Smiling Faces Sometimes

Thursday, April 18, 2013

While Out on Bail

Upon Yolanda Jauregui's arrest on May 20, 2009, she made bail and was released. On May 21, 2009. Her lover Alejandro (Barraza-Castro), his brother Lorenzo, and Yolanda's father were arrested when 53 kilograms of cocaine were delivered to 710 Summer Avenue. Paul Bergrin remained detained from the 20th of May 2009, to date.

Upon Yolanda Jauregui's release and subsequent to Alejandro's arrest, Abdul Williams surrendered to federal authorities and was incarcerated at the Hudson Cty Jail in Kearney, NJ with Alejandro, his brother Lorenzo and Yolanda's father. Yolanda visited Alejandro at the facility. The transaction was arranged on the telephone according to Yolanda. It had to be between the time frame of May 2009 to November 2009, when Yolanda was rearrested after she sold a kilo of cocaine to Maria Corriera.

The defense specifically asked for the recording of the transaction but it was never provided. Yolanda Jauregui informed the FBI that the transaction occurred and never equivocated. She described it in methodical detail of the arrangements and how Abdul Williams's cousin met with her and Castro's brother Pelon and the 7 kilos were placed in the trunk of the cousin's car. There is no way anyone could have copiously described the event without it occurring.

The defense never received the recording and Bergrin pleaded with his investigator to get it. Their position was that Abdul Williams used other peoples PIN numbers to make calls and made hundreds of calls from the jail during this time frame and they did not have the time to review. Williams denied the transaction to the government, denied that he ever gave Yolanda money when they met when she was out on bail and before he surrendered, and denied an intimate relationship with her. Bergrin found out from Yolanda Jauregui's daughter Ashley that Yolanda was sexually involved with Abdul Williams also.

What is of most importance is that Yolanda vehemently denied ever engaging in drug transactions with Paul Bergrin and that Abdul Williams worked for them as a courier and delivered drugs for Bergrin or her to customers and was paid a fee based upon that as Williams claimed. That is why they never called her as she would have disputed the testimony of Abdul Williams, Rondre Kelly, and Eugene Braswell. If Paul Bergrin had called her as a defense witness, she would have invoked the Fifth Amendment.

Paul Bergrin begged on multiple occasions to voluntarily take a polygraph or to have their witnesses be given one and the government refused.

You are going to see a nauseating pattern in this case if you have not already. The cooperating witness who knows that Bergrin is innocent, that the government presented false and perjured testimony, and was told by Yolanda that both Bergrin had no drug dealings with Castro and her, and that Bergrin was aware Oscar was an informant is Maria Corriera.

Maria Corriera sent SA Shawn Brokos an email stating that Paul Bergrin knew that Oscar was an informant. However, because Maria Corriera embezzled $22K of FBI funds, solicited Albert Castro to falsely testify against Bergrin in the first trial, and had open bank credit card and other fraud cases, she would have also invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Paul Bergrin was shit out of luck. The government kept all the cases open of potential witnesses who
would have exculpated him so he could not use them as defense witnesses. Even witnesses whom they knew would never be called such as Alejandro Castro, Alonzo Castro, Jose Jimenez, Yolanda Jauregui, Ramon Jimenez (Yolanda's brother), and all of the people that were allegedly at the Anthony Young / Paul Bergrin street meeting whom they never charged, and so many others like Corriera.

In short, the government AUSAs are definitely aware that they presented a false case to the jury and Judge Cavanaugh. Does that matter? It certainly should and it would, if the goal of this prosecution ever involved truth and justuce. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Above the Law: Abdul Williams

How can the government permit someone like Abdul Williams who has 15 violent and major felony convictions, is a prime suspect in two murders, dealt 7500 bags of heroin a day in Bradley Court in Newark for years, ran that location with violence and next to a school, and polluted our system with 1000's of kilograms of heroin and 1.5 kilograms of cocaine per week, which in one year amounts to 70 kilograms, and was involved in at least 4 admitted shootings be given any benefit for his fabricated testimony?

Abdul Williams has already been given the benefit of NOT BEING CHARGED WITH ANY HEROIN DISTRIBUTION, only up to 5 kg of cocaine, and none of his murders and shootings. More importantly, while at the Hudson County Jail he set up a 7 kg cocaine transaction that he conducted with his father, cousin, and Yolanda Jauregui about which he perjured himself and denied.

