Here’s a jaw-dropping entry in the annals of prosecutorial misconduct. Down in Miami, the US Attorney’s office tells defense attorneys to use a local shop called Imaging Universe when they make copies of discovery documents. Its owner, Ignacio E. Montero, then turns around and provides the government with a CD that contains everything the defense has copied:
Arteaga-Gomez [the defense attorney] phoned Montero on April 25 to ask who had told him to provide copies of the CDs to the government. Montero, the motion says, answered that an “agent” told his office manager to do it. “Mr. Montero then stated that he had been providing to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the past 10 years duplicate copies of the discovery documents selected by defense counsel in other cases.”
Montero also forwarded to [defense attorneys] an April 21 email he sent to a healthcare-fraud paralegal in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, stating that he’d provided the Justice Department with duplicates of defense records “since 2006.” Montero added that both his old company, Xpediacopy, and Imaging Universe had done it.
….“The U.S. Attorney’s Office has admitted that Agent Deanne Lindsey had been receiving copies of the CDs and had been keeping the duplicate CDs in a folder as she received them,” the motion says. Lindsey also “confessed to opening four of those duplicate CDs” looking for files, copying and pasting files onto her own CDs and providing “those new CDs to the government’s expert witness for trial preparation,” the motion says.
The government’s response is apparently to claim that Lindsey, the FBI agent, was some kind of rogue operator, and prosecutors never saw any of this stuff. Maybe so. But then, that’s what they always say, isn’t it?