Goverment Misconduct Revealed Thus Far

Motion to Dismiss For Outrageous Government Conduct And Prosecutorial Misconduct

Memorandum and Order 1

Memorandum and Order 2

Renewed Motion To Suppress

Thus far:

  1. Extensive allegations of government misconduct arose during and after the trial.

  2. The prosecution took 8 weeks to present its case. The defense was prevented from presenting its case after less than three weeks, and the proceedings were ordered terminated. At least four defense witnesses were not allowed to testify (See Unusual Events At Trial)

  3. In a closed hearing outside the presence of the jury, primary government witness Skinner - called by the defense and under immunity - testified that:
    1. Government agents instructed him to set up laboratory items around the missile base so that agents could 'discover' them on their walk through and obtain probable cause from the magistrate.
    2. Agents physically opened a can of E.T. during the walk-through, and agents/Skinner forklifted 34 military containers with the suspected lab for many hours "in preparation" for obtaining a warrant. The forklifting and purposeful arrangement of the lab was later confirmed upon cross-examination of agents, who had neglected to inform the magistrate who issued the warrant of their illegal activity.
    3. Agents installed video/audio surveillance before having a warrant to do so.
    4. Agents refused to consider documents indicating Leonard had standing to challenge constitutional violations concerning search and seizure. (See Order on revised suppression motion)
    5. Many agents remained at the base for days before the warrant was served.
    6. In order to obtain consent to enter, the permanent resident at the base (and the title holder of the property) was deceived by agents concerning their identity, although agents may employ deception against a suspect, they may not do so against a private citizen not under suspicion.
    7. Agents were on the property by the consent of their own immunized government agent Skinner, raising another Fourth Amendment issue. Although Skinner "voluntarily" went to the DEA, he was a government agent at the time of the consent to enter on October 27, 2000. He had previously occupied the property and put items in plain-view for the walk-through.

  4. The court ruled that Skinners testimony on government misconduct was not credible, but Skinner's testimony against Leonard was not thrown out. Agents denied all of their primary informant's assertions of their misconduct. However, Skinner was not charged with perjury. Agents have threatened Skinner with perjury charges to influence his testimony. However, such charges are unlikely due to their effect in the event of a retrial.

  5. Other testimony concerning government misconduct was made outside the presence of the jury, including:
    1. Leaking of defense strategy to the prosecution by a court employee.
    2. Violation of sequestration orders by agents.
    3. Attempts to influence Skinner's testimony by agents/prosecution.

  6. In a 'serious' act of government misconduct, Leonard's computer address book was manipulated before being printed out and submitted to the jury. 25 references and history of contact with DEA personnel for policy research were purposely removed by government agents before being made into a jury exhibit. Upon discovery of this manipulation of evidence, the court ordered the records produced, and decided the government deception was then 'not prejudicial'. No other sanctions against the government for manipulation of exhibits were considered. (See Court's Order1 and Order2).

  7. Similarly, records of casino activity concerning Skinner's laundering of at least '$750,000' at the Bellagio, Paris and Mirage Casinos in Las Vegas were produced but the copies of 'funds paid out' from this activity were removed by the prosecution before the exhibit was presented to the jury, even though the defense repeatedly challenged the prosecution to produce such records as exculpatory. (See reply from Bellagio). As another example of the government manipulation of exhibits, Skinner's American Express activity was submittted to the jury but the period from late September until mid November after the lab seizure was altered and removed (See American Express records)

  8. The jury was prevented from viewing a videotape of Skinner in a Seattle court room, posing as an MD and addiction specialist before a judge in August, 2002.

  9. Skinner admitted he has 'lied to the DEA" about his possession of the bulk of the LSD precursor for months after initiating the arrest of Leonard.

  10. The prosecution revealed only in mid-trial Skinner's extensive activity as an informant, and only after discovery by the defense and order by the court.

  11. Motions for the new trial based on cumulative error and misconduct have been submitted and denied by the government. (See motion for acquital 360). Additionally the motion to dismiss on the basis of outrageous government conduct and prosecutorial conduct or request for a mistrial were also denied (See motion for dismissal 322) as well as a motion to suppress based on new evidence (See motion to suppress 321).

  12. Skinner's trial date for $100,000 stereo theft from AudioF/X has been moved to June 30th, 2003.