Fox news is reporting that the gunman who shot the six Philadelphia Police officers was a Federal informant. Yeah, no. The truth is that about 90% of felons convicted in the Federal system are …. Federal informants. They may not be, going into the system, but they are, by the time they catch the chain, to prison.
Federal Prosecutors call it substantial cooperation. Federal crooks call it getting your time down to something you can do. Despite what the MSM reports, only the combination of the stupidest crook and most incompetent lawyer ever stands a chance of doing mandatory minimum time. Damn near everybody snitches.
Here is the way it works. Pick a crime any crime, the guidelines set a mandatory minimum sentence. This isn’t one size fits all. The criminal history of the crook affects the time. A first time offender will be looking at less time than a career criminal for the same crime. There is a chart, you can find it on the Internet. Pick the row and column appropriate to the crook and crime and where the lines intersect, that is the mandatory minimum. That is the starting point.
A crook can change the place where the row and column intersect. An indication of an immediate guilty plea means less time. Add in an impassioned plea to the court noting the error of one’s ways and an expression of remorse and the numbers go down. It is called acceptance of responsibility. The guilty plea means that the United States Attorney doesn’t have to work as hard. The reward is less time.
A crook can get even better numbers by implicating other crooks. Sitting down with investigators and detailing criminal activity of others (debriefing) knocks off more time. Agreeing to testify or going out and acting on behalf of the government is called “substantial cooperation” that really peels the time off of a sentence.
In one crack conspiracy investigation, I headed, we ended up with over fifty defendants. Forty-eight came to the table and debriefed. Six of them were housed in the same pod (jail block) as the leader, organizer of the conspiracy. When his co-defendants were taken out to meet with investigators, they would announce to the leader. They were going to meet with the cops and snitch his (the kingpin’s) ass off. No body got beat up.
One of the defendants was considered to be an armed career criminal. The guidelines, on his charges, called for a forty year sentence. He cooperated, provided information and testified at trial. His testimony was so effective that the judge noted that fact in open court, The same judge rewarded him with a sentence of sixty months (5 years).
The only glitch in the system was in regards to gun crimes. A typical mandatory minimum sentence for felon in possession of a firearm is five years. There is no good time for a gun crime, five years means five years. Additionally the clock starts running on the gun charge after the sentence on other charges is completed. The article doesn’t say but I suspect there were other charges, in the case of the shooter. I would guess they were dismissed, but he still did five years on the gun charge.
I’ve said it before, “Mother Teresa may be a Saint… but she can’t buy dope.” Part of my motivation in “flipping crooks” was to trade up and target the organization. Individuals are to soon replaced. Take out an organization and the entire trade is disrupted. The crooks that we missed were left disorganized and suspicious.
A funny thing happened after we busted out (rounded up) the fifty defendants. The San Antonio crack cocaine trade had a tradition. Each time a major dealer was arrested, his replacement (or supporters) would proclaim his ascendancy to the position of “top baller”. I guess it was the East side version of ,”The king is dead, long live the king!”
After this bust out all we heard was, “Nope, not me. Must be the otherguy” The king was dead and buried.
I guess it is just me. Informants come in all shapes and sizes. They have varying motivations, not all of them altruistic. I am not sure what this story accomplishes. Did anybody doubt that this guy would do anything to anyone if it benefited him? Is anybody surprised that in a life comprised of one bad choice after another he did it again?
Where are the reporters of yesteryear, Walter Burns and Hildy Johnson? They were no more principled, but fun to watch.