Friday, January 16, 2009

UPDATED (new information): Redacting Sarah and other Observations on the Jeffs motion.

Wait for it, because the biggest news is that the REDACTING of this motion, amounts to half of the big news. We'll get to that later. UPDATED AGAIN: Now from reading the Mohave Daily News, it would seem that Piccarreta is claiming Texas did know about Rozita Swinton

When the hearing on Evidentiary issues comes up, we have a lot of insight into what the issues will be. A lot is revealed about what occurred in the Depositions in December. One is, that Brooks Long, got promoted. Forgive me if this has been noted before, but I wasn't aware of it. Texas Ranger Brooks Long was a Sergeant. Now he is a Lieutenant. Incidental I know. Perhaps a pat on the back for a patsy.

"Once the defendant has made the required prima facia, the state bears the burden of proving that the evidentiary hearing in this matter if it (is) willing to concede the unconstitutionality of the search because the State will not have met its burden."

Here Warren's attorneys claim to have made the prima facia case. Later in the motion several instances of how that case has been made, will be brought up. This then shifts the burden of proof to the State of Arizona (if I read this rightly) and that is what the hearing they request is all about. It's saying "the ball is in your court" and of course, the only way to answer is "in court." Hence the need for a hearing. Next to note is the menu of items that disquiet Warren's attorneys.

"The principle constitutional issues (there are many sub-issues) that must be addressed at the upcoming hearings are:

  • Overbreadth of the warrants
  • Whether the search actually conducted exceeded the permissible scope of the warrants
  • Whether law enforcement officers acted with reckless disregard as to the false information in the search warrant affidavits
  • Whether, under the totality of circumstances, the information from the unknown caller provided probable cause for the issuance of the warrants
  • Whether the exposure of Arizona law enforcement officials to the illegally seized evidence has tainted the present proceedings"

Warren's attorneys also point out in a footnote that the single residence theory was not believed by Doran or Long. This was ascertained in the December Depositions.

"Schleicher County Sheriff Doran and Texas Ranger Sgt. (now Lt.) Long were aware that there were multiple residences on the nearly 1,700 acre FLDS premises, and they searched all of them anyway. [Doran Interview, December 18, 2008. p. 6; Long Interview, December 18, 2008, p. 50]."

They immediately exceeded the scope of the warrant, obtaining DNA. Exceeding it in a way that "the magistrate" had intentionally removed. It seems they had an agenda, and even a willing Judge could not restrain their actions.

"The defendant has also produced evidence showing that Texas Law enforcement officials refused to obey the dictates of the warrant under whose authority they were purportedly acting by seizing DNA samples, bucal swabs, blood samples, and pubic hair, that the magistrate expressly struck from the warrant."

The attorneys for the defendant then accuse Texas, of the Two Step. Literally.

"The first step to obstruct the truth finding process during the Rule 15 interviews of the Texas law enforcement authorities by blocking inquires into their failure to investigate the possibility that the calls from the unknown caller were a hoax, as evidenced by the ease with which it was determined to be a hoax when the authorities actually bothered to try. The second step, after blocking defendant's efforts to develop this specific information, was to file the present motion seeking to deny the defendant an evidentiary hearing by decrying the lack of specific information and claiming that 'defendant has done no more than make a [sic] conclusory assertions supported only by arguments in the pleadings.' [Request for Hearing, p 2]. The State first denies the defendant the ability to further develop specific factual information, and then complains about the lack of specific factual information. Thus, the 'two step' is complete."

Quite simply, Texas stops Warren from investigating the possibility of a Hoax in the call that set off the raid, something now widely accepted to be a foregone conclusion. It is not legally established yet, and we will see evidence of that fact, pathetic evidence really, obvious evidence, more on that in a bit. Then when Warren tries to exclude the evidence on the basis of a possible Hoax call, they say he doesn't have any evidence that the call is a hoax. The Texas 2 step, otherwise known as "Catch-22."

In the footnote, we learn more. I'm going to go out on a limb, and fill in the redacted names, and highlight them in red.

