Monday, November 23, 2009

The Lawrence police on the yellow house store

Yes back in 1994 The Deadly weapons that Lawrence police claimed she was selling turned out to be not so deadly....

Back in 1994 the lpd claimed carrie neighbors was selling deadly weapons yet these same items were sold at the fair grounds shortly after Carries trial. How could the police cause such a big scene for a local business but when the fair comes to town they are not even asked to remove the items??

Here is a lawrence police Department officer stating "it would be extremely difficult to inflict a serious wound with the type of throwing stars confiscated during a Dec. 3 raid on the Yellow House Variety Store."

So who exactly is running the LPD and why do the police officers have such conflicting stories ?
One cop says they are Deadly weapons the other police officer who is trained in martial arts says it would be difficult to hurt someone...???

This sounds like there are a few crooked cops trying to come up fast by making up a good ol fashion witch hunt.

Now this was 1994 F.F. to 2004 and you will find its the same cops trying to take aim at the yellow house store again. These guys have a chip on their shoulders the size of Manhattan.

The big question is when will they be stopped ?

Lawrence police Lt. Ed Brunt, a tae kwon do instructor for nearly 20 years and holder of a fourth-degree black belt, said throwing stars -- or shurikens -- are tools used by ninja warriors to deceive or dissuade an attacker.

Genuine shurikens, he said, have precisely angled points and sharpened edges. He said it would be extremely difficult to inflict a serious wound with the type of throwing stars confiscated during a Dec. 3 raid on the Yellow House Variety Store.

"But can they cause damage?" he said. "Yes, it could put an eye out or cause an injury if it hit a vital area -- the face, the neck and so forth."

As you can see these stars she was selling are Dull on all sides, But apparently 1 cop @ the LPD thought these were deadly weapons.

Here is an image of a throwing star that WAS NOT sold at the Yellow house Store because it is Deadly. These were what the cop was trying to claim was being sold at the yellow house.
These are razor sharp. And very dangerous

Previous Attacks on the neighbors

IF you were to believe this is the first time the lawrence police Department has attacked the yellow house store, you would be mistaken.
about 10 years ago the LPD accused Carrie Neighbors of Selling Dangerous weapons inher store. The only problem was these so called dangerous weapons were novelty items that were also being sold at the fair grounds. So why would the LPD accuse Carrie of selling deadly weapons but allow vendors at the fairgrounds to sell those same items with no consequence ?.......
Here is the story from the

Ric Anderson, Journal-World Writer

August 7, 1994

A Lawrence business owner spoke out recently about what she saw as a double standard in local law enforcement.

On Monday, Carrie Neighbors was convicted of selling martial arts throwing stars at her variety store near downtown Lawrence.


On Tuesday, A & D Services of Tulsa, Okla., set up its merchandise at the Douglas County Free Fair. Among the items apparently OK'd for sale by sheriff's officers: the same type of throwing stars that landed Neighbors in court.

"I felt like crying," Neighbors said Friday, two days after she saw the stars at the fair. "I think it's a real slap in the face to let them sell these ... after my trial."

Neighbors was charged after a Dec. 3 police raid at her business, the Yellow House Variety Store, 1904 Mass. The raid netted what Douglas County prosecutors described as 56 stars, a knife and a pair of brass knuckles.

Neighbors had a different story. She said the stars were novelty jewelry pendants, the knife was a letter opener and the brass knuckles were a belt buckle.

In an attempt to prove her innocence, she declined offers to plea bargain or enter a diversion agreement.

She was convicted Monday after a one-day trial of selling illegal weapons, a misdemeanor that carries penalties of up to one year in jail and a fine $1,000 to $2,000. Sentencing in her case is scheduled for Sept. 1.

Debbie Roberts, operator of the A & D Services stand, said she had a much different encounter with the law. Before the fair opened, she said, officers examined the merchandise she planned to sell.

She said deputies ordered her to remove boot knives from her display but allowed the stars to stay in.

"They looked them over and left us alone," she said, referring to the stamped metal, six-point stars priced at $5 apiece.

Ms. Neighbors and her husband, Guy, said they were astonished that A & D Services had sold stars all week at the fair.

"We want to let them (law enforcement officials) know that if we're going to be treated differently than other people, then we're willing to open our mouths and let the community know how they're treating us," Guy Neighbors said.

Ms. Neighbors said she was especially hurt because she and her husband have tried to be responsible in the community. They volunteer at area schools and have donated to police and sheriff's organizations.

