CityPaper...Uncle Sam is the ultimate pusher -- Ira Einhorn was right!
- View SourceAugust 6, 2000 55th Hiroshima a-bomb anniversary
Since the early 1970's when he brought information to the Pennsylvania State
Attorney General showing CIA complicity on a massive scale in the illegal
drug trade, now a fugitive, Ira Einhorn has been trying to expose this
CIA-mafia drugtrade 50year ongoing alliance that other researchers now
believe accounts for 80-90% of the illegal drugs coming into the US totaling
$200-250 billion per year in laundered profits multiplied in offshore
banking low interest loans to Wall Street businesses to fuel mergers and
profits with low cost capital while funding to a large extent both
Democratic and Republican party candidates who have been corrupted by this
money and complicit in this CIA drug trade to the highest levels including
Clinton and Bush.
Now in France under temporary protection of the French government, Einhorn
has consistently maintained he was framed for the 1979 murder of his
ex-girlfriend Holly Maddux ("The Unicorn Killer" TV psychodrama series) to
silence his effective activism on social and environmental justice issues,
on covert development of advanced electromagnetic weaponry, mind control,
and other secret military systems possibly connected to reverse engineering
of US and other governments' acquisition of crashed UFO's, etc.
Recently President Clinton himself has contacted the French government
pushing for Einhorn's extradition to face his life sentence meted out after
an unconstitutional in-absentia trial authorized by special Pennsylvania
legislation. Spearheading the extradition campaign assisted by the rabid
Philly tabloid writers, Philly DA Lynne Abrahams fraudulently claims Einhorn
will receive a new trial, which she knows is patently unconstitutional also,
in order to bait the French government to acquiesce to Einhorn's
Below is second of two-part series, front page current articles in a
Philadelphia newspaper detailing corruption in Philly District Attorney's
office associated with the CIA drug trade.
Is it any wonder the protestors in Philly are receiving such harsh treatment
by the police and DA's office which apparently, along with the Feds, in a
move unprecedented in America are treating the protestors as terrorists?
What are the government officials affraid that the demonstrators might bring
to public attention if they succeed?
It is a long article so I have introduced it with a few excerpts. This
information should be brought out at the upcoming Aug14-17 LA Shadow
Convention http://www.shadowconventions.com (which it won't be for reasons
the reader can determine) and at the Aug9-12 LA Peoples Convention
http://www.peoplesconvention.com (where it will be brought out by Michael
Ruppert, former LAPD police officer speaking there as editor of From The
Wilderness newsletter http://www.copvcia.com and
http://www.suppressedwriters.com which have the proof)
Starting with the last two paragraphs/sentences of earlier issue of the
Philadelphia City Paper locally known as the "Inky" from part one cover
"Why did [Philly DA] Lynne Abraham's office in essence hand out
'Get Out of Jail Free' cards to dozens of Dominicans with prior drug-dealing
"And why did Al Gore show up at a fundraiser attended by PRD members under
investigation by the DEA for money laundering and narco-trafficking?"
Now excerpts from the below last week's cover story overshadowed by the
Shadow and Republican Conventions: [see my
conclusions/evaluations/suggestions at end]
"The trouble started, they say, when they told the CIA to go pound sand."
"CIA Agent Lawrence was adamant about getting this information as he was
agitated when BNI personnel refused the request." McLaughlin added that he
and his crew "feared for the life of the informant and his family if this
information was revealed because if the informant disappeared there would be
no problem for the Clinton administration."
"The CIA people cautioned them that any move to confiscate Pena Gomez's drug
money would have to be cleared with the U.S. State Department first, with
the DEA as an intermediary."
"...only the CIA and the Clinton-Gore State Department would have had both
the influence and the authority..."
"It is an outrageous allegation, that the CIA and the State Department were
so intent on protecting the Dominican drug traffickers in the PRD that they
used the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office to destroy the careers of four
Pennsylvania narcotics agents".
"...the District Attorney and the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia
independently chose to take all of the pending BNI cases and, as the cops
might say, "shit-can" them. It was a unique, scorched-earth approach that
was also, the BNI agents claim, the only prosecutorial measure that would
ensure a quick and permanent demise for BNI's investigation of Dominican
"The scandal hit at a time when the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office
was already in a state of general turmoil. The elected AG, Ernie Preate, had
gone to prison for campaign finance corruption. "
"In October 1996, prominent members of Dominican drug trafficking
organizations - people assigned special DEA identity numbers - attended a
fundraiser for the New York Democratic Party at an Upper West Side tavern.
"The guest of honor that night was Vice President Al Gore."