You have to be infuriated that he should be given any benefit and walk the streets again. He has already been given the moon. How can the government call him a truthful cooperating witness when he is completely inconsistent with Yolanda and Ramon Jimenez whom they put on the witness stand and vouched that they were truthful and honest in the first trial?

Yolanda Jauregui completely denies in her FBI statement that Abdul Williams ever delivered cocaine for Paul Bergrin and herself or that he was ever paid by Bergrin or her to make deliveries, which is a main reason that the government never called her to the stand during the second trial.

Abdul Williams is above the law thanks to prosecutors in this case. If Williams gets the 5K1 letter that he expects in exchange for his false testimony, he may be living next door to you under an alias and in the WITSEC program. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Integrity of Investigation

First I would like to pose the question: Could we even call this an investigation?

This post requires reading of one document and short parts of a transcript for better understanding. Volume 7 of the trial transcripts beginning on page 1386 at line 22 refers to a letter filed by the government on January 29, 2013:

BERGRIN 7 01_30_13 (link removed - contact me privately for a copy)

You are hopefully aware that the lead agent in the pursuit of Paul Bergrin is FBI SA Shawn Brokos, also known as Shawn Manson and Shawn Brockus and Shawn Brocos in various documents. SA Brokus interviewed anyone that she could find and everyone on the government's witness list in this case. SA Brokos is the one that gave SA Michael Smith the information that was certified in this indictment and detention request. The other agent took her at her word and did no further investigation as is a common practice at the FBI.

If you would like to refresh your memory on the absurd allegations certified by SA Michael Smith in the government's request for detention in this case, read:

If you need to refresh your memory in reference to the cross-examination of SA Michael Smith, read:

Cross Exam of Agent Smith (begins on page 15 with special attention to pages 23-26, 29, 31-32, 44-47, 55-58, )

So now you are aware of the allegations made by SA Shawn Brokos via SA Michael Smith that resulted in Paul Bergrin being held without bail in this case as a so-called flight risk.

Now I ask you...

1. Were any overseas (notably in Japan or the Dominican Republic or really anywhere for that matter) assets that belonged to Paul Bergrin ever identified in this case? Hell no.

Now see page 75 of this cross-examination lines 4-11.

Now I ask you...

2. Have any passports in other names ever been identified or located by anyone involved in this case? The one passport that Paul Bergrin had was in his own name and in the possession of the US government. So where are these other 4 passports that he was accused of holding by SA Brokos? They DO NOT exist!

Now take a look at the testimony of Johnny Davis in Volume 7, beginning on page 1401. The part relevant to this next question begins on page 1424 line 2 through page 1449, the end of the government's direct examination. Mr. Davis describes the man that he saw tucking a gun in his waistband immediately after his stepson Kemo Deshawn McCray fell to the ground on page 1425 lines 23-25 and again on page 1431 lines2-4 and yet again on page 1432 lines 5-6.

Now I ask you...

3. Did Johnny Davis, the only actual witness to his son's murder, describe a light-skinned and bald Anthony Young? Hell no - he described someone dark-skinned and with shoulder-length dreadlocks!

Now look at Paul Bergrin's cross-examination of Johnny Davis that begin on page 1450. On pages 1450-1452, Bergrin makes it clear that both SA Brokos and prosecutors met with Mr. Davis and they were all clear on the description that he gave of the shooter of his stepson Kemo. Mr. Davis again describes Kemo's killer beginning on page 1466 line 10.

Read the cross examination in its entirety and you will know that the one witness to Kemo's murder was treated like a criminal by detectives involved in this case prior to the feds taking it over. Once SA Brokos entered the case, as Kemo was her informant, she went with detectives from Newark P.D. to Mr. Davis's home and treated him like he was a criminal. He describes the scene as the detectives looking around and searching his home, while Brokos spoke to his daughter on pages 1471-1472.

On page 1477 of Volume 7, Mr. Davis again makes his description of Kemo's shooter clear as a sunny day. He never pretended to be able to identify a photo of the shooter as he did not see his facial features, but was positive that the shooter was a heavy-set, dark-skinned, man with shoulder-length dreadlocks. Anthony Young was light-skinned and bald at the time of the shooting.

This is by far not the only evidence submitted by the defense in this case that the Anthony Young story was entirely false, but it is enough to make my point at the moment. When I get to defense witness testimony, the rest of the evidence will be discussed.

