Today at noon, an undercover, Federal Agent, Hans Cuff arranged a briefing at the sheriff’s department. All the ATF agents, Grantham County Deputies, and University City Officers involved in the drug investigation regarding the large shipment of meth were present for this meeting.
Cuff informed the officers that the confidential informant, Mookie, called him this morning to fill him in on the details of the shipment of meth. Mookie told Cuff to be at 123 Elm Street, University City, at 3:00 p.m.; this is when and where the delivery of meth will take place. After the briefing, Cuff was fitted with a wire so the other officers could hear what was transpiring in the house. All the officers received their instructions on where to post around the house and down the street so as not to draw attention to themselves. At 2:45 p.m., Agent Cuff arrived at 123 Elm Street and knocked at the door.
Mookie answered the door and told Cuff to come inside; once Cuff stepped into the house, Mookie shut the door behind him. All of a sudden, Dreadford grabbed Cuff’s right arm and another male who Cuff did not know grabbed his left arm. Mookie put a gun to the back of Cuff’s head and told him to kneel.
Cuff slowly kneeled to the floor; he said, “The same thing happened to me in Vegas” (This was the safe phrase to alert the other officers that Cuff was in trouble). In no time at all, several officers kicked in the front and back doors, entered the house, and held all three suspects at gunpoint. The officers arrested Mookie, Dreadford, and the other male identified as Pedro Ramirez without incident. After reading the suspects Miranda warnings, both Dreadford and Ramirez asked for an attorney, so the officers booked these two into the county jail.
Mookie was the only one who agreed to talk but only if he could get a deal. Detective Stubblefield said he would speak to the county prosecutor and see what he could do. However, the deal was dependent on the value of the information. Mookie told Detective Stubblefield that the dispatcher dating Dreadford is the one who gave them all the confidential information on the city and county’s drug investigations. Mookie asked Detective Stubblefield if the information was good enough to get a deal.
Detective Stubblefield said, “I believe it is.” Detective Stubblefield put Mookie into protective custody and booked him in the county jail where the correctional officers will make sure to segregate Mookie from other inmates.
Based on the information Mookie provided, Stubblefield received a warrant to search Badpenny’s house. When the officers served the warrant, and arrested and charged Imogene Badpenny with possession of methamphetamines (felony), possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor), and official misconduct (misdemeanor) (using her position at the sheriff’s office to access confidential information for personal gain). While at Badpenny’s house, the officers’ uncovered evidence to collaborate Mookie’s story about the documents Badpenny obtained for Dreadford regarding the drug investigations.
After Badpenny’s arrest, the sheriff fired her, and with the loss of her job, Badpenny did not have enough money to hire an attorney. During Badpenny’s arraignment, Judge Noble Hands had Badpenny fill out indigent paperwork to request a public defender and set her bond at $50,000. Badpenny was not able to post bond given her financial situation, so she returned to the jail where Badpenny will stay until her next court appearance.
Write a paper, discussing the ethical system that explains why Badpenny’s gave Dreadford confidential information, and how indigency affects an offender’s ability to receive competent council. Also, analyze how conflicts of interest may occur with attorneys (both prosecution and defense) along with the judge in the above scenario.
*Hint: remember, Badpenny has worked for the sheriff’s department for years and lives in the community; she probably knows all of the attorneys and judges.