August 3-10, 2000
The Dominican Connection, Part Two: Shafted
They can't go home again: The Bastard Squad's former place of employment,
BNI headquarters at 7801 Essington Ave.
photo: Jay Matsueda
Four angry narcotics agents are suing to prove that Uncle Sam is the
ultimate pusher man.
by Noel Weyrich
page 1 | page 2 | page 3
In the first part of "The Dominican Connection," the name of Edward Eggles
was inadvertently omitted, due to a court clerical error, from the list of B
NI agents suing the State Attorney General's and U.S. Attorney's Office in a
1997 federal civil rights complaint.
The trouble started, they say, when they told the CIA to go pound sand.
For five months, the four Philadelphia-based agents from the state Bureau of
Narcotics Investigations and Drug Control (BNI) had doggedly followed a
trail of dollars and drugs that led from the squalid street-corner crack
markets in North Philadelphia all the way to the campaign coffers of a
leading presidential candidate in the Dominican Republic.
As detailed in last week's City Paper ("The Dominican Connection, Part I"),
informants had told narcotics agents in late 1995 that Dr. Jose Francisco
Pena Gomez was bankrolling his Dominican presidential campaign with
narco-profits earned on the streets of Philadelphia and other East Coast
cities. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration had confirmed that Pena
Gomez had been linked to narcotics traffickers in his home country, but
nothing had been proven.
In late March of 1996, the four agents - John "Sparky" McLaughlin, Dennis
McKeefery, Charlie Micewski and Edward Eggles - were working closely with
the DEA's New York office, which had its own Pena Gomez investigation under
way. Together they planned to track the flow of drug money and seize the
candidate's presumably ill-gotten gains during his next fundraising swing
through New York City. It promised to be a headline-making bust, one that
would help cement BNI's reputation among the cream of Philadelphia's
That's when CIA agent David Lawrence showed up at the bureau's Philadelphia
headquarters, a nondescript building near the airport, with a few specific
demands of the agents. He would leave empty-handed and angry.
As recounted in a diary kept by Sparky McLaughlin, the BNI agents had
previously given Lawrence and other CIA agents copies of audiotapes made by
an informant who had infiltrated Philadelphia chapter meetings of the
Dominican Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD). The tapes recorded numerous
comments linking drug sales to Pena Gomez's campaign finance efforts.
Now the CIA wanted more. Lawrence wanted the informant's name and his
Dominican province of origin. He did not say why.
McLaughlin wrote in his diary, "CIA Agent Lawrence was adamant about getting
this information as he was agitated when BNI personnel refused the request."
McLaughlin added that he and his crew "feared for the life of the informant
and his family if this information was revealed because if the informant
disappeared there would be no problem for the Clinton administration."
For months, Lawrence and other CIA agents based here and elsewhere had
warned McLaughlin and his colleagues that Pena Gomez was the favored
presidential candidate of the Clinton administration. The CIA people
cautioned them that any move to confiscate Pena Gomez's drug money would
have to be cleared with the U.S. State Department first, with the DEA as an
Now, in what would prove to be their last meeting with David Lawrence, the
CIA agent was leaving in a huff.
Two days later, with Pena Gomez making the fundraising rounds in New York,
McLaughlin, Micewski, McCaffery and Eggles headed up the Turnpike, intent on
seizing Pena Gomez's money. During their second night there, however, the
operation was aborted by the DEA. With no jurisdiction in New York, the BNI
agents stepped back while Pena Gomez left for home with an estimated
$500,000 in U.S. currency in his bags.
And then, two weeks later, prosecutors in Philadelphia unilaterally stopped
taking BNI cases, claiming that some or all of the agents had been involved
in questionable drug arrests. Once the news hit the papers, McLaughlin,
McKeefery, Micewski and Eggles were all but washed up as drug agents. And
although they've never been convicted of a crime or even disciplined
internally for misconduct, their credibility as witnesses has been
This story, gleaned from thousands of pages of public court filings,
McLaughlin's diary and official documents, details a clash of competing
On the one hand, the Pennsylvania BNI agents claim in a federal lawsuit that
only the CIA and the Clinton-Gore State Department would have had both the
influence and the authority to stop the Pena Gomez investigation cold while
killing the agents' careers in the process.
On the other hand, Philadelphia's two chief criminal prosecutors insist that
they took the unusual step of setting free dozens of accused and convicted
drug defendants - in some cases sending dangerous felons back to the streets
even after they'd pled guilty - because they feared the BNI agents might be
colluding to fabricate details in arrest reports and provide false testimony
On April 29, 1996, Mike Lutz sent off a four-page memo to his superiors at
BNI. A soft-spoken career cop, Lutz was a BNI supervisor who oversaw the
work done by McLaughlin, McKeefery, Micewski and Eggles (soon to become
known as the Bastard Squad). Lutz's memo is an amazing specimen of
bureaucratic polemic, an angry, indignant litany of complaints mixed with
bitter and sarcastic swipes at Philadelphia's legal and political
"The accusations made against this office are not even factual, they are
allegations!" Lutz wrote. "Despite this, we are ostracized from the entire
Law Enforcement Community in Philadelphia. It is unfair and unjust."