Now I ask you...

4. Could we actually call this an investigation?

5. Does what you've read here give you a warm and fuzzy feeling about SA Brokos, her investigative skills, and her integrity?

Enough said for now. While I have no clue about her integrity in her personal life or in her other investigations, she has totally failed in this major prosecution. She lost me way back in the detention certification. So why is it that the prosecutors in this trial hold her in such high regard? That is a question that you will be asking yourself before the last post on this blog is posted.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Velez Family Inclusion

If there are any counts that definitely do not belong in this indictment and trial, they are the counts related to the Velez family. I recall reading a newspaper article online during the early part of the trial that stated Marilu Carmona Bruno (Norberto Velez's former wife) was stabbed 28 times and must imagine that the information came direct from an AUSA's mouth. The testimony of Dr. Patrick Hinfey reveals that much.

Dr. Hinfey's testimony begins on page 647 in Volume 3:

BERGRIN 3 01_24_13 (link removed - contact me privately for a copy)

While I will be the first to agree that Marilu did not deserve to be stabbed, according to the testimony of Mr. Velez and Dr. Hinfey, it did not happen as she described it. I also feel that she victimized her daughter, Carolyn Velez. Carolyn was 9-10 years old when this happened and she was called to testify in her father's defense. The wild allegations against Paul Bergrin over his representation of Norberto Velez in the attempted murder case and then the tampering with a witness case are right out of the twilight zone.

For AUSA John Gay to repeatedly state that Bergrin "brainwashed" Carolyn Velez at the time of her father's trial is beyond the limit of prosecutor misconduct. Of course I would have thought the jurors could see through this farce of a presentation, but as we are all aware, they did not.

In so far as I am aware, only a psychiatrist could actually determine to any extent if a person had been brainwashed. We do not hear the AUSA mention any psychiatrist or offer any explanation as to how he made this wild determination. In fact, the AUSA has offered an expert opinion on a topic that he clearly knows nothing about, which violates the rules of evidence.

I have already stated my thoughts in earlier blog posts on this completely irrelevant inclusion in this indictment, but that was before we heard from Mr. Velez, called as a defense witness in this trial. You will find Norberto Velez's testimony in Volume 30, beginning on page 7949:

BERGRIN 30 03_07_13 (link removed - contact me privately for a copy)

Mr. Velez clearly states that Paul Bergrin had minimal contact with his daughter Carolyn while he was awaiting trial as there was a restraining order in place - the man had supervised visitation, so let's not pretend that he frequently brought his daughter to Bergrin's office. His testimony describes much more in relation to what really happened on the day of the stabbing and the relationship between Yolanda Jauregui and Alejandro Barraza-Castro.

On cross-examination, AUSA Minish treats Mr. Velez like a third-class citizen, accusing him of attempting to murder his former wife, one of the charges that he was acquitted on in trial, and belittles him throughout. I find it ironic that AUSA Minish has no respect for the system that he works in. Mr. Velez was found not guilty on the charges by a jury and his daughter's testimony in his trial had little to do with that as she was not a witness to the incident.

This situation that the government includes as "witness tampering" in this trial should never have been included. There is not the minimum standard of proof that it ever happened.

Sadly, the last time Norberto Velez saw his daughter was back in 2001. If anyone "brainwashed" Carolyn Velez, it was her mother, Marilu Carmona Bruno.

UPDATE on 10 April 2013 @4:15pm EST:

It's important to read Paul Bergrin's cross-examination of Carolyn Velez. The part relevant here is in Volume 6 and begins on page 1099 at the top:

BERGRIN 6 01_29_13 (link removed - contact me privately for a copy)

Carolyn Velez clearly states that Paul Bergrin never asked her to lie or coerced her in any way in the video that she made for Essex County prosecutors after her father's trial and acquittal. Overall she is extremely hostile towards Bergrin and for no real reason whatsoever. She claims to have lied in trial testimony, she claims to have told the truth in the video after the trial, and claims to tell the truth in testimony in this trial, but it took Bergrin an inordinate amount of time to drag the truth out of her; so much so that Bergrin is repeatedly admonished by Judge Cavanaugh for not hurrying through his cross examination.

