Tag Archives: dismissed with prejudice

Case Against Cliven Bundy, Sons Ammon and Ryan, Dismissed Due to Prosecutorial Misconduct

Case Dismissed Against Cliven Bundy Sons Prosecutor Misconduct

Multiple felony charges against Cliven Bundy, his sons; Ammon and Ryan, and Ryan Payne have been dismissed by a federal judge in Las Vegas, due to prosecutorial misconduct.

Earlier today (January 8th, 2017), a federal judge in Las Vegas threw out multiple felony charges against Cliven Bundy, his sons; Ammon and Ryan, and Ryan Payne due to prosecutorial misconduct during and prior to two previous trials, which had previously ended in mistrials (the first as a result of a hung jury).

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U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning that the charges cannot be refiled by prosecutors. The Bundys and Payne were all four facing felony charges of threatening a federal officer, carrying and using a firearm and engaging in conspiracy and potentially decades in prison. Those charges resulted from the “Bunkerville Standoff” against the Bureau of Land Management and other members of federal and local law enforcement back in 2014.

Judge Navarro ruled that the Federal Government had violated disclosure requirements by withholding evidence that could be beneficial to the Bundys’ defense. Under the Brady Rule, prosecutors are required to provide any such information to defendants. As a result Navarro declared that “the court finds that the universal sense of justice has been violated” and therefore a fair trial could not be conducted.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

Despite the mistrial, federal prosecutors argued in a legal brief filed Dec. 29 that they didn’t willfully withhold evidence from the defense and they still planned to press ahead with another trial.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Steven Myhre wrote in his brief that the government shared 1.5 terabytes of information and noted it was “by far, the largest review and disclosure operation in this [U.S. attorney’s office] history.”

Myrhe also argued the government needed to protect some witnesses from leaks that might lead to threats, so it “culled the database with witness protection in mind.”

“Unprecedented database volume and witness concerns aside, the government never let these obstacles stand in the way of diligently working to fulfill its discovery obligations,” he wrote.

But defense lawyers for Payne — Renee Valadares, Brenda Weksler and Ryan Norwood — argued in their Dec. 29 briefing seeking to dismiss the case that government “failed to accept responsibility for any of its failure to disclose evidence” and the withholding of evidence was “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct.”

“The government’s irresponsible and, at times, false proffers to this Court as well as its dismissiveness toward the defense inspires no confidence in the prospect of fairness,” they wrote. “A dismissal is necessary to remedy the constitutional violations, to preserve the integrity of this court’s processes, and to deter future misconduct. Anything short of a dismissal is tantamount to condoning the government’s behavior in this case.”

In October 2016, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, along with five others, were all acquitted by a federal jury of charges relating to the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

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No Honor Among Road Pirates: Ohio Deputy Joseph P. Caito III Latest to Admit Stealing From Police Union

On Thursday, a Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy pled guilty to stealing almost $100,000 from the police union he once served as treasurer for. Not surprisingly, Deputy Joseph P. Caito III has a long history of financial issues and at least one questionable lawsuit based on those issues. In addition to the money Caito admitted to stealing, at least another $20,000 is also unaccounted for.

Via the Dayton Daily News:

Caito, who pleaded guilty by bill of information for the fourth-degree felony, was ordered to pay restitution of $92,148.21 to the lodge, had his K-9 reassigned within the sheriff’s office and must permanently surrender his Ohio peace officer certification.

The plea agreement had no stipulated sentence. Caito could receive probation up to five years, local jail time of up to 180 days or a prison term of between six and 18 months, plus a possible fine of up to $5,000.

Neither assistant prosecutor Ward Barrentine nor defense attorney Frank Malocu commented after the hearing.

During the hearing, Barrentine said Caito’s thefts from the union lodge came between Sept. 10, 2014, and Aug. 26, 2016, when officials found “discrepancies in the books” at the lodge.

Caito had been placed on paid administrative leave pending a criminal and internal investigation. Caito resigned Dec. 12, according to Sheriff Phil Plummer.

Plummer said in September that Caito admitted to lodge membership he stole $26,000 and “is in the process of admitting his fault” for alleged actions over the past two years.

Caito started working for the sheriff’s office in 2006. Plummer said the FOP is actually missing $110,500. Plummer said an internal investigation won’t begin until after the criminal case is finished.

A personnel letter dated Sept. 9 stated that Caito “may have violated Sheriff’s Office Professional Rules of Conduct.” Caito earned a gross pay of $86,518 in 2015, according to the Dayton Daily News I-Team Payroll Project.

In October 2006, shortly after joining the sheriff’s office, Caito sued Fifth Third Bank in U.S. District Court, complaining the Cincinnati-based bank was “reporting erroneous information” about his finances to credit bureaus. The bank denied the accusations. The case, during which Caito represented himself, was referred to a magistrate and dismissed with prejudice.

In December 2011, Caito and his wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, during which Caito surrendered to creditors an inoperable 1967 Pontiac Firebird and a 2010 Dodge Charger SXT. U.S. Bankruptcy Court records show the couple emerged from Chapter 7 in April 2013.

Deputy Caito is the third cop that’s been featured on the CopBlock Network for stealing police union funds within the recent past. Of course, stealing union dues was an old standby of the Sicilian mafia, so it probably shouldn’t be surprising that the Thin Blue Mob has taken a cue from that.

BTW: “Caito could receive probation up to five years, local jail time of up to 180 days or a prison term of between six and 18 months…” Wanna bet on which one of those options he gets?