Nice Try In Detroit

September 21, 2017

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Nice Try In Detroit

Tuesday, an appeals court judge in Michigan named Nancy G. Edmunds rejected an appeal by convicted Highwaymen Motorcycle Club member Gary “Junior” Ball to have his racketeering conviction in the case United States v. Nagi et al., overturned.

Ball was first indicted on September 6, 2006. He was convicted of transporting two stolen motorcycles from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Michigan; distributing “cocaine, marijuana, Vicoden, Viagra, Ecstasy, and other controlled substances” and conspiring to murder a Highwayman who helped him steal the two bikes because he was afraid his accomplice might be an informant.

Ball is currently serving a 30-year prison term. And, he took a shotgun approach when he asked for a mulligan.

Bad Lawyers

He complained that two of his lawyers, Lee O’Brien and Lawrence Shulman had conflicts of interest in his case because O’Brien was himself the target of a criminal investigation and Shulman represented another client in the same case. Also Ball asserted in his appeal that both men were generally “ineffective” from the pretrial proceedings through his appeal. And, he thought the court should have noticed what a poor job his lawyers were doing and done something about that.

Ball also thought he was a victim of “prosecutorial misconduct, that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction,” that the “Court erred by enhancing his sentence based on a ‘leadership role,’ and that he was improperly sentenced ‘based on drug amounts attributed to his co-conspirators.’”

Rats Everywhere

Ball’s most sensational allegation was that Aref Nagi (above), the former Highwaymen president who was defendant number one in the case, was actually “a ‘spy in the camp’ during the pretrial and trial phases of the case.”

Using Freedom of Information Act requests after his conviction, Ball found out that in 1992, 14 years before Ball’s initial indictment was unsealed, Nagi had set up an entrapment buy of two kilograms of cocaine in Troy, Michigan on behalf of the Troy police and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Ball argued that “the Government’s failure to disclose Nagi’s alleged role as an informant entitles him to relief under Brady v. Maryland.” This 1963 Supreme Court decision requires prosecutors to share evidence favorable to defendants. In practice, there is actually, usually no punishment if they do not but they are supposed to.

Judge Edmunds didn’t buy any of Ball’s allegations against Nagi. She wrote:

“First, ‘there are no records of Nagi being signed up as a federal source of information or used in a federal prosecution,’ and neither the FBI nor the DEA has a record of Nagi working as a ‘cooperating witness, source of information, or informant for the federal government.’ Further, ‘neither Nagi nor his counsel attempted to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office or Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with or immediately prior to or during the pendency of the underlying criminal matter.’ Finally, ‘there was no cooperation agreement between Nagi and any Assistant United States Attorney in the underlying criminal matter,’ and a search of multiple databases returned ‘no record of a cooperation agreement between Nagi and the U.S. Attorney’s Office — Eastern District of Michigan…for any time period.’ Given this overwhelming evidence that Nagi did not work as a ‘spy in the camp,’ this Court concludes that Defendant has failed to show that the Government violated” his rights to a fair trial.



6 Responses to “Nice Try In Detroit”

  1. Iron Rider Says:

    @ Gandalf

    A lot of what you mentioned rings true. It’s always better to try and keep up with the things going on in your case, cause after you get convicted it is always an uphill battle to convince a court that your lawyers werent acting on your instructions or there was a difference of opinion etc or you felt your interests just got bad representation.

  2. Gandalf Says:

    Advice: Know your Lawyer Ethics rules and Regulations. Send Certified RR Letters requesting your Lawyer to do… whatever. Call Witnesses, Change of Venue etc. Copy the Judge if your request is VERY Important to you. If your Lawyer is obviously lazy or stupid wait for the 1st pretrial Hearing or 1st time in front of the Judge… The simply stand up and respectfully declare your Lawyer incompetent and request a new Lawyer… in open court. Holding the Letters in your hand as proof. If you think your Lawyer and case has a chance to win simply say nothing, don’t copy the Judge, go to trial and save the Letters for appeal. In the end I’d rather go to Jail knowing I chose the strategy and lost rather than blindly I trusted my Lawyer.

  3. Nondescript Says:

    That was my dropping and keyboard tuffness goes nowhere good..thanks for all your time and effort and I really appreciate the safe man..

  4. Rebel Says:

    Dear Nondescript,

    I took it down because I thought the comments were getting out of hand. If I could have simply blocked comments on the story I would have. I couldn’t see how to do that in the time I had to do it — and I spent a full day on it — so I just took the post down. I think there is enough trouble in Florida without me providing a way for guys to pour gasoline on Florida’s various fires.

    You know, there was a time when guys were slightly more retrained. Now there are trolls. Sorry. I am still working on a way to block comments on a post by post basis.


  5. Nondescript Says:

    Rebel,been reading for years..Everyday..what ever happened to the outlaws clubhouse torched article? I can’t recall you ever removing an article in all my years of reading…thanks and support from South florida..

  6. Roswell Says:

    I have a hard time having any sympathy for someone that steals another man’s bike.

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