Just a few weeks earlier, with almost no warning, the bureau had been told
that Philadelphia's prosecutors no longer wanted anything to do with
On April 10 and 11, in separate meetings, representatives of the
Philadelphia District Attorney and the U.S. Attorney had told officials from
the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office that they would never again
handle arrests by McLaughlin and his crew. Every pending criminal case
requiring court testimony from McLaughlin and McKeefery in particular would
be withdrawn from prosecution, or "nol-prossed." Some of these cases had
been previously approved for prosecution and many of the arrests had been
made with the close cooperation of other state and federal agencies.
Convicted felons, some of them dangerous criminals caught with firearms,
would go free as a result.
Cops who can't get their arrests prosecuted aren't cops for very long.
Just like that, the crime-fighting careers of McLaughlin, Micewski,
McKeefery and Eggles were over. Feeling like heroes just a few weeks
earlier, they became known thereafter as the Bastard Squad - an Army term
for a misfit unit detached from its battalion. As if by fiat, the move by
the prosecutors was tantamount to locking up the BNI's Essington Avenue
office and turning out the lights.
State officials would later gripe that the prosecutors, to justify this
drastic decision, had offered only vague suspicions of wrongdoing on the
part of BNI agents. Eric Noonan, a deputy attorney general who submitted an
internal case study of BNI's files, wrote that "despite repeated contact
with representatives of the U.S. Attorney's Office and the DA's Office, no
one was able to provide any specifics other than a general 'gut feeling' of
A search through the court records and depositions made available to City
Paper reveals perhaps three specific instances in which prosecutors
suggested BNI agents might have falsified search warrants and arrest
reports. That's only three out of approximately 500 cases that the agents
Nonetheless, in his response memo, Mike Lutz agreed that any such misconduct
charges certainly required investigation. But he expressed disbelief that
none of BNI's arrests would be prosecuted in the meantime. "No matter what,
our agency should not be precluded from arresting drug dealers. while the
investigation is going on," Lutz continued, pointing out that BNI was among
the very few law enforcement agencies in Philadelphia that had never been
tainted by criminal corruption indictments. "To close our doors is extreme
The believability of law enforcement officers on the witness stand is
particularly important in narcotics cases. Unlike rape or robbery cases, in
which victims are the key witnesses, drug cases are often a contest between
the cops' testimony and the defendant's. The typical defense strategy in
such cases is to pull apart the police account of the arrest, and sometimes
those efforts succeed. Every day, then, prosecutors put cops on the witness
stand who, in the past, may have had some testimony or an arrest report
thrown out over questions of accuracy, proper procedure or truthfulness.
But the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office never resorts to dropping
cases en masse unless their law enforcement witnesses have themselves been
charged with crimes. For officers with clean records to have all their cases
dumped is not only rare - it may well be unprecedented. Donald Bailey, a
Harrisburg lawyer and former Congressman who represents McLaughlin and the
others, swears he can find no example of anything like it, anywhere in
"It smacks of political sabotage," wrote Lutz, who suggested that the
District Attorney and the U.S. Attorney were Democrats out to embarrass the
Republican-controlled Attorney General's Office. But the lawsuit Bailey
would later file advanced a more far-reaching theory:
"[W]hen the plaintiffs were reticent to provide federal agencies with
certain sources in the PRD, they were suddenly ostraci[z]ed and became the
targets of vicious unfounded attacks on their [credibility] and career by
the federal government (with the marionetted support of the Philadelphia
District Attorney's Office and the Attorney General of Pennsylvania.)"
It sounds far-fetched, and the defendants tend to regard the suit with
derision and contempt. Michael P. Stiles, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania, has denounced the charges in a deposition as
"preposterous" and "offensive." His attorney, Mary Catherine Fry, dismisses
the allegations as "a fairy tale," while Kevin Harley, a spokesman for state
Attorney General Michael Fisher, similarly deems them "rather bizarre." The
Philadelphia DA's office has offered no comment.
But, as Don Bailey has said in depositions of defendants in this suit, he
believes his clients have been victimized by either a "cover-up" or by an
effort to intimidate them, because he has never seen prosecutors behave this
The problem is this: If the prosecutors were convinced that BNI's search and
seizure practices were improper, they would have faced only two
possibilities - that the BNI agents were operating either carelessly or
criminally. The men were either bending the rules or breaking the law. They
needed either disciplinary action - or handcuffs and leg irons.