Carolyn Velez also states much the opposite on direct questioning by the AUSA, and consistently uses the term "your lies" when responding to Bergrin on cross prior to him revealing the truth. She has been coached to despise Paul Bergrin - that much is clear to me - even though he did not instruct her to lie or coerce her in any way, shape, or form. This is one angry young woman, but her anger is misdirected at Paul Bergrin. I do not even believe what she says about her father and feel that she is repeating what other family members have told her to say.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Government Out of Control

When a case such as this one is allowed to proceed to begin with, one must question those in authority at every level of government. Paul Bergrin was a criminal defense attorney, a guardian of the gate, the one that stood between freedom and incarceration for the many that sought his assistance in War on Drugs cases more often than not. He defended soldiers fooled into joining the farcical War on Terror only to have it slammed in their faces when they followed orders from a much higher authority, and he did it pro bono. He defended your brothers and your sisters no matter what the accusations entailed.

For prosecutors to claim that there was no benefit paid or gain promised to the testifying criminal informants is an insult to anyone with a modicum of intelligence. It's a play on words at the least and certainly intended to deceive the unaware. While major time off of a long prison sentence was probably not promised, it was definitely alluded to. There are few absolutes in this world, but if the government prosecutors developed a reputation of not assisting the criminal informants in exchange for testimony, there would be none to testilie. Of course each had something to gain - freedom holds a much greater value than money, and then some were paid in $cash too.

Blame the faux War on Drugs

If not for the seriously long prison sentences in this War on Drugs in the US, there would not be criminal informants. It's a scam cooked-up by so-called academics, government actors, and government workers and representatives a long time ago. It keeps the lot of them in money and feeds the system of incarceration in the US. Why do so many Americans accept this today? I admit that I do not understand, but then I was not born and raised here. From the age of 16 onward, I was driving or taking the train to Amsterdam to party at the Melkweg with friends. Few nations dole out sentences as draconian as we do here over drugs and I would not want to live in any that do.

When a person involved in the sale of drugs is threatened with 20 or 30 years in a cage, that person is likely to say anything at all to get a reduction of time. Our drug laws are set-up to incarcerate for what remains of a person's life for such offenses, unless that party agrees to play, of course. As much as I am disgusted by the lies told on the stand by a lengthy list of criminal informants in this case, I also am hard-pressed to find fault with most because I am acutely aware of the decision each faced.

The criminal informants in this case did not create the system that oppresses each. While the participating government workers also did not create this system of injustice that incarcerates so many over drugs, each is complicit in its existence from the lowly participating agent or prison guard to the POTUS that refuses to enact real change by abolishing mandatory minimums and promoting real change of drug sentencing ranges, or even ending the War on Drugs in its entirety.

Kafkaesque origins

The system that creates these criminal informants and places each in a situation in which the only choice is decades in a failing prison system or turning over other Drug War victims is indeed Kafkaesque in its origins. For that matter, this case against Paul Bergrin certainly involves a disorienting complexity - ask any one of the jurors.

No matter which choice the Drug War defendant makes, he will suffer for it. Choose to be an informant when threatened with decades in a cage as Kemo Deshawn McCray did and someone(s) somewhere will want you dead. Choose to tell the story that the government demands and live in fear and suffer mentally for your participation for the rest of your life. Choose the cage and languish year after year in a planned system of enslavement wherein solitary confinement at some point is a given and torture is more than a mere possibility. There is no winning choice in this game.

Of course this is all on the backs of the US taxpayer and with his permission. It wouldn't be possible if everyone denounced it. While Oscar the criminal informant collects $4K for his testimony immediately after testifying, the slave wage workers and the poor will never see that amount of money altogether in a lifetime, unless the lottery or some other anomaly comes to fruition, of course. As I sit here with $200 to my name, I could testify to that. Participating in the entrepreneurial system we are supposed to live by is also out for me, the acquitted, yet forever tracked, defendant. What some of us wouldn't give for that $4K today, indeed.

And then there are the Vincent Esteves defendants of the system. Oscar offended him by dropping only $20K towards his defense costs. Do realize who paid that $20K for the Esteves commissary tab and defense costs: you, the American taxpayer. Do realize who foots the daily bills accrued in this War on Drugs with its many, many criminal informants that live on the edge.

I encourage you to read Paul Bergrin's summation. It begins on page 8586 in Volume 34 of the trial transcripts. I do intend to discuss various points that he made as soon as I am able.