Douglas County Sheriff Loren Anderson, whose department has jurisdiction at the fair, could not be reached for comment.

But Roberts insisted that she was following officers' orders about which merchandise she could sell.

"If they catch you selling something they told you not to sell, they'll shut you down immediately," she said. "Obviously, I don't want that to happen."

Ms. Neighbors said she felt officers were operating under a double standard by not enforcing the weapons law.

"They (A & D Services) aren't even Lawrence residents, and the most the police will do is ask them to put their stuff away," she said. "But I get tried and convicted."

Since her conviction, Ms. Neighbors has been weighing an appeal. Before she decides anything, she said, she would like to hear whether local residents believe an appeal would be worthwhile.

"I'd just like to know how the public feels about this," she said.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lanny D Welch along with Marietta Parker commit fraud against The Kansas department of Justice

Lanny D Welch along with Marietta Parker commit fraud against The Kansas department of Justice. In a 22 page opinion written by a Federal judge, the court informs the prosecutors Marietta Parker and Lanny D Welch that the continued litigation of charges against Guy and Carrie Neighbors is Illegal due to multiple Civil rights violations

In this opinion the federal judge outlines the case, then he exposes the attempts by the federal prosecutors to violate multiple civil rights held by the defendants Guy and Carrie Neighbors. The Judge then writes that any attempt to re prosecute Guy and Carrie Neighbors on the same charges which were previously dropped (due to a speedy trial Act (6th Amendment) violation committed by the prosecutor) would be inadmissible in court. The judge goes on to say there can be no Jury trial in a case with Civil rights violations.

Why would federal prosecutors Go against a judges Order and recharge Guy and Carrie Neighbors after the court has already observed and made a note that Guy and Carrie have had their Speedy trial Act Violated against them ?

Could it be due to the fact Guy Neighbors is a black man? Because currently he is in prison because the federal prosecutor lied to a federal judge and told him that Guy was a threat to the community when he filed a complaint against her at the department of justice for prosecutor misconduct.

Whats more interesting is how she(the prosecutor) had no prof that he(guy neighbors) has committed any violent acts against anyone. Guy Neighbors didn't even have as much as a parking ticket on his record in the last 27 years.

Judge LungStrums Order to Dismiss case against yellow house store owners Guy and Carrie NEighbors

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kansas Federal Judge Gives notice to Federal prosecutor

In the following opinion written by a federal judge on the Yellow house case against Guy and Carrie Neighbors The Judge demands answers from the federal prosecutor when she comes up with no response he puts her on notice letting her know he suspects she is abusing her powers and engaging in prosecutor misconduct.

v. Case No. 07-20073-01/02-JWL
The indictment in this case charges defendants Guy and Carrie Neighbors with conspiring
to manufacture marijuana, being users of a controlled substance in possession of firearms, and
two counts of manufacturing marijuana. In a Memorandum and Order dated November 16, 2007
(doc. #33) this court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss Count 2, which is the count
charging them with being users of a controlled substance in possession of firearms, based on a
violation of the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3161 et seq. At that time, the court reserved the
determination of whether to dismiss with or without prejudice until after an evidentiary hearing.
That evidentiary hearing was held on November 27, 2007. At the hearing, defendants and the
government presented evidence relating to the factors found at 18 U.S.C. § 3162(a)(2). After
careful consideration of the evidence in light of those factors, “among others,” the court finds
that the more appropriate remedy is to dismiss Count 2 of the second indictment with prejudice
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 1 of 22
rather than without prejudice. Consequently, the government may not file a new indictment for
that charge as to either of the defendants.
Guy and Carrie Neighbors were first indicted with being users of a controlled substance
in possession of firearms on December 7, 2006, in a prior case in this court, United States v.
Neighbors, Case No. 06-20171-CM. After substantial time on the speedy trial clock had run,
the government filed a motion to dismiss the indictment in that case on May 4, 2007, based on
additional evidence that the government argued it had discovered during an ongoing
investigation. The Honorable Carlos Murguia, United States District Judge, granted the
government’s motion and dismissed the first indictment without prejudice.
On June 20, 2007, the government re-indicted Mr. and Mrs. Neighbors. The second
indictment included the same charge as the first indictment (as Count 2) as well as additional
charges of conspiring to manufacture marijuana and two counts of knowingly and intentionally
manufacturing marijuana. On September 11, 2007, counsel for Ms. Neighbors filed a motion
to dismiss Count 2 (doc. #24) in which Mr. Neighbors subsequently joined (doc. #28) based on
a violation of the Speedy Trial Act. This court granted the motion but reserved the determination
of whether to dismiss Count 2 with or without prejudice until after an evidentiary hearing. That
hearing was held on November 27, 2007. The court begins its analysis with its findings of fact
from that evidentiary hearing.
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 2 of 22
An investigation of Mr. and Mrs. Neighbors began around August of 2005. In fact, there
have been two different investigations of these defendants. The original investigation relates to
an alleged fencing and eBay fraud scheme, while the second investigation relates to the charges
at issue here. Two search warrants of their residence were executed on December 2, 2005 and
July 7, 2006. On December 7, 2006, they were indicted on one count of being unlawful users
of a controlled substance while knowingly and unlawfully possessing firearms. In March of
2007, the case was set for trial to begin May 7, 2007, before Judge Murguia. The government
presented evidence of email communications and witness subpoenas referencing that the trial
was not going to begin until May 14, 2007, but defendants responded that they did not have
knowledge of this.
Defendants wanted to go to trial and their attorneys were ready to do so. Ms. Neighbors
testified that from the time of indictment to the time right before the trial began, she met with
her attorney, Bruce Kips, for about an hour per week. Mr. Neighbors testified that he did the
same with his attorney for approximately a month to six weeks before the trial was set to begin.
On May 4, 2007, defendants rejected a plea agreement and also said they would not agree to a
continuance of the trial. They were told if they did not agree to the continuance, they would be
rearrested when the charge was refiled. The government did not file a motion to continue with
the court, but instead filed a motion to dismiss the case citing additional evidence as the basis
for the motion. Judge Murguia granted the motion without prejudice. On May 7, 2007,
defendants were informed that the charge against them had been dropped.
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 3 of 22
On June 25, 2007, defendants were rearrested at their home and a search incident to arrest
was performed. They were not given the option to self surrender, and the government pointed
out they were not treated any differently than any other defendants. Mr. Nieghbors was taken
under arrest on the first floor of the house while two female officers went upstairs and, after
watching Ms. Neighbors dress, handcuffed her and placed her under arrest. They were taken in
police vehicles to court that day and counsel was appointed for them. They were held in custody
for about four to six hours. Mr. Neighbors testified that no one asked him about his former
counsel, James George, and he was not allowed to call Mr. George. The court originally
appointed Alex McCauley to represent him. Mr. McCauley subsequently withdrew from the
case due to a conflict of interest because he had formerly represented an informant in this case.
No one told Ms. Neighbors it was possible that her previous attorney, Mr. Kips, could be
reappointed to represent her. In response, the prosecutor proffered that at the first appearance
before the magistrate judge for the second indictment, she asked the magistrate judge’s
courtroom deputy clerk, Ms. Lopez, why defendants’ previous attorneys were not there; Ms.
Lopez said the attorneys declined to be a part of the case any longer.
The government called one witness, David Nitz, a United States Postal Inspector involved
in the investigation of the Neighbors. He testified that in a search of the Neighbors’ home
conducted pursuant to the first search warrant in December of 2005, officials uncovered firearms
and a small marijuana grow operation. A second search warrant was executed in July of 2006
and additional marijuana plants were recovered. In fact, counts 1, 3, and 4 of the second
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 4 of 22
1 Defense counsel asked Mr. Nitz whether he asked Mr. Stanwix if that car was
sometimes used by employees of defendants’ business, to which he responded, no because
Mr. Stanwix refused to be interviewed.
indictment correspond to the dates of the search warrant executions—December 2, 2005, and
July 7, 2006.
Mr. Nitz named three cooperating individuals: Mr. Ludwig, Mr. Parsons, and Mr. Nieder.
There was an initial interview with Mr. Parsons in October 2006, and another interview on April
19, 2007. Mr. Nitz testified that on April 19, 2007, Mr. Parsons provided information relevant
to the current indictment that was not previously known and that on May 3, 2007, the report from
that interview was forwarded to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Mr. Nitz said that Mr. Parsons told
him that in 2005 or early 2006 Carrie Neighbors asked Mr. Parsons, who had medical problems,
whether he had a source for medical marijuana. Ms. Neighbors did not say anything about
whether she had a source or whether she or her husband had a need for medical marijuana.
Mr. Ludwig was interviewed May 9, 2007, and August 13, 2007. Both of these
interviews took place after the trial based on the initial indictment was scheduled to begin. At
the interview on May 9, 2007, Mr. Ludwig provided information about conversations he had
with Mr. Stanwix, an employee at defendants’ business who refused to be interviewed.
Information received from Mr. Ludwig coincided with information from an unnamed
government cooperating individual, who was interviewed April 9, 2007–that Mr. Stanwix had
conversations with Ms. Neighbors about the medical uses of marijuana, that Mr. Stanwix said
Ms. Neighbors’ car smelled like burnt marijuana,1 and that Ms. Neighbors and Mr. Stanwix had
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 5 of 22
2 Defense counsel pointed out on cross examination and Mr. Nitz agreed that the
business had, at least at times, a decent amount of foot traffic, and the area behind the waste
high counter likely would have been highly visible to customers.
talked about how there were only three more weeks until the plants were ready. Mr. Nitz said
that the statement that the plants were about to be ready was the first indication Ms. Neighbors
was personally involved in the growing operation, and that only one conclusory statement of Ms.
Neighbors’ use of marijuana was given to authorities prior to these interviews. Mr. Nitz said the
only relevant conversation that took place between Mr. Ludwig and Ms. Neighbors herself was
when Mr. Ludwig asked Ms. Neighbors about moving to the country, building a “green house,”
and growing a possible “cash crop,” to which Mr. Ludwig said Ms. Neighbors responded
“maybe.” Mr. Nitz got this information from a report he was reading; “green house” and “cash
crop” were in quotes but “marijuana” was not. He also acknowledged that the Neighbors had
Zinnias and a number of other plants in their front and back yard. On redirect he responded that
the topic of conversation at the interview was marijuana. Last, Mr. Nitz said that Mr. Ludwig
told him that in 2005 he saw what he thought was marijuana vegetation in bags inside another
bag, possibly a purse, behind the counter at the defendant’s business.2
Mr. Nitz acknowledged during cross examination that two years prior to the interviews,
a GPS system was attached to Mr. Ludwig’s car. He further acknowledged that at the time of
these interviews in April and May of 2007, there had already been a significant amount of
publicity regarding the arrest of Mr. and Ms. Neighbors. Furthermore, Mr. Nitz said that Mr.
Ludwig knew he was facing criminal charges in connection with the original investigation
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 6 of 22
related to the fencing operation when he began talking to authorities about the Nieghbors’
alleged marijuana use. Mr. Nitz also testified that they had been trying to set up the May 9
interview with Mr. Ludwig prior to that date, but it had not worked out. When asked by defense
counsel whether he got the sense that the government was not prepared for trial, in reference to
this interview that took place after the scheduled start date of the trial, Mr. Nitz responded, “I
don’t know.”
Mr. Nieder was interviewed on April 12, 2006, at the Winfield Correctional Facility. Mr.
Nitz provided no specific information regarding that interview.
Both sides presented evidence regarding the eleven firearms referenced in Count 2. Ms.
Neighbors testified that she inherited those firearms from her father, Walter Jackson, who died
in 2003. According to Ms. Neighbors, her father collected guns and her mother, as the
administrator of his estate, transferred the guns to her. Ms. Neighbors intended to keep the guns
as a collection. She knows that her father traded guns, but does not know where her father got
the guns. She is not a collector herself, nor does she have a hunting license. The prosecutor
asked Ms. Neighbors if she had ever bought guns from Mr. Nieder, and Ms. Neighbors
responded “never.” The government put on no evidence to refute this statement.
Mr. Nitz testified that he thought only a couple of the firearms had been traced back to
Ms. Neighbors’ father. He also said that while he was not a part of the valuations of the guns,
the one with the highest value was around six hundred dollars. He acknowledged that he read
the value of the guns from someone else’s report, that he did not have firsthand knowledge, and
he was not a firearms expert.
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 7 of 22
The Speedy Trial Act does not indicate a preference as between dismissals with and
dismissals without prejudice. See generally United States v. Taylor, 487 U.S. 326, 334-35
(1988). The Act does, however, set out factors to be considered by the court in choosing
between the two:
In determining whether to dismiss the case with or without prejudice, the court
shall consider, among others, each of the following factors: the seriousness of the
offense; the facts and circumstances of the case which led to the dismissal; and
the impact of a reprosecution on the administration of this chapter and on the
administration of justice.
18 U.S.C. § 3162(a)(2). “Prejudice to the defendant is among the ‘other’ factors the text of §
3162 directs the district court to consider.” United States v. Abdush-Shakur, 465 F.3d 458, 462
(10th Cir. 2006). For the reasons explained below, upon a careful evaluation of those factors
under the facts of this case, the court concludes that dismissal with prejudice is the more
appropriate remedy here.
I. Seriousness of the Offense
Count 2 of the second indictment charges the defendants with being users in possession
of firearms under 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(3) and 924(a)(2). Certainly, in and of itself this is a
serious offense in light of the ten-year statutory maximum. See, e.g., United States v. McKinney,
395 F.3d 837, 841 (8th Cir. 2005); United States v. Biggs, 419 F. Supp. 2d 1277, 1282 (D. Mont.
2006). The seriousness of the offense in this case is ameliorated somewhat, however, in light
of the likely application of the sentencing guidelines to the facts of this case. Ms. Neighbors’
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 8 of 22
counsel advanced the argument that the total offense level could range from a Level 6 to a Level
14 based on the facts of this case. The defense further expanded on the basis for a Level 6 which
would warrant a sentence of incarceration of only zero to six months. This argument was based
on the proposition that the firearms at issue in Count 2 were a collection and defendants have
no criminal history. See U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b)(2). The government argued that a sentence based
on a Level 20 would be appropriate, but provided no evidence or explanation to support that
“The text of [U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b)(2)] requires a defendant to show two things: (1) that
the defendant possessed all ammunition and firearms solely for lawful sporting purposes or
collection’ and (2) that he did not unlawfully discharge or otherwise unlawfully use such
firearms or ammunition. . . . The purpose for which the firearm is possessed is determined by the
surrounding circumstances.” United States v. Sanders, 449 F.3d 1087, 1090 (10th Cir. 2006)
(internal citations omitted). For the purposes of the current motion, the court finds Ms.
Neighbors’ testimony that these guns came from her father’s collection to be credible. She
testified that they had been transferred to her by her mother, the executor of her father’s estate,
that she intended to keep them as a collection, that her father collected guns his whole life, and
that some of the guns had never been fired. The only evidence to the contrary was Mr. Nitz’s
testimony about the value of the guns and that only a few were traced to Ms. Neighbors’ father,
but he said he had no first hand knowledge, nor was he an expert. On cross-examination of Ms.
Neighbors, the government questioned her about relevant conduct that would alter the applicable
sentencing guideline; Ms. Neighbors, however, denied that she had bought firearms from Mr.
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 9 of 22
Nieder at her store and the government provided no contrary evidence. The government
provided no refuting evidence of actual use by the Neighbors, criminal history associated with
firearms, threats of use of the guns, or the like.
This court does not draw a conclusion about what sentence defendants would ultimately
get if convicted of this charge. But, the court does find that for purposes of this motion and
hearing, the argument advanced by the defense regarding the sentencing guidelines is sufficient
to decrease the seriousness of the offense as this factor is balanced here. Additionally, the court
notes the lack of any evidence concerning any criminal history by the defendants. Accordingly,
although the fact that defendants are charged with a serious offense weighs somewhat in favor
of dismissal without prejudice, this factor does not weigh heavily in favor of such a dismissal
here because the only factual record before the court demonstrates that application of the
sentencing guidelines could well result in a relatively light sentence.
II. Facts and Circumstances Leading to Dismissal
“In determining whether the facts and circumstances warrant dismissal with prejudice we
focus on the culpability of the conduct that led to the delay.” United States v. Cano-Silva, 402
F.3d 1031 (10th Cir. 2005). “Where the delay is the result of intentional dilatory conduct, or a
pattern of neglect on the part of the Government, dismissal with prejudice is the appropriate
remedy. Conversely, a defendant who waits passively while the time runs has less claim to
dismissal with prejudice than does a defendant who demands, but does not receive, prompt
attention.” United States v. Saltzman, 984 F.2d 1087, 1093-94 (10th Cir. 1993) (internal
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 10 of 22
quotations omitted). “Any such finding, suggesting something more than an isolated unwitting
violation [by the government], would clearly . . . alter[] the balance.” Taylor, 487 U.S. at 339.
In this case, it was the government’s culpability that caused the delay. It is well
established that “the Government bears the burden of ensuring the Defendant’s speedy trial
rights are not violated.” United States v. Saltzman, 984 F.2d 1087, 1093 (1993). When the
second indictment was filed here the government did not move to expedite the case. It did not
notify this court, which did not handle the case under the first indictment, that there was a
potential speedy trial issue with the filing of the second indictment. Additionally, the
government did not exercise due diligence concerning the timing of the speedy trial clock. It
originally argued to this court that the speedy trial clock began anew on Count 2 when the
second indictment was filed. But, as noted in the court’s prior Memorandum and Order, that
interpretation is directly contrary to a Tenth Circuit case decided just last year. When asked at
the hearing what the government did to alert the court that the speedy trial clock was near
expiration at any time after the second indictment was filed, the government responded only that
it told the magistrate judge’s staff that this was a refiling. But the mere fact that it was a refiling
provided no “heads up” concerning fast-approaching speedy trial implications, which is
consistent with the government being not being aware of the true speedy trial status. Thus, it is
clear that the government did not know or research the Speedy Trial Act and it did not
acknowledge to the court, once the motion to dismiss was brought, that the Speedy Trial Act
time had in fact expired on this count. And, the government failed to avail itself of any other
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 11 of 22
3 For example, the government did not seek an order to exclude the time pursuant to an
interests-of-justice determination under § 3161(h)(8)(A).
potential accommodations under the Act.3 See United States v. Giambrone, 920 F.2d 1976 (2d
Cir. 1990) (“Given the fact that only four days remained on the Speedy Trial Act clock, one
might have anticipated that the government would have informed the magistrate or the court of
the need for expedited scheduling.”); United States v. Caparella, 716 F.2d 976 (2d Cir. 1983)
(“Concededly, the government’s failure timely to file the information or indictment in this case
did not spring from any evil motive. But, needless to say, when a defense motion, for example
a motion to reduce sentence. . . is late, the government is quick to point out that time has expired.
Meeting established time limitations is important and lack of attention or dilatoriness in
observing them should not be encouraged by courts viewing such neglect tolerantly.”); United
States v. Carreon, 626 F.2d 528 (7th Cir. 1980) (concluding that the government was negligent
when it failed to move to expedite the case in context of Sixth Amendment right to speedy trial);
United States v. Story, 131 F.3d 150 (9th Cir. 1997) (table opinion) (giving an example of steps
the government could take to protect the speedy trial clock: “On January 4, 1995, the
government filed a superceding indictment that retained the original charge and added a new
charge. . . . On January 6, the government requested the court to accelerate the trial date to ‘the
present’ because the speedy trial clock either had or was about to run. In that motion, the
government suggested that should the scheduling be impossible, the court might move the trial
date up and then find it necessary to delay it in the interests of justice pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 12 of 22
Moreover, defendants highlighted through cross examination and closing argument that
much of the newly discovered evidence that led to the dismissal of the first indictment came
from sources known to the government before even the first indictment was filed. For example,
the government presented evidence that several of their informants began talking to authorities
in April and May 2007. Mr. Nitz testified, however, that there was a meeting with one of the
informants in October 2006, approximately two months before the first indictment. Another
informant provided information after he was knowingly facing criminal charges and the
Neighbors’ case had been publicized. Also, while the government pointed out that the first
indictment dealt with the firearms, the second indictment dealt with the grow operation and
expanded the evidence against Ms. Neighbors from aiding and abetting to being an actual user
in possession. But, tellingly, Mr. Nitz testified that the grow operation was discovered during
two searches in December 2005 and July 2006, which was months before the first indictment.
The court does not dispute that a party cannot always control when an informant or
witness begins to give relevant information. At the hearing, however, the government provided
little evidence of any other information completely unknown to it, such as when a newly
discovered witness shows up at a time too late to utilize him or her at a scheduled trial. The
additional information based on the evidence presented at the hearing seems to stem from
sources whose credibility is questionable and from information and people known to the
government at a date much earlier than the day the first trial was scheduled to begin. Moreover,
information Mr. Ludwig gave at the May interview is uncorroborated hearsay from another
individual, Mr. Stanwix, whom the government apparently is still yet to interview.
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 13 of 22
The culpability of the government in this case was more inadvertent than it was the result
of intentional dilatory conduct or a pattern of neglect for defendants’ speedy trial rights in
general. There was no evidence of malicious intent by the government. But, at the same time,
there is little evidence of any meaningful justification for the first dismissal and no justification
for the government’s inaction which led to the second dismissal. What is significant about the
government’s culpability here is its full responsibility for the speedy trial violation