Under the first supposition, the prosecutors should have alerted the
Attorney General's internal affairs office in Harrisburg. On the other hand,
if indeed the prosecutors suspected McLaughlin and McKeefery of running
roughshod over the U.S. Constitution with a squad of crooked cops, then they
arguably had a sworn duty to take their misgivings to the FBI. Better than
anyone, prosecutors know that the surest way to lock up rogue cops is to
keep them working the streets until the FBI catches them red-handed.
But the prosecutors did neither. Instead, Stiles and Arnold Gordon,
Philadelphia's first assistant district attorney, simply pulled the plug on
all of BNI's investigations by announcing their refusal to prosecute any new
arrests by McLaughlin and his crew. According to Stiles, the two offices
arrived at these decisions independently.
"Plaintiffs also allege," says the lawsuit, "that in furtherance of the
unlawful policy of protecting the large-scale distributors of illegal
narcotics to largely captive center city populations, the defendants have
utilized the offices of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District
of Pennsylvania and the FBI to pursue an oppressive threatening
investigation of the plaintiffs in an effort to destroy their credibility."
It is an outrageous allegation, that the CIA and the State Department were
so intent on protecting the Dominican drug traffickers in the PRD that they
used the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office to destroy the careers of four
Pennsylvania narcotics agents.
But it's also fair to ask why, when faced with two tried-and-true options
for addressing their worries about BNI's credibility, the District Attorney
and the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia independently chose to take all of the
pending BNI cases and, as the cops might say, "shit-can" them. It was a
unique, scorched-earth approach that was also, the BNI agents claim, the
only prosecutorial measure that would ensure a quick and permanent demise
for BNI's investigation of Dominican narco-politics.
Neither Stiles nor Gordon would comment for this story. Both, however, have
given accounts of their actions under oath, either through sworn depositions
or in criminal hearings.
Arnold Gordon, however, had a history of being dissatisfied with certain BNI
cases, one that pre-dated the bureau's problems with the CIA and Pena Gomez.
Gordon had complained about BNI arrests to Attorney General officials on at
least two occasions in early 1995, raising questions about the facts
concerning a total of eight separate cases. In April of 1995, McLaughlin's
diary records that Gordon had asked for disciplinary charges against
McKeefery, alleging he had admitted in open court to searching two drug
houses without a warrant. The subsequent internal investigation cleared
Then, in May 1995, Gordon sent a letter to the then-acting Attorney General,
requesting a review of seven cases that prosecutors for both his office and
the U.S. Attorney's office found troubling. Five of the cases directly
involved McLaughlin, McKeefery, Micewski and Eggles.
In one case, Eggles and McLaughlin had arrested a man caught running with a
kilo of cocaine, and the assistant U.S. attorney assigned to the case
expressed fears that the arrest had been too simple and, therefore, not
credible. Another case had been thrown out because the judge found no
probable cause for searching a property where drugs were found.
Although the May 1995 letter would later be used by defense attorneys as
evidence that the BNI agents lacked credibility, Gordon has never invoked
the cases mentioned in that letter as a reason for his April 1996 decision
to nol-pros every case involving McLaughlin and McKeefery.
At a preliminary hearing in November 1996, after he agreed to drop 53
BNI-related cases, Gordon explained to a judge "the reason for nol-prossing
these fifty-three cases was because Officer McLaughlin did something which
one could characterize as lying in a search warrant.. We chose not [to put
McLaughlin on the stand] solely because of what had occurred with regard to
that one search warrant."
A month later, before a different judge, Gordon claimed he was only using
"his best prosecutorial judgment" in deciding to drop all of McLaughlin's
and McKeefery's cases. "Although I've taken this action, I may be wrong and
they may be right. In other words, I don't know that those officers lied in
a search warrant. In fact, I may be unfairly stigmatizing them, by the
action I've taken in these cases."
In February 1995, just a few months before Gordon's first complaint against
McKeefery, a federal grand jury had indicted five Philadelphia police
officers, charging them with planting drugs on defendants and stealing from
them. Less then a month later, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office
started dropping charges against people convicted on the five officers'
testimony. The 39th District scandal, which ended up freeing more than 100
defendants, was supremely embarrassing to the District Attorney's Office.
Then, in the spring of 1996, just weeks before Gordon announced his decision
to stop taking BNI cases, the five police officers were all convicted and
received prison sentences up to 13 years.
News of the district attorney's dumping of BNI cases broke on KYW-TV Channel
3 on April 23, 1996, followed by a front-page Inquirer story the day after.
Both reports, as well as follow-up news accounts, were quick to draw lines
of similarities between BNI and the 39th District scandal. It was an unfair
comparison, which became increasingly obvious as the months went by, since
the BNI agents had never been charged with anything.
