 defendants, 26 counts, 47 charges, and the government loses 47-zip? The jury foreman told me the government's case was a joke.

    As far as the law goes, those cops were found not guilty. That means for the taxpayer, there is a way out of these civil rights lawsuits by duking it out in court.

    If Rufus thought the cops were dirty he should have waited until he had EVIDENCE before he did something. Instead, he blew it royally. So did McCann.

    Wake up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your first paragaph...just end it there.

      Delete
  7. The feds did a horrible job for sure

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  8. Ralph also believes that O.J. is innocent because he was found not guilty. Either that or he is a good troll. Stay woke Ralph. You are starting to sound like a chooch on this one.

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  9. Anonymous drug dealers are back commenting. I'm gonna go with Kushner...no one believed you during the trial, no one believes you now. Guess I'll call myself a ("chooch"???) as well.

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    Replies
    1. Former narc learns how to read. Good times.

      Delete
    2. Well if you support police like Perry Betts.You must be a confused individual.This cop used the same drug he was arresting people for.
      Marijuana is listed as a schedule 1 drug with heroin.He should lose his pension for using drugs..

      Delete
  10. Well, for all you so called know it all's who have posted negatively regarding this article and blame the narcotics officers for this pillaging of tax payer money, the truth is that the pillaging is at the hands of unscrupulous attorneys who see this as nothing more that a grab for money.

    Here are some truths. First, this all started just because the now admitted corrupt District Attorney Rufus Seth Williams and at the time First Deputy District Attorney Ed McCann (who quickly and under questionable circumstances left the DA's Office) wrote a damning letter demanding that these offices be removed from the Narcotics Unit without any justification or direct knowledge of any wrong doing, but simply did so because they did not like the fact that they were not being given credit for large scale seizures and having the ability to funnel millions of dollars in seizures into their own office to plunder as they saw fit. Also, good old Ed did not like the fact that one of his girlfriends was written badly about by one of those narcotics officers involved in this whole pathetic nightmare. Yea, Ed, you know the truth, that's why you still to this day have no comment. The timing for this perverse act of writing this letter that led to all this was perfect for Rufus and Ed because as fate would have it, we at the time in this city had a cowardly, media crazed, selfish Police Commissioner by the name of Charles Ramsey who only cared about the furtherance of his own career both in law enforcement and political. When all was said and done, Ramsey was heard to say, I wish I hadn't handled that the way I did, it was wrong what was done to those officers. Well Chuck, man up now and tell the truth. As for the negative posters, here is a simple solution and you should demand this of Rufus and Ed McCann as should every tax paying citizen. If they were so righteous in what they did, there is a simple solution; don't say "no comment" anymore when asked about the reasons for the letter that then lead to all the dismissals and overturning of convictions that you approved and simply volunteer to go before Federal Judge Diamond and explain to him why you wrote the letter without any Brady materials on hand or any knowledge of misconduct on the part of the officers and why you did and continue to throw out hundreds and hundreds of cases and release violent drug dealers onto the street of Philadelphia who are also now suing.

    If they did nothing wrong, they (Rufus and McCann) should be more than happy to explain their reasons to Judge Diamond and finally set the record straight for all to know. They won't do it people because if they did, they would immediately be disbarred and federally prosecuted for what they have done and continue to do

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    1. Few points. A) 100% agree on the money grab by the lawyers. B) cops dirt started way before the letter. C) Please enlighten when Ramsey was " overheard to say"...

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  11. So here is my point with some of the illegitimate posters on this site like with anonymous 8:58 AM who just posted a response with questions.

    Out of ALL THAT FACTUAL information listed above, your statement goes to "cops dirt started way before the letter". Well, if this were the case and you know this to be fact, then why in the world wouldn't they, (Rufus and McCann) simply state those facts or dirt in the letter to legitimize it rather than keep all in the city guessing as to what was the true purpose of the letter by constantly saying they would not comment on their reasons for writing it. Wouldn't that have made more sense to even you? As to Ramsey's comments, you must obviously have some intimate knowledge or concern as to this statement, but I assure you he realized then and now that he was played a fool by Rufus Seth Williams, Ed McCann and the federal authorities. After the truth was revealed to him like others, he was in too deep and rather than do the right thing, he sacrificed all others for his own reputation and career. So, having said that, go back and read the above post again and your only legitimate question should be, yes, why doesn't Rufus Seth Williams and Ed McCann simply volunteer to go before Judge Diamond, have themselves sworn in before him and answer one question, why did you write the memorandum to then Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey without any Brady Material or prior proof of any police misconduct? We already know for a fact by what Cipriani has written in this blog that Ed McCann has repeatedly stated that they had no Brady Material and no prior knowledge of wrong doing. Come on, ask the right questions because if you live and work in this city, Rufus and McCann have jeopardized the safety and lives of your family, friends and co-workers, not to mention costing all of us millions of dollars that could have been used for more worthy causes.

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    1. Update us on the defamation lawsuit that was filed.Also,please provide info on the Ramsey statement. Did you "overhear" it?

      Delete

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