"Although the State's response neglects to mention it, there is no dispute that the affidavit was a lie: There was no such (Sarah) and she was not being abused by (Dale Barlow). The only real question is whether the Texas authorities can plausibly explain why they ignored all the earmarks of this hoax. Perhaps it is obvious why the State of Texas (with the full acquiescence of the State of Arizona) refused to allow any questions of the subject (Dale Barlow). The only real question is whether the Texas authorities can plausibly explain why they ignored all the earmarks of this hoax. Perhaps it is obvious why the State of Texas (with the full acquiescence of the State of Arizona) refused to allow any questions of (Dale Barlow)."

All the names in red are redacted (removed). This is the State of Arizona protecting "Sarah Barlow" as if she is real. By sustaining the myth that the "minor Sarah" needs protection, Arizona perpetuates the myth, intentionally, that there was abuse. If any further evidence was needed of "cahoots" we have it laid out here. Why has Arizona not shown an interest in the call? What interest do they have in preserving the notion that there is a real "Sarah" and thus protecting her identity. By redacting the names, Arizona goes through a protocol designed to hide the identity of a real minor victim of sexual abuse. Yes Virginia, there is a "Sarah Barlow," and as long as there is one, then there is cause for the raid. This proves what I've been saying all along, Texas (and now Arizona) resist knowing what they could easily know, and already have the evidence for, that "Sarah" is Rozita Swinton, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. 34 years old. Black. Single. Never a mother. Never at YFZ. A frequent sexual abuse hoax caller with a record. As long as the right had does not see what is in the left, officially, they do not know. Not redacting the name proves that they already know "Sarah" is a hoax. Redacting it maintains the myth. Not even Warren's attorney's could write the script that redacting their motion, would lead to perhaps the biggest story. It's a shame too, this motion is a bombshell without it. And it's well written. These are not only great attorneys, they're great writers.

Next, they take on the obvious expertise of Ranger Brooks Long, and how he shamelessly sets that expertise to facilitate the raid.

"Sgt. Long of the Texas Rangers personally attended a press conference staged by outspoken anti-FLDS advocate Flora Jessop at which she inveighed against the FLDS and its beliefs and practices. After the press conference, Sgt. Long had a face to face interview with Flora Jessop and asked her specifically if she had any information about criminal activity by members of the FLDS. Flora Jessop assured Sgt. Long that she had such information but Sgt. Long determined that there was no substance to Flora Jessop's allegations. In his words, no 'meat and potatoes.'

She had, she said a lot of things but there were never meat and potatoes that we as investigators in the state of Texas could say there was a violation of law happening out there or that a victim existed like what she was saying."

[Long Interview, p. 40].

Obviously, if enemies of the FLDS are willing to make unsubstantiated claims of criminal activity in a face to face interview, any reasonable law enforcement official would recognize the possibility that similar accusations would come from an unknown caller who was hostile to the FLDS. The fact that the Texas law enforcement officials included the unknown caller's allegations in the search warrant as if they were true, and without even minimal investigation is reckless disregard for the truth at its finest (or worst). After personally experiencing face to face baseless accusations, the Texas law enforcement authorities did nothing to determine whether allegations from the unknown caller were also baseless allegations from an enemy of the FLDS. Thus the defendant has presented and will present (based on Rule 15 interviews) evidence showing that under the totality of the circumstances, the Texas law enforcement authorities did nothing to establish the veracity, reliability, or credibility of the information provided from the unknown caller.

This failure to grasp the basic fundamentals of police investigation is simply incomprehensible, especially in light of the actions of ll the other agencies who received similar unsubstantiated, anonymous allegations against members of the FLDS. For the same reason, this is not a matter of hindsight being "20/20." These other agencies were competent enough to determine that further investigation was necessary at the time, rather than running off to secure a search warrant making arrangements for 152 officers to conduct a raid with a SWAT team, an armored personnel carrier, an unmanned drone, and a helicopter.