Just the week before, five rogue police officers from North Philadelphia's
39th District had been given sentences of up to 13 years for offenses that
included framing suspects, beating them and extorting money from them. More
than 100 cases involving the five officers had already been overturned - but
only after they had been indicted and charged with crimes. Reporters
focusing on the similarities of the tossed-out cases could just as easily
have pointed out the district attorney's sudden interest in not prosecuting
cases of officers who hadn't been charged with anything.
Instead, the newspapers quoted unnamed law enforcement sources as stating
that the joint city-FBI corruption probe that caught the 39th District
police was now expanding to include the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation.
By May 16, the head of BNI's Philadelphia office was replaced and
McLaughlin, Micewski, McKeefery and Eggles were all reassigned to desk jobs.
In late June, the State Senate's Judiciary Committee rushed to Philadelphia
for hearings that had promised to examine why so many drug arrests by a
state agency were being nullified by federal and local prosecutors. However,
by the scheduled date, June 21, it had already been well established that
the FBI was looking into BNI's Philadelphia office. The prosecutors and the
Attorney General's Office begged off on attending the hearings, stating they
were duty-bound not to discuss matters under criminal investigation.
Rather than shed light on the decisions of the District Attorney and the
U.S. Attorney, the hearing became a one-sided affair in which defense
attorneys complained vocally about the persistent problem of police
"corruption," lumping together BNI's problems with the criminal behavior of
the 39th District cops.
At the hearing, Miguel Torres gave teary-eyed testimony accusing McLaughlin
of beating him and stealing cash. He did not, however, accuse McLaughlin of
planting drugs on him.
State Sen. Vince Fumo grabbed that day's headlines by imploring Torres to
sue the state for McLaughlin's alleged conduct. He was quoted as saying, "I
hope you hit us for at least a couple million bucks."
(Years later, Torres would sue, but he would never get his day in court.
Appeals courts denied he had grounds for a false arrest complaint and just
this year the Supreme Court refused to hear his final appeal. McLaughlin had
long since passed a polygraph test clearing him of Torres' charges.)
Meanwhile, in the Dominican Republic, Jose Francisco Pena Gomez won the
first round of elections on May 21. News reports considered him the leading
candidate for the final runoff election on July 1.
Two very different kinds of lawyers represent narcotics defendants in the
Philadelphia justice system.
Defendants with no money get public defenders assigned to them by the
courts. On the other hand, defendants who can afford to pay for a defense
hire counsel from among a small coterie of experienced local criminal
lawyers. Among Dominican drug defendants, one of the top attorneys of choice
is Guy Sciolla.
Guy Sciolla doesn't do TV ads. He has a tiny one-line entry in the Yellow
Pages. If you've never heard of him, then you're probably not the type of
person who'll ever need him.
Years ago Sciolla was on the other side of the fence, as a prosecutor in the
Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. Back then he counted among his
colleagues in the homicide unit the very two prosecutors who would shut down
the BNI crew - Michael P. Stiles and Arnold Gordon. The Philadelphia legal
community is a very small place.
In the weeks and months before Stiles and Gordon decided to stop taking BNI
cases, Guy Sciolla was working up a motion to spring a former BNI arrestee
from federal prison.
Miguel Tapia had been caught by McLaughlin and Eggles with a brick of
cocaine in his car. Tapia had been set up by one of BNI's informants, who
told the agents to wait for Tapia to make a delivery at a corner store at
Fourth and Annsbury Streets. Tapia drove up in an Oldsmobile, parked and
entered, where McLaughlin was waiting for him. Eggles later testified that
he, meanwhile, recovered a brick of cocaine from the floor of the car, after
spotting it peeking out from under a newspaper. Tapia was arrested on the
spot, though it would be some hours before it was revealed he had lied about
his identity and that his real name was Anci Liriano.
Eggles was able to seize the cocaine without a warrant under the "plain
view" provisions of search and seizure law, which allows police to take
action when they see something they can "reasonably suspect" is a controlled
substance. The informant's tip was critical to the legality of the arrest
since it provided the reasonable suspicion needed to look inside the car. A
jury found Tapia/Liriano guilty and a judge gave him a 63-month federal
Sciolla's legal brief on behalf of Tapia was filed just two weeks after news
of the BNI scandal hit the papers. It made no claim that Tapia/Liriano was
innocent of anything. It did not allege that the agents had planted the
cocaine in his car.
If anything, Sciolla's Tapia brief is a somewhat unique court document in
that it drips with innuendo and sarcasm. It backhandedly doubted Eggles'
credibility by claiming that a series of past BNI arrest reports, few of
which even involved Eggles, displayed "remarkable and repeated fact
patterns." It went on to question the very existence of BNI's confidential
Years later, in a sworn deposition, U.S. Attorney Michael Stiles would
recall the Tapia case as one of the main reasons he determined the entire
Bureau of Narcotics Investigation was unfit for future federal prosecutions.
