[Ppnews] Alex Sanchez is due more than one apology, and I’ll start with mine

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jan 10 13:55:49 EST 2013

    “[Alex] Sanchez is due more than one apology, and I’ll start with

January 7th, 2013 by Celeste Fremon

In the past three and a half years that I’ve reported on the Alex 
Sanchez <http://witnessla.com/category/arresting-alex-sanchez/>* federal 
murder conspiracy case, I have repeatedly linked to the ongoing 
write-ups on the case by Tom Diaz.

*I did this because—as I’ve mentioned in every post pertaining to the 
case—* Alex Sanchez is friend and, even though I have done my best to 
give an honest, rigorously factual account of the events of the case as 
they have unfolded, my reporting cannot help but be affected by the fact 
that I have always believed Alex to be innocent of the charges arrayed 
against him.

*Tom Diaz, however, has pretty much held the opposite view to mine from 
the get go. * So I linked to him as a countervailing voice, figuring 
that since I leaned so resolutely in the direction of the defense, he 
would present the prosecution’s POV—and do so from an informed 
perspective, due to his background in the law and his extensive contacts 
in the law enforcement community, both federal and local.

*In case you’re not familiar with his name, Tom Diaz is an attorney, 
author, journalist (a former assistant managing editor at the 
conservative Washington Times), * He is also the former lead 
Congressional counsel on counterterrorism and firearms, has written 
extensively on transnational gangs, 
Mara Salvatrucha—or MS13—among them, and on firearms 
(He is a former competitive shooter.) and he is now the Senior Policy 
Analyst for the Violence Prevention Center. <http://www.vpc.org/> AND 
he’s a occasional talking head on news shows whenever somebody with his 
expertise is required.

*Diaz and I have discussed the case on several occasions,* most often 
agreeing to disagree on some of the more salient points.

*However, after the most recent news broke 
about the Feds dropping charges against Sanchez* (all the while assuring 
everyone they intended to refile) Diaz read through any and all of the 
available legal material on all the matter (at least anything that 
wasn’t under some kind of seal), at the end of which time he evidently 
had a change of heart and mind.

*As a consequence, over the weekend, Diaz issued a 
public apology 
to Alex Sanchez.*

*Here are some clips from his post 

    *It will be four years in June since the United States government
    shocked the world and threw a legal fragmentation grenade into the
    home of Alex Sanchez.* On June 24, 2009 Sanchez was arrested and
    charged under the federal racketeering law popularly known as RICO.

    *The essence of the federal charge was that Sanchez—an anti-gang
    activist whose prominence at the time *cannot be exaggerated—was
    secretly continuing his membership in the huge and violent Latino
    gang, MS-13, a transnational racketeering organization. In plain
    words, Sanchez was accused in the indictment of plotting, as a boss
    or “shot caller,” to kill another gang member.

    *The government recently dropped the charges against Sanchez.*

    *But the great, gray, anonymous and tight-lipped agglomerations of
    suits* that is “the government” collectively muttered under its
    breath that it is going to “review” the evidence and likely will
    indict Sanchez again. They’ll be back. The prosecution asked the
    judge to let it take its embarrassingly shredded case back to a
    grand jury.

    [BIG SNIP]

    *With the conspiracy to murder charge toasted like last week’s
    Cinnabon,* perhaps the genius bar at the U.S. Attorney’s office can
    assign half of the federal agents in Southern California to follow
    Sanchez around and nail his ass on a charge of felonious crossing
    against a “don’t walk” sign.

    *Sanchez is due more than one apology, and I’ll start with mine.*

    *I’ve followed this story for three years with a series of caustic
    and skeptical posts.* The trouble is, I was skeptical about the
    wrong party. Although I have always been careful to note Alex
    Sanchez’s claim of innocence, looking back over past posts, it is
    clear that I had a grain, nay a fist-sized rock, of salt stuck in my

    *My blind spot was that I simply could not believe that the
    government *would indict a man as well known and, frankly, beloved
    as Alex Sanchez unless the government case was locked up tight. As I
    have written many times, you better be damned sure you’re right if
    you indict Mother Teresa. I also knew that the government has a
    barracks full of informants and “flipped” gangsters, so they must
    have had solid evidence against Sanchez.

    *My bad.*

    *I am sorry. I apologize to Alex Sanchez and to those who had faith
    in him.* Because it now appears that the U.S. government, with all
    the power and resources available to it, screwed up in such a way
    that assistant U.S. Attorneys and some law enforcement agents ought
    to be fired, or at best reassigned to wear out their shoe leather on
    student loan collection work.


    *How could the federal government*—with its awesome access to
    technology and expertise—get the single most important piece of
    evidence in the only meaningful charge against Sanchez wrong?
    Namely, the phone calls in which the operative facts were all about
    who was Talking to whom about killing whom?

    *You tell me. But they did. And now they grudgingly admit it.*

    *The government’s expert witness, it turns out, completely
    misidentified a participant* in the supposed /plot to kill/ phone
    calls. And when the real participant surfaced, he blew up the
    government expert’s theory of the case.

    *After Sanchez’s new lawyer filed a motion to throw the case out*,
    the U.S. Attorney’s office got some new lawyers on the case to reply
    and fess up…sort of….


    *All the basic documents in this courtly exchange are sealed. * But
    one juicy little piece of sizzling meat somehow escaped the Czar’s
    censor. This is an extract from Alex Sanchez’s defense reply to the
    government’s request for a do-over:

        /The government has not filed an opposition to the Motion to
        Dismiss and has avoided addressing the factual arguments
        therein: that the government presented false evidence to the
        grand jury issuing the indictment; that a government prosecutor
        lied to the grand jury in subsequent proceedings; that the
        government failed, for more than three (3) years, to take any
        action to formally acknowledge or attempt to correct an
        indictment based on false evidence; and that government
        prosecutors withheld from Mr. Sanchez favorable and exculpatory

*(There’s a lot I’m leaving out,* so read the whole thing 

* When I spoke to Tom on the phone Sunday afternoon,* he reiterated that 
he found the case very disturbing. He was bothered for example that, 
after the central elements of their case had blown up, the feds 
continued to “hide behind a forest of sealed files.”

*“You want to think that prosecutors are seeking justice with a case,* 
not career advancement,” Diaz said.

*With Sanchez’ case he said he was no longer at all sure,* and was 
beginning suspect instead “a massive miscarriage of justice.”


*More to come after Sanchez’s hearing later this month.*

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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