An attorney close to the Mongols case has written this page to complain:
It is completely boneheaded of you to state that Mr. Nieves, “Listo”, has agreed to testify for the government in this case. That statement is false. I request you do the following: 1) Learn to read. 2) Actually read the documents you talk about. 3) Publish a retraction of that statement.
Earlier this week, The Aging Rebel stated: “Public documents filed Sunday also reveal that Juan Manuel “Listo” Nieves and William “Dago Bull” Shawley have pled guilty to racketeering and agreed to testify that the Mongols motorcycle Club is a criminal conspiracy.”
That statement is erroneous and The Aging Rebel retracts it. Saying that Nieves and Shawley had “agreed to testify that the Mongols Motorcycle Club is a criminal conspiracy” simply because they had already stated in writing that the Mongols Motorcycle Club is a criminal conspiracy is an inexcusably sloppy conclusion to draw. A confession may be evidence but it should not be construed to be de facto testimony.
This page should have stated that Nieves and Shawley have pled guilty to racketeering and being part of a criminal conspiracy called the Mongols. Standard language in all unsealed plea agreements so far stipulates that the plea agreements may be abrogated if the defendant is not honest at all times with the court. It does not necessarily follow that being honest at all times with the court means that any defendant will be subpoenaed and compelled to testify by the court about a confession he has already given.
The Aging Rebel sincerely regrets this error and any embarrassment that it has caused Nieves or Shawley. The furious tone of the attorney’s complaint indicates that neither Nieves nor Shawley intends to testify about anything, anywhere, anytime.
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A more complete and truthful story would also have included this statement from a public document filed on June 1st:
“In fact, in four instances, the pleas of defendants Newman, Shawley, Nieves, and Loza, the government filed ex parte applications to seal, had the court order their plea agreements sealed, and change of plea hearings closed and then these defendants plead guilty at open hearings, admitting racketeering and criminal enterprise activities, with the knowledge that their plea agreements would be unsealed and available to the public and that the minutes of their change of plea hearings would similarly be available to the public. More importantly, Mr. Ciccone provided no allegations that any of these defendants had previously been threatened or have been threatened since they plead guilty and admitted in open court that the Mongols Motorcycle club was a criminal enterprise.”
For those who are even less literate and more boneheaded than Rebel, it should be made clear that defendants, including Nieves, who have reached plea and sentencing agreements wish to have those agreements made public. The plea deals remain sealed, at least in part, because statements made by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent John Ciccone exaggerate and dramatize the danger that unsealing those agreements would pose to defendants like Nieves.
Specifically, to reiterate, Nieves has nothing to hide, is not in danger and he does not intend to testify about anything including his confession.
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And one trusts, if this retraction contains any errors which need to be retracted or draws any inaccurate conclusions a furious attorney will quickly point them out. And, that furious attorney can be assured that his complaints will be immediately addressed on this page in the most cheerful and cooperative manner.
Veritas Simplex Oratio Est