In recounting the facts of the Tapia case, Stiles' version was similar to
Sciolla's, in which doubt was cast on whether McLaughlin and Eggles'
informant had ever existed and little connection was found between Tapia and
the Oldsmobile. But other investigative agencies, including the DEA, had
long ago confirmed they were using the same individual as an informant, and
a civilian witness in the store had testified for the prosecution that Tapia
tried to throw away the keys to the car.
(Tapia was set free in July 1996. Seven months later, Delaware State Police
records show he was stopped for speeding on I-95 and that $31,000 was found
hidden in his car's false-bottomed gas tank. The car and the money were
seized, but Tapia was let go.)
As the summer of 1996 wore on, Philadelphia's small community of criminal
defense attorneys smelled blood in the water when it came to getting old BNI
cases overturned. In a frenzy of filings, one motion followed another in
rapid succession, each requesting that a past conviction be thrown out and a
prisoner released because the individual's arrest had been tainted by the
mere presence of BNI personnel at the scene.
When the District Attorney's Office did not contest the motions, the
convicts went free. Before it was all over, by McLaughlin's estimation, 85
defendants had been let go, people from whom BNI had confiscated a total of
$1.2 million worth of heroin, crack and cocaine, not to mention dozens of
illegal firearms and motor vehicles.
Another attorney who has frequently handled drug cases, Louis Savino, showed
remarkable candor about the situation when he told the Inquirer, "It made my
job easier. I don't know about the general public. They're just letting
people skate.. These are allegations of significant amounts of drugs." Most
other defense attorneys were more sanctimonious, making public claims about
their clients' innocence, even when their court motions merely claimed they
had been caught improperly.
The scandal hit at a time when the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office
was already in a state of general turmoil. The elected AG, Ernie Preate, had
gone to prison for campaign finance corruption. The acting AG, Thomas
Corbett, was a lame duck, a mere seat warmer who would be replaced in early
1997 by the winner of the November 1996 election.
Nonetheless, soon after the prosecutors started dumping BNI cases, Corbett
appointed his deputy attorney general Eric Noonan to review the cases and
file a report on fixing the problems with the Philadelphia BNI office.
Noonan's report was never made public, but a draft has been obtained by City
Paper. In it, Noonan's exasperation is evident as he lays out the inability
of the prosecutors to articulate just what they found so offensive about
McLaughlin and his crew. This is where he accused the prosecutors of failing
to provide any specifics beyond "a general 'gut feeling' of discomfort" with
As best as Noonan could tell, the prosecutors had three very general
criticisms of the arrests made by McLaughlin, Micewski, McKeefery and
Eggles: The BNI agents often entered houses without warrants, they reported
seeing drugs in plain view with a frequency that defied credibility and the
"recurring fact patterns" in their cases, as claimed by Guy Sciolla, raised
suspicions that they were making stuff up.
As head of the Drug Strike Force Legal Services section, Noonan was already
well versed in search and seizure law. After reviewing hundreds of BNI
files, however, he concluded that while the bureau could sharpen up some of
its procedures, he could find nothing about its work that was improper or
For one thing, law officers can enter a house without a warrant if they
reasonably suspect contraband may be in danger of being destroyed. The
allowable procedure is to "secure" the property first and then request a
warrant to actually search the building. Noonan found BNI agents had always
given their explicit reasons for such "prior entries" in their search
warrant requests, and had never tried to conceal them.
To test the credibility of the "plain view" arrests that the prosecutors
complained about, Noonan took a tour of the Dominican-controlled drug
corners where the BNI agents had done so much of their work. "During
slightly more than an hour of driving through the various neighborhoods, our
vehicle was approached no fewer than three times by street corner dealers
who readily displayed various types of drugs to the driver." Noonan
witnessed five other drug transactions, some within view of uniformed police
officers who "had very little impact on these street dealers' temerity..
[B]ased on the foregoing, it appears their recurring ability for such plain
view observations is quite believable."
Finally, on the matter of Sciolla's "recurring fact patterns," Noonan wrote
that he found no such patterns that were "incredible due to their
frequency." Forced to state the obvious, Noonan wrote that some recurring
patterns are "not unforeseeable" with drug arrests, given the organized and
routine nature of narcotics dealing and trafficking.
Although Noonan's report made some suggestions about how BNI agents and
supervisors could improve their reporting methods, he found nothing that
would warrant the treatment that McLaughlin, Micewski, McKeefery and Eggles
received at the hands of the prosecutors.
The report, completed in July 1996, would have given Philadelphia's BNI crew
some much-needed moral support, but no portion of it was ever made public.
