WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

GO DAVID GO

Nobody is rooting harder for our fellow blogger and brother in arms than we are for David O Markus as he begins his defense of international reggae star Buju Banton in Tampa.

The title of the post links to the St. Pete Times article on the start of the trial.

From the article:

"The evidence will establish the defendant's clear intention to engage in drug trafficking," said Assistant U.S. Attorney James Preston Jr. "His other occupation aside from entertainment."

Defense attorney David Markus said his client may be heard talking about drug smuggling — but didn't do it.

"Yes, he talked a lot. Yes, he tasted, but he's not a drug dealer," Markus said. "He was not a part of that deal."

....

Prosecutors argue there was a side to Banton besides his music — trafficking drugs. And while on a flight from Madrid in July 2009, Banton divulged this to an informer named Alexander Johnson.

"Myrie said he was involved in a smuggling venture from Venezuela, to St. Maarten to Europe," Preston told jurors.

Over the next five months, the informer and Banton talked on the phone several times about drug dealing, Preston said. Many of the conversations were taped.

A deal came to a head on Dec. 8, when Banton and Ian Thomas, his driver at the time, met with Johnson at a warehouse in Sarasota. There, prosecutors say, they have Banton on video tasting cocaine.

Over the next two days, Johnson, Thomas and a Georgia man named James Mack are accused of brokering a deal with undercover agents to purchase 11 pounds of cocaine.

Mack and Thomas were arrested Dec. 10 while attempting to finalize the deal. Banton was arrested at his Broward County home later that day.

Defense attorney Markus argued his client was not directly involved in the drug buy. It was Mack, not Banton, who put up $125,000 for the cocaine, Markus said.

Mack and Thomas have agreed to a plea deal.

Markus also questioned Johnson's credibility.

Johnson, a native of Colombia, has been employed by the government since 1996 after being released from prison for drug smuggling. Prosecutors verified that Johnson has received about $3.3 million in government money for information.

Johnson, who lives in South Florida, faces a dispute with the IRS over taxes.

"Alex Johnson has never held a job, instead he's been setting people up and been paid for it," Markus said. "When you make that kind of money you're supposed to pay taxes. He has a million dollar home, credit card debt and he's filed for bankruptcy."

Stand by for more news. Bulletins at once.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is there a better crescendo in rock n' roll than Night Ranger's "Sister Christian?" A cafe con leche at APB for the person who tops this.

RFB said...

R- some constructive criticism if you will-

when discussing football I would heartily endorse you using the term "coach em up" more. A lot more.

Frinstance- I'm rollin with Nolan- the fins D coordinator. What did he do with the d? Why he "coached em up" and turned them into a top defense.

Rex Ryan and the hated Jets? He "coached up the D."

Dicky Lebeau and the Steelers great D? He's coaching em up.

See what I mean?

Please try.

Your faithful reader.

RFB.

Anonymous said...

David O. Markus, free Buju Banton.

the trialmaster said...

The trialmaster has had several cases with Mr. Preston. He is a career prosecuter and has a similar style to our own Pat Sullivan, even with the gray hair.

Anonymous said...

Are you trying to say that David O. Markus posted anonymous comments under the name Free Buju B. to try to persuade the public and possibly the jury that his client is innocent? Let's keep it in the courtroom, boys.

Fake alex michaels said...

Vas is dees Banjo Banton? Vath kinda name is dat? In my day, people named John, Sally, Harry, Sam. Not Banjo. Dis is bulsheet. I hope government lose, but I do not like dis defendant's name.

The Professor said...

Our own 3rd DCA today struck down Florida's statutory ban on adoption by gays and lesbians. The 3rd affirmed trial judge Cindy Lederman, who had found that the law violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Florida Constitution. Should the decision survive subsequent appeal, Florida would now be in line with every other state in the union on this issue. Decision: www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D08-3044.pdf.