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Russell Babcock To Argue Blind Mule Case Before The High Court

January 20th, 2013 // 5:19 pm @

 

On February 8th 2013, San Diego criminal defense lawyer Russell Babcock will argue the case of United States v. Flores, 11-50431 before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Flores, a man with no criminal record, and who was about to retire for a $100,000 a year job, was sentenced to 16 years, three months in jail for being convicted of transporting one package of a few pounds of methamphetamine from Tijuana to the United States.

At trial, where he was represented by another attorney, the evidence never came out why Mr. Flores was in Mexico—certainly not to smuggle drugs.  He has always contended that he was a blind mule and that the packages were planted in his vehicle by a friend–to be retrived later.  Mr. Flores is the quintessential blind mule.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the high federal court which decides important criminal cases from California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii, will hear this appeal.  They reqested that the government and attorney Russell Babcock argue this case in Pasadena California, showing their interest in this case.

Not only will they decide whether Mr. Flores will get a new trial, but they will decide two very important legal matters, which may highly influence future blind mule cases.

First, San Diego  federal criminal defense attorney Russell Babcock  will argue that it constitutes error for the government to be allowed,as they were in this case, to present testimony from ICE agents that essentially blind mules do not exist, when the government itself has released documents that show that there have been many cases of innocent individuals who have had drugs planted in their vehicles.

Second, Mr. Flores was prevented from presenting evidence of his lack of motive to smuggle drugs because of his relative wealth and gainful employment.  Mr. Flores should have been allowed to tell the jury that he not only did not smuggle drugs, but had no financial reason to do so.

This is a very important case, not only for Mr. Flores, but for all future blind mule cases.  It is hoped that the court will say both that it was a mistake to not allow Mr. Flores to present testimony of his lack of motive and for the government to present evidence that they knew was not true.

A tape of Mr. Babcock’s oral argument should become available on the Ninth Circuit website. It will be posted here later, if possible.

Justice and fairness requieres that that in San Diego and other federal districts that the prosecution stops misleading juries by presenting false testimony regarding blind mules, and that the accused be fully allowed to tell his or her side of the story.  At our law offices we will continue to hold the United States government to a high standard of truth telling during jury trials.

There is no doubt that the blind mule exists, contrary to the swprm testimony of many government agents in criminal jury trials in San Diego and other parts of the country.

Category : Blog (English)

United States Acknowledge Existence of Blind Mules in El Paso, Texas

April 19th, 2012 // 3:17 pm @

United States Government Is Forced To Acknowledge The Existence of Blind Mules in El Paso, Texas

 

The official line of the government has been that blind mules do not exist and that everyone who drives into the United States is responsible for the contents of their car.  Finally in 2011 the government had no choice but to e acknowledge the existence of blind mules.

 

In El Paso, Texas, a drug smuggling organization, which included Jesus Chavez and Carlos Gomez, had spotters observe what cars were  traveling between Texas and Mexico every day.  They then copied the VIN numbers of the vehicles and had duplicate keys ordered for the vehicles.  The organization then planted drugs into the trunks of the vehicles retrieving them after they had crossed from Mexico into the United States.  The FBI in an affadavit, probably for the first time, had to acknowledge that the drivers of the vehicles didn’t know that drugs were planted in the vehicles.  For the full story see, http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_1824727?IADID=Search-www.elpasotimes.com-www.elpasotimes.com

 

The scheme resulted in an innnocent school teacher from El Paso being held in jail for several days.  At first, the United States government failed to believe her. But after several days in jail as an innocent individual who was presumed guilty by the United States government, she returned home, a local hero. See full story at http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_18458762?source=pkg

 

The mayor of Ciudad Juarez, Hector Murgia, was quick to call upon the government of Mexico to educate individuals about the perils of border crossing when cars have been out of the control of the occupant for several hours.  The United States government, has been slow to react and still continues to prosecute many blind mules without adequate proof of their guilt.

 

I call upon the President, Barack Obama, and the officials of ICE to immediately establish a task force to review the convictions of all blind mules.  One innocent person in jail is unacceptable. In the El Paso case there were many innocent victims.  And today, the United States government continues to send innocent blind mules to jail.

 

At my law office, we are the blind mule defenders. If you or someone you care for has been arrested for transporting drugs accross the border, our law firm is highly qualified and successful in providing defense for all blind mules and others arrested for transporting drugs.

 

 For more information and a free legal consultation, go to San Diego Criminal law firm of Russell Babcock, www.lawbabcock.com.