Instead, acting AG Tom Corbett continued to make occasional disparaging
remarks about the agents, perhaps attempting to put the bureau's past behind
it. McLaughlin, Micewski, McKeefery and Eggles were pulled from the streets
for good, and a new supervisor was assigned. On May 17, 1996, with the four
agents no longer permitted to make arrests, the District Attorney's Office
announced it would start handling BNI cases once again.
On July 1, 1996, Dr. Jose Francisco Pena Gomez lost the runoff election for
the Dominican presidency. But he and his Dominican Revolutionary Party didn'
t have to worry about drug investigations any more. Soon after Pena Gomez's
fundraising visit to New York several months earlier, the DEA had shut down
And Pena Gomez's supporters kept active in politics. In October 1996,
prominent members of Dominican drug trafficking organizations - people
assigned special DEA identity numbers - attended a fundraiser for the New
York Democratic Party at an Upper West Side tavern.
The guest of honor that night was Vice President Al Gore.
In the fall of 1997, when they filed their federal civil rights lawsuit, the
careers of McLaughlin, McKeefery, Micewski and Eggles were mere shadows of
what they had been 18 months earlier.
For more than a year McLaughlin had been reassigned to a desk job, while
McKeefery worked in the motor pool, signing out vehicles. Micewski was
reassigned to do paperwork in a BNI office in northeastern Pennsylvania,
while Eggles took an extended leave, eventually deciding to retire.
All were still officially under investigation by the FBI.
In September, a Housing Authority police officer named Harry Fernandez
called McLaughlin to tell him he had FBI troubles of his own. Fernandez had
worked frequently with McLaughlin's BNI crew on drug investigations in the
past. Now he was facing federal charges for lying about a search he did on a
car in 1994. He had recovered more than three pounds of cocaine in what was
said to be the largest street bust in city history, but he had falsified
some details in the search and some fellow housing officers had given him
Fernandez told McLaughlin that the FBI was offering him immunity in exchange
for information about the BNI. But it wasn't until Fernandez's 1998 trial,
when he got a transcript of Fernandez's Sept. 23, 1997 FBI interview, that
McLaughlin could see just how badly they wanted to nail the Bastard Squad.
FBI: Look, let's cut the shit. You know those guys at BNI are dirty. They
planted drugs on people[,] stole their money. We want you to tell us about
Fernandez: I'll tell you whatever I know, but if you're looking for illegal
shit that those guys did. I do not know anything about it.
FBI: Why do you keep protecting these guys?
Fernandez: I'm not protecting them but if I don't know anything illegal
about them how can I say anything?
FBI: This is your only way out. Do you understand that anything you say here
can't be used against you[?] No matter what illegal thing you did and tell
us we can't use it against you. That's a hell of a break.
Fernandez: I would tell you if I know. I'd give up anybody in order to
benefit me. But unless you want me to lie I don't know anything.
Fernandez was eventually acquitted of three of the four charges against him.
He received a two-and-a-half-year sentence for lying to a federal officer.
The lawsuit filed on October 17, 1997, with all four Bastard Squad members
as plaintiffs, listed 16 co-defendants including Stiles, Gordon, a State
Department assistant secretary, three CIA employees, two FBI detectives,
five members of the Attorney General's chain of command, two New York drug
traffickers and, finally, the candidate himself, Pena Gomez. Pena Gomez has
since died, and several other defendants, including Arnold Gordon, have
successfully sought to be dropped from the case via a summary judgment.
Gordon was covered by prosecutorial immunity, which forbids people from
suing prosecutors for their legal decisions. Stiles, however, has had his
summary judgment request denied by a judge, partly because there is some
evidence he encouraged the Attorney General's Office to order all the
Bastard Squad members removed from the Essington Avenue office.
In 1998, Donald Bailey filed a second lawsuit on behalf of McLaughlin,
McKeefery and Micewski, alleging that Attorney General officials had
responded to the first lawsuit by retaliating with "harsh, uncompromising
employment and travel burdens, all in order to punish the plaintiffs for
using the civil rights laws to protect their rights and redress their
grievances." (Eggles, having retired, was not a plaintiff in the second
Not until October 1998 did Stiles inform the Attorney General's Office that
the FBI investigation of the Bastard Squad would not result in any
indictments. He finally made the announcement that the FBI investigation was
complete in February 1999, nearly three years after it started.
