The Hells Angels racketeering case in South Carolina titled U.S. v. Bifield et al. continues to grind the defendants like glaciers grind rocks.
The indictment was returned May 17. A 97 page superseding indictment was filed September 19. Two weeks after that the federal prosecutors riding this big ice cube, their names are Julius N. Richardson and James H. May, told the judge, a lovely lady named Cameron McGowan Currie, that they intend to enter evidence from a sealed and previously secret indictment in North Carolina. That indictment, the defacto third indictment in the case, is Case 3:12-mj-186 WDNC. When you look it up on the Public Access to Court Electronic Records database, PACER tells you there is no such case and charges you a dime anyway.
In one of the most sophistical and spurious court documents ever written, the comedy team of Richardson and May inform Judge Currie that the secret accusations involve 20 defendants collectively charged with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, narcotics conspiracy, attempted robbery, money laundering and firearms violations. “The United States respectfully submits that the above-described documents should be made available to defense counsel in order to prepare for trial pursuant to Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure,” the federal comedians then write.
It is what is usually called an “evidence dump.” The general idea is to corrupt the process of fair and equal justice by overwhelming defense attorneys with more information than they can comprehend in a limited period of time. Most of this material will never be used against the defendants but all of it might be. Some of it might be fatal to the defendants. And, the best place to hide a leaf is in a forest.
Geld The Press
A sentence later Richardson and May claim that, “If the documents are made available to the press and general public, the defendant’s rights to a fair trial, as well as rights of persons not in the Indictment, may well be affected. It is therefore requested that this Honorable Court enter a protective disclosure order that the above described documents be made available to the attorneys for the defendants, and they be instructed not to release information herein. It is furthermore requested that the materials released pursuant to this protective disclosure order be governed under the restrictions set forth in the Standing Discovery Order issued in Criminal Number 3:12-0430.”
In other, simpler words, don’t let the press let the citizens know. Another federal judge, David O. Carter of the Central District of California, was pithier when he remarked, “If I was the taxpayers, I’d tear down the courthouse. Thirty percent of these things have nothing to do with justice.”
Judge Currie is more innocent than Carter. On October 1 she gave Richardson and May the secrecy they hold so dear.
Of course, a vigorous and free press – the unofficial institution whose job in a democracy is to watch the cops, prosecutors and judges – is professionally obliged to at least protest this Stalinist approach to justice.
So Let’s Name That CI
The government must resort to blatantly unfair tactics like evidence dumps and press blackouts in this case because the entire matter quivers and twists like the last golden leaf of November. Much of the evidence against the defendants, including lead defendant Diamond Dan Bifield, was gathered by a confidential informant named Joe Dillulio.
Dillulio was the right tool to use on a high priority target like Bifield. Bifield, as his nickname suggests, has a fondness for jewelry. Guess what Dillulio does? Bifield is a native New Yorker. Dillulio used to own a jewelry store in the Bronx. After running a restaurant called Mama Mia’s in Fort Mill, South Carolina Dillulio opened a jewelry store in Rock Hill where Bifield, coincidently, started a charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.
Dillulio lied to investigators, transposed names and dates and invented crimes so Richardson and May (“Thank you very much! Thank you very much! Take my case. Please!”) would probably prefer not to subject Dillulio to cross examination.
For Dillulio it was all about getting paid. “…don’t blow this and this will be a short investigation,” the informer says during the hundreds of hours of garbled audio surveillance on which Richardson’s and May’s sacred careers may rest. “I don’t care about the testifying part. I’m more concerned about making money until I die. Okay? That’s what I’m after. I’m taking these guys out to prove…so my kids don’t have to deal with nothing, okay?”
A short time later the grandiose Dillulio instructs his federal handlers, “…I don’t want to show up as an informant, okay? This is a contract with a lawyer I got. I was a criminal justice major in college. I was going to be a lawyer, okay. But, I’m like a jailhouse lawyer. I read all them freaking books to see about my sentencing and everything. I went to the Columbia law thing, researching in the library, trying to get off the hook from you guys. Okay?” There are many hours of that.
There will be discovery hearings in the case on November 5 and status hearings November 9. Dillulio’s name probably won’t come up because, you know, real law is secret.
“Thank you! You’ve been a wonderful audience! You’re too much! We’ll be performing in Columbia for at least the next six months!”