Category : Blog (English)

San Diego Acknowledges the Existence of Blind Mules

April 19th, 2012 // 3:15 pm @

Breaking News—-United States Attorney’s Office in San Diego Acknowledges the Existence of Blind Mules

 

On March 7, 2012 the United States Attorney’s Office sent letters to all defense counsel who are working on drug courier cases. In this letter the United States Attorney’s Office disclosed that on or about November 2011 a Special Agent came into possession of information that “two drug transportation brokers made statements that an advertisement was placed in a Mexican newspaper, likely ‘El Mexicano’,” soliciting persons for employment to drive vehicles into the United States and that “at some point, certain of the persons would be tricked into unknowingly crossing drugs, or some type of contraband, into the United States.”

 

Another special agent received information that a drug smuggler placed similar ads in “La Frontera”, paying individuals $200 per driving job and that the drivers do not know they are bringing drugs into the United States.

 

In still a third case, in mid-February of this year, a special agent indicated that an individual in Baja California was placing similar ads, for an unknown extended period of time, and that the drivers would be paid $100 and would not know that they were transporting drugs into the United States.

 

In many recent trials, the government has been allowed to bring testimony through “expert witnesses” that blind mules do not exist. What this means is that dozens of innocent individuals may be sitting in jail because the jury heard untrue testimony from agents that blind mules do not exist.

 

The United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of San Diego should be commended for bringing this material to the attention of the public, especially defense attorneys. But, they are required by law to do so under a United States Supreme Court case, Brady v. Maryland, which requires them to give defense attorneys all “exculpatory” or helpful evidence to the defense. The United States Attorney’s office, and also the courts must go further now and carefully review all of the convictions of blind mules, and in all those cases where the jury was informed that blind mules do not exist, new trials should be ordered or the cases reviewed for dismissal when the evidence does not support conviction.

 

At the San Diego Criminal law firm of Russell Babcock, we are experts in blind mule cases, federal border crimes and all narcotic crimes including methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and marijuana. If you or someone you care for has been arrested for transporting drugs accross the border our law firm is highly qualified and successful in provding defense for blind mules and others arrested for transporting contraband.

 

For more information and a free legal consulation, go to San Diego Criminal law firm of Russell Babcock, www.lawbabcock.com.

 

(See Attached Memo from United States Attorney’s Office, Dated March 7, 2012)

San Diego United States Attorney’s Office Acknowledges Blind Mules

 

 

Category : Blog (English)

Excerpt from Chapter 5

December 6th, 2011 // 6:52 pm @

“And what was your business in Mexico over the last week?” The reason that the Inspector knew that he had been in Mexico more than a week is because another border system, TECS ( Treasury Enforcement Communications System), takes a picture of the license plates of all cars entering Mexico from the United States and stores this information in a data base so that an Inspector will know the exact time that a car crossed from the United States to Mexico. Many drug smugglers have been caught because of a simple lack of knowledge of the TECS system. They declare that they have been in Mexico for only an hour when the TECS system reveals that they crossed a day or two earlier.

“International travel,” he replied curtly. As soon as he answered, he kicked himself, knowing that his ambiguous answer would set off alarms in the agent’s mind. Why hadn’t he just answered directly? Mark thought.

Inspector Arias, who was trained in reading body language and nuances of speech. As he had predicted, the agent did not like the answer. Why had he not simply told him that he had traveled to Mexico City or Panama or wherever was his destination?, Agent Arias thought.

Category : Blog (English)

The True Story of Blind Mule, G.F.,

December 6th, 2011 // 6:52 pm @

G.F. is a middle-age family man who was less than a year short of retirement with a major utility company in Los Angeles. He earned a salary of more than one hundred thousand dollars a year and raised several responsible children, including a son who fought in the special forces in Iraq. His life was shattered when he was arrested at the Tijuana Port of Entry with several kilograms of cocaine.

His court appointed attorney proceeded to trial on the case but failed to explain to the jury the personal reasons that G.F. had to make several trips into Mexico. The jury was left with the impression that since he had a job and family in the U.S, if he had traveled to Mexico on a frequent basis, then he must be a drug smuggler.

Even though G.F. is an outstanding citizen with no criminal record, he was facing a possible sentence of life imprisonment. The judge chose to give him less time than that recommended by the prosecutor and in October 2011 sentenced him to sixteen years, three months imprisonment. In addition, he was fined $15,000, and in a very unusual sentence, was ordered to pay back approximately $15,000 of attorneys fees to the Federal Defenders Office even though he was never told beforehand that he would have to pay back his fees and the Federal Defenders Office did not even request repayment.. A lien was placed on his home to enforce the immediate payment of the attorneys fees.

The family of G.F has been left almost destitute as a result of this case. They have had to move out of their residence and liquidate their life savings to deal with the court ordered court fines and attorneys fees.

This office was hired by G.F. to continue to fight for his freedom and the setting aside of the jury verdict. New evidence has come to light that supports G.F’s claims of innocence. Details of G.F’s case will continue to be posted here as the case progresses.

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