Although the number of convicted felons set free in the BNI scandal rivals
that of the 39th District scandal, there remain some serious differences
between the two affairs. In the 39th, the city eventually paid out $3.5
million in settlements to falsely arrested defendants. By contrast, none of
the civil cases filed against the Bastard Squad was settled, and none ever
made it to trial. Each was thrown out by an appellate judge, including one
who noted tartly that "Plaintiff does not dispute the basic facts. that he
was driving an automobile which contained over 2,000 vials of crack
And yet, just two weeks ago, another repeat offender drug dealer, one who
was serving four to seven years in state prison, was granted a new trial
simply because the arresting officer was Sparky McLaughlin. The District
Attorney's Office immediately moved to nol-pros, and the man, who is still
awaiting trial on two unrelated assault charges, went free.
McLaughlin, Micewski, McKeefery and Eggles remain possibly the only
unindicted law officers anywhere to be essentially blackballed by the
prosecutors they were obliged to work with. But they are no longer the only
cops to have their investigative careers interrupted or destroyed under
strange circumstances involving Dominican drug traffickers and their pricey
One highly effective Philadelphia Police narcotics squad was suddenly shut
down and pulled off the streets in 1997. They were told death threats had
been made against them. Only later did they learn the FBI was investigating
them because lawyers for Dominican drug dealers were complaining the squad
was making unconstitutional searches. After three years, the FBI had nothing
to show for their trouble. But the narcotics squad, which had been arresting
an average of 30 dealers a week, was dismantled. Some have filed formal
grievances against the police department for unfairly reassigning them to
Two other cases in New York City follow a similar pattern in which
successful teams of narcotics agents have been pulled from duty after drug
lawyers made allegations of misconduct that inevitably proved groundless.
Could it be that the attorneys for Dominican drug traffickers have hit upon
a reliable method of undermining the entire justice system by simply driving
a wedge of suspicion between the cops and the prosecutors (two cultures
which are prone to mutual mistrust in even the best of circumstances)?
Way back in April 1996, that's exactly what BNI supervisor Mike Lutz thought
had happened to McLaughlin, McKeefery, Micewski and Eggles. That eloquent
memorandum defending the men who would soon become the Bastard Squad
contained this very well-reasoned paragraph:
"Is it not our agency alone that is making a consistent pattern of arrests,
confiscating large amounts of drugs, money, cars and guns in these areas?
How best to defeat the efforts of the Law Enforcement Agency that is
wreaking havoc against this organized drug ring[?] Put the spotlight on
them. Put them in retreat. Initiate an investigation. Make false and
unfounded allegations. It will stop them in their tracks. And it did.
"The scheme worked, [the Dominican drug traffickers and their lawyers]
paralyzed an entire Law Enforcement Agency and at the same time ruined [its]
credibility. How in God's name could their broad brush associate us. with
the 39th District scandal? They did."
--------------end forwarded article------------------
The only policy that will enable this corruption and skullduggery to be
resolved is by a "Truth Commission Amnesty" program analogous to what
happened in South Africa after the end of apartheid where instead of
prosecuting as war criminals the perpetrators of apartheid genocidal
policies, those who accepted corrected ethic, renouced their previous
actions, and agreed to work together for the good of the nation -- these
people were pardoned and were able to apply their positions of power and
influence towards creating a better nation in the future.
In America, not only should the nonviolent victims of the drug war now
imprisoned be pardoned, but also the murderous corrupt perpetrators of the
bogus drug war must also be given the chance to change the errors of their
ways and acknowledge the truth of their misdeeds and reapply their talents
and skills to solving today's global social and environmental problems
before it is too late to save all life on Earth from otherwise impending
destruction not only from accelerated climate change and the dangers of
nuclear conflagration but from the increasing ozone layer depletion that
1988 Project Earth climate modeling predictions deemed on-target as of 1997
say will destroy all the oceanic phytoplankton (over half of Earth's oxygen
supply) by solar irradiation by the year 2008. http://www.projectearth.com
To solve this emergency we must quickly move away from fossil fuel power
towards the suppressed and available new-energy ("free-energy") technologies
such as cold fusion, LENR, ZPE, rotating magnetic systems, oscillating
magnetic systems, etc etc, that can provide power without fuel by mechanisms
demonstrated but yet to be fully understood due to corporate media and
government scientific suppression. We need a New Manhattan Project, but an
open public one, to quickly implement this new energy economy as per Science
and Technology in Society and Public Policy list posts at url below.
Very important we also need to revive on a global emergency scale level the
USDA 1941-45 Hemp for Victory program to grow this most useful and
bioefficient plant everywhere possible on Earth as soon as possible for its
economic value and its superior bioefficiency per acre for biofuels
applications to replace fossil fuels, to save the forests and heal the
atmosphere reducing carbon dioxide and reoxygenating it to enable the ozone
layer made from atmospheric oxygen to be replenished in time.
This is an essential Global Emergency Alert Response.
David Crockett Williams, C.L.U.
Tehachapi, CA 661-822-3309
Chartered Life Underwriter
Activist, Scientist, Promoter
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