Monday, January 4, 2010

Defense attorney turns snitch

Federal prosecutors used an informant to gather information from Shannon Williams, suspected of operating a multi-million dollar drug ring from inside the Douglas (NE) County Jail.

Mr. Williams bragged about his drug dealing exploits to his jailhouse visitor. He asked his visitor to launder drug money for him. He even used his visitor's cell phone to order hits on his former attorney and his girlfriend's would be paramour.

The investigation began with a U-Haul stopped for speeding in Illinois. The truck was carrying 329 pounds of weed. The driver and passenger told police they had been running 300-400 pounds of marijuana from Arizona to Omaha every three weeks for over a year. Dominoes continued to fall until Mr. Williams was arrested in Arizona walking around naked in a park. He gave the police a fake name and took off to Minnesota. Eventually Douglas County authorities served a warrant on Mr. Williams for a violation of his supervised release on a crack conviction.

Los federales wanted the names of Mr. Williams' drug runners and his other connections -- they needed someone on the inside. And who did they choose? Who did they think was the person who could best betray Mr. Williams' trust?

Omaha attorney Terry Haddock, who had been hired by Mr. Williams to defend one of his runners.

Terry Haddock sold his soul to the government to build a case against Mr. Williams. Mr. Williams claims that Terry Haddock was representing him.
Why else would Mr. Williams trust Mr. Haddock with the secrets of his business? Why else would Mr. Williams ask him to launder money? Why else would he use Mr. Haddock's phone to arrange hits? Because he trusted Mr. Haddock. And why did he trust Mr. Haddock? Because he thought Mr. Haddock was representing him.

Talk about outsourcing your ethics.

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