Judge threatens sanctions during bingo hearing

Posted by Max Reiss – bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – A Federal Magistrate judge told US prosecutors that "I've had it up to here" with the way they have handled the discovery of evidence in regard to wire taps administered by the FBI. He also threatened sanctions against prosecutors but did not elaborate on what those would mean.

Judge Wallace Capel Jr. had called a hearing for this morning where the US was to have provided all materials relating to the wire taps which included emails and text messages.

Attorneys for Milton McGregor and Ronnie Gilley argued this morning that there were phone logs filled out by FBI agents relating to the wire taps that Federal prosecutors had said previously that didn't exist. An FBI agent involved with the wire taps testified several weeks ago that he had in fact written down in logs information relating to the wire taps.

Judge Capel voiced his displeasure with government prosecutors by telling them it wasn't their job to decide which documents were relevant and which were not.

"Those documents better be turned over by the end of the today" Capel said.

He later clarified that 5PM Tuesday would be the deadline.

"If this continues, we will move for dismissal on the basis of the failure of the government to comply with the law and the rules," Joe Espy said. Espy is the lead attorney for Victoryland Casino owner Milton McGregor, one of the 10 remaining defendants.

Doug Jones, the attorney for indicted Country Crossing Casino owner Ronnie Gilley accused the prosecutors of playing "hide the ball."

"There is something they don't want us to see," Jones said.

Judge Capel scheduled new hearings on the wire taps to take place Thursday and Friday which he made clear he did not want to do.

"This is holding us up here by having hearings that are unnecessary," Capel said.

Jones, the attorney for Ronnie Gilley also said he has not ruled moving for dismissal in light of the government not cooperating with the defense.

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