Ranger long has already demonstrated caution when it came to unsubstantiated claims, yet he believes the phone call. The answer? He doesn't believe the phone call, he believes as probably Sheriff Doran does, that it's a way in. Nothing more. A pretext. An excuse. After further review, it would appear that the first part of the next paragraph does not say that Texas did know. I believe that based on reading the Exhibit, that they may very well have known. What I said before was; "Next an apparent bombshell. The reader may feel free to correct me with observations."

"Contrary to the State's claims the defendant has provided additional specific factual information about the Texas authorities' reckless disregard respecting this hoax and has shown the ease with which the hoax could have been discovered. Exhibit 3 to Defendant's Motion to Suppress is an unsealed Colorado arrest warrant and affidavit that shows Texas authorities were well aware of the fact that two telephones utilized to make the numerous calls to the 'Crisis Hotline' in San Angelo, Texas, were registered telephone numbers outside the State of Texas. Texas authorities were immediately able to determine that these telephone numbers were associated with an individual who made numerous 'false reports of sexual abuse to the police and other agencies.' [Exhibit 3, attachment A, p.5]."

Striking what I had written before, I would say there are several revelations of this motion. What is the before mentioned redaction. By removing the name "Sarah" Arizona proves it's participation in the fiction she exists. The fiction is maintained for specific legal cover. At the point of the redaction, Texas has discovered all relevant facts but refuses to investigate. The only reason they don't know is they don't want to. This brings us to the second point. That being Texas doesn't want to know, and didn't want to know then. Warren's attorneys point to Sgt. Brooks Long's talent and natural caution with regard to believing an unfounded accusation by Flora Jessop. The last is, in combination with Exhibit 3, attachment A, p.5, we know the following;

"On April 13, 2008, I was contacted by Sergeant Hugh Velasquez (1514D) regarding information he had obtained from Sergeant Sean Mandel. Sergeant Mandel told Sergeant Velasquez he had been contacted by the Texas Rangers in regard to their investigation into the Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch. Sergeant Mandel related Texas Ranger Brooks Long had advised he had two cellular telephone number listings from the Colorado Springs area (719-351-0913 and 719-243-2866). Sergeant Mandel was aware that the phone number, 719-351-0913, that was possibly related to the reporting party for the YFZ Ranch incident in Eldorado, Texas, was also identified in a prior CSPD case report."

What we do not know is what we know. That is Assistant District Attorney Ann Mullaney hears third hand of the contact between Brooks Long and Sean Mandel on April 13th, 2008. Brooks calls Mandel, Mandel tells Velasquez, Velasquez tells Mullaney. When did Brooks Long call Mandel? Mandel in this analysis does not speak directly to Mullaney. Texas still could very well have known all about Rozita before the actual invasion of YFZ, and that would be a second bombshell. (hat tip to Silver Rose and kbp)

UPDATED AGAIN: Now from reading the Mohave Daily News, it would seem that Piccarreta is claiming Texas did know about Rozita Swinton.

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Toes said...

a typo -- in the Texas 2-step paragraph, your fourth line reads:

"evidenced by the case with which it was determined",

and should be

"evidenced by the ease with which it was determined"

I've largely overcome my obsession with making corrections, and I'd leave it alone, but it is the gist of the claim. The ease of determining whether the call was real.

Toes said...

Would love to see a copy of that "Exhibit 3".

FWIW, I read that paragraph the same way you do.

The Pharisee said...

Thanks Toes. I'm still struggling with converting PDF's which I got done once, but can't remember how I did it.

I typed the whole thing secretary style. I should have had an Underwood Clickedy Clack sound effect for doing it last night. I'm sure there are errors. Feel free to correct me and copy an use the doc and compare it to the original PDF. We can all use it.

ztgstmv said...

Regarding these warrants you just know that ultimately Texas is going to claim it's irrelevant whether or not LE believed Dale Barlow was never at the ranch because they initially entered on the "order for investigation of Child Abuse" on behalf of CPS(?) as Toes surmises concerning this CYA move.

It would be good to see Jeffs defense explicitely addressing this "Order for Investigation" and doing depositions to determine how closely information was shared between LE and CPS, under what strength the initial entry was made, etc. E.g. was the first warrent never executed? If so, why?