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Friday, February 24, 2012

Two Years State Jail for Tanna Brown; Mexican Cartel Violence Spills Over

From today's San Antonio Express, by Zeke MacCormack:
Tanna Mozel Tyler Hurt was taken into custody Thursday after a Kerr County jury rejected defense appeals to spare her jail time for stealing while a probation officer in the 198th judicial district.
Hurt, 46, who pleaded guilty Wednesday to five charges of tampering with government documents and 16 charges of forgery, was sentenced to two years behind bars, fined $3,000 and given five years probation.
Brown's lawyer, Guy James Gray, must have pulled a rabbit out of a hat to get this result. He is a great lawyer, who spent most of his career as the district attorney in Jasper County and rose to national prominence when he successfully prosecuted the three men who dragged James Byrd, Jr. to death behind a pickup truck. Gray has forgotten more law and maneuvers than most of us will ever know, and he can find the chinks in a prosecution's case.

I don't pretend to know all the details of the case, but I think that the prosecutors could have tried cases separately and gotten the sentences stacked. As it is, Brown will only serve one two year sentence. Even though she'll serve the full sentence (no good time credit for state jail felonies) that's a lot better than having about ten of them stacked. Other witnesses, including a preacher, testified how sorry she was, she's a good Christian, and so on.
I wonder if she feels like the good ol' boys treated her unfairly seeing how Ron Sutton and Karl Prohl got probation for similar crimes.

Brown testified how ashamed she felt when she got caught, how remorseful she is, and so on. She never gave any quarter to any of my clients when she had them over a barrel. What is really revolting is that she tried to release probationers from supervision after she stole from them, to cover her own crimes. That's no different from a prison guard taking a bribe to let a convict escape.

Kerrville has a national reputation as a place you don't want to get into trouble in for any drug related offense. Juries here will send a young person with no criminal history to prison for 50 years for a first drug offense. But for a public official who gets caught stealing public money, he or she will probably get probation, or at worst two years. There's something wrong.

When the Obama Administration tells us that the cartel violence in Mexico hasn't crossed over the border, consider the article in Borderlandbeat:
Trial Begins of AFO Cell in San Diego, Prosecutor: Victims Kidnapped and Dissolved in Acid

Opening arguments opened the trial of Jose Olivera and David Valencia in San Diego yesterday. District Attorney Mark Amador said the men were members of "Los Palillos" (The Toothpicks) was an Arellano Felix Cartel cell group, that trafficked meth and marijuana through the Tijuana-San Diego route, in addition to operating a kidnapping ring that targeted drug dealers and businessmen in the U.S., who were vulnerable and who were unlikely to have their kidnappings reported to US authorities.
The gang operated in Tijuana as a cell of AFO cartel, but splintered and became bitter enemies after AFO leadership killed Victor Rojas Lopez, the brother of Los Palillos leader Jorge Rojas Lopez.
Victor reported to an AFO lieutenant who has ordered Victor to execute a Los Palillos member who had a dispute in a TJ bar with Jorge Briseno. When Victor refused the order he was killed.

It was then the group moved to San Diego and began its flurry of crime.

Amador stunned the courtroom as he described the heinous crimes including the strangling of victims, then placing the bodies in 55 gallon barrels of simmering acid heated by propane tanks.

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