833 F.Supp. 1277 (N.D.Ill. 1993), 89 CR 908, United States v. Boyd

Docket Nº:89 CR 908.
Citation:833 F.Supp. 1277
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff, v. Jeff BOYD, Edgar Cooksey, Andrew Craig, Charles Green, Sammy Knox, Felix Mayes and Noah Robinson, Defendants.
Case Date:September 20, 1993
Court:United States District Courts, 7th Circuit, Northern District of Illinois
 
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Page 1277

833 F.Supp. 1277 (N.D.Ill. 1993)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,

v.

Jeff BOYD, Edgar Cooksey, Andrew Craig, Charles Green, Sammy Knox, Felix Mayes and Noah Robinson, Defendants.

No. 89 CR 908.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division.

Sept. 20, 1993

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Barry Elden, U.S. Atty., Chicago, IL, for U.S.

Kenneth Hanson, Chicago, IL, for Jeff Boyd.

Victor Pilolla, Oak Park, IL, for Edgar Cooksey.

Eugene O'Malley, Chicago, IL, for Andrew Craig.

Joshua Sachs, Chicago, IL, for Charles Green.

Michael Falconer, Chicago, IL, for Sammy Knox.

Ronald J. Clark, Harvey M. Silets, Edwin E. Brooks, Katten Muchin & Zavis, Chicago, IL, for Felix Mayes.

Noah Robinson, Chicago, IL, for Noah Robinson.

Thomas P. Sullivan, Thomas S. O'Neill, Jenner & Block, Chicago, IL, amicus curiae.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

ASPEN, District Judge:

This is the most painful decision that this court has ever been obliged to render, making the crafting of this opinion a sad and difficult undertaking. Mindful of the consequences of our ruling, we would have preferred to have been able to reach a result other than what must be.

Significant questions of prosecutorial misconduct bring "Trial I" defendants Jeff Boyd, Edgar Cooksey, Andrew Craig, Charles Green, Sammy Knox, Felix Mayes and Noah Robinson before this court seeking new trials. Initially, we retained jurisdiction to address the following issues: (1) whether the government withheld evidence of post-incarceration, positive drug tests of witnesses Harry Evans and Henry Harris in violation of the principles set forth in Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963), and its progeny; and (2) to the extent that Evans and Harris testified that they had not used illicit narcotics while incarcerated, whether the government knowingly used perjured testimony during the course of trial. In light of the evidence adduced during these post-trial proceedings, however, we will expand our focus to consider the impact of other information within the possession of the government yet undisclosed to the defense, as well as additional instances of potentially perjured testimony. Finding that the government in fact (i) withheld information favorable to the defense in violation of Brady and its progeny, and (ii) suborned perjured testimony regarding such undisclosed evidence, we conclude that these defendants have been deprived of a fair trial and, consequently, grant their respective motions for new trial respecting all convictions, save Mayes' conviction for the intimidation of

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witness Henry Harris (Count 12) and Green's conviction for the unlawful possession of firearms as a convicted felon (Count 58).

The consequences of our ruling today are tragic in many respects. It is a tragedy that the convictions of some of the most hardened and anti-social criminals in the history of this community must be overturned.

It is tragic that the United States of America has squandered millions of taxpayer dollars and years of difficult labor by the courts, prosecutors and law enforcement officers in the investigation and trial of these botched prosecutions.

It is tragic that the hard-earned and well-deserved reputations for professionalism of the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois and other federal law enforcement and penal agencies in this district have been so unfairly tainted by the actions of so few.

It is a personal tragedy for the lead El Rukn prosecutor who, in seeking to attain the laudable goal of ridding society of an organization of predatory career criminals, was willing to abandon fundamental notions of due process of law and deviate from acceptable standards of prosecutorial conduct. The others who followed his lead or failed to supervise him properly, of course, share in this disgrace.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Procedural Background ............................................. 1283

II. Post"Incarceration Drug Use by Government Witnesses Henry Harris and Harry Evans ................................................. 1289

A. MCC Drug Test Results ....................................... 1290

  1. Direct Observation by Other Inmates ......................... 1293

    1. Nicholas Ahrens ................................. 1293

    2. Raymond Bonnema ................................. 1293

    3. Jackie Clay ..................................... 1294

    4. Michael Corbitt ................................. 1295

    5. Earl Hawkins .................................... 1296

    6. Derrick Kees .................................... 1297

    7. Ervin Lee ....................................... 1297

    8. Harry Martin .................................... 1297

    9. Abdul Jabbar Muhammad ........................... 1299

  2. Admissions of Illegal Drug Use ........................ 1299

    1. Admissions by Henry Harris ...................... 1299

    2. Admissions by Harry Evans ....................... 1300

  3. Other Evidence of Post"Incarceration Drug Use ......................... 1301

    1. Henry Harris' Refusal to Provide a Urine Sample . 1301

    2. Henry Harris' Physical Appearance ............... 1302

    3. Harry Evans' Physical Appearance ................ 1303

    4. Monitored Telephone Conversations ............... 1304

    5. Harry Evans' Possession of Cash ................. 1306

    6. Harry Evans' Requests for Laxatives ............. 1307

    1. Government Knowledge of Post"Incarceration Drug Use by Henry Harris and Harry Evans .......................................... 1307

    A. Information Compiled by MCC Officials and Conveyed to Members of the United States Attorney's Office ............ 1308

    1. General Information Relating to Drug Usage Problems on the Sixth Floor of the MCC ........ 1308

    2. The October 18, 1989 Memorandum Documenting Henry Harris and Harry Evans' Positive Drug Test Results .................................. 1308

    3. AUSA Rosenthal's Conversation with William R. Hogan, Jr. Regarding the October 18, 1989 Memorandum .................................... 1309

    4. Lt. Charles Mildner's Conversation with William R. Hogan, Jr................................... 1314

  4. Information Compiled by ATF Agents and Other El Rukn Task Force Investigators and Conveyed to Members of the United States Attorney's Office .................................. 1314

  5. Suspicions of Post"Incarceration Drug Use Formulated by Members of the United States Attorney's Office and Conveyed to William R. Hogan, Jr........................... 1315

    1. Suspicions of Tanya Van Blake ................... 1315

    2. AUSA Theodore Poulos' Discussion with William R. Hogan, Jr. Regarding Harry Evans' Physical Appearance During Trial III Conducted Before Judge Mills ................................... 1316

    3. Harry Evans and the "Shoe Incident" ............. 1317

  6. Evidence Conveyed to Members of the United States Attorney's Office by El Rukn Cooperating Witnesses .................... 1318

    1. Jackie Clay ..................................... 1318

    (a) Conversations with William R. Hogan, Jr.. 1318

    (b) Conversations with Corinda Luchetta ..... 1319

    1. Henry Harris .................................... 1319

      (a) Conversations Regarding his Refusal on May 30, 1991 to Provide a Urine Sample ......... 1319

      (b) Conversations Regarding his Positive Drug Test ................. 1320

    2. Eugene Hunter ................................... 1321

    3. Derrick Kees .................................... 1321

  7. Evidence Conveyed to Members of the United States Attorney's Office by Other Incarcerated Individuals ................... 1321

    1. Michael Corbitt ................................. 1321

    2. Harry Martin .................................... 1322

    1. Aberrant Treatment of and Undisclosed Benefits Provided to El Rukn Cooperating Witnesses by Members of the Prosecution Team ........ 1322

    A. Contact Visits and Inadequate Security Measures at the United States Attorney's Office and ATF Offices ........... 1323

    1. Security Measures at the MCC .................... 1323

    2. Conjugal Visits at the Federal Buildings ........ 1324

    3. Harry Evans' Visitation Privileges .............. 1326

  8. Telephone Privileges Conferred upon El Rukn Cooperating Witnesses by Members of the Prosecution Team .............. 1327

  9. Personal Relations Between El Rukn Cooperating Witnesses and Paralegal Corinda Luchetta ................................ 1328

  10. Personal Relations Between El Rukn Cooperating Witnesses and AUSA William R. Hogan, Jr.................................. 1329

  11. Alcohol Use by El Rukn Cooperating Witnesses in the United States Attorney's Office and ATF Offices .................. 1330

  12. Gifts, Clothing and Parties Conveyed to El Rukn Cooperating Witnesses by Members of the Prosecution Team .............. 1331

    1. Government Disregard of Post"Incarceration Drug Use ............... 1332

      A. Failure to Disclose or Investigate .......................... 1332

      B. Deliberate Nature of the Failure to Disclose or Investigate . 1333

    2. Knowing Use of Perjured Testimony ................................. 1335

      A. Identification of Perjured Testimony ........................ 1336

      1. Testimony Regarding Post"Incarceration Drug Use . 1336

      2. Testimony Regarding Government Conferred Benefits ...................................... 1338

      3. Allegations that William R. Hogan, Jr. Coached Henry Harris and Other Witnesses to Lie about their Opportunity to Collude with Each Other .. 1339

      4. Henry Harris' Testimony Regarding the Robinson"Fort"Cooper Heroin Investment Partnership ................................... 1341

      5. Henry Harris' Testimony that Noah Robinson Introduced El Rukn Buyers to Narcotics Suppliers to Raise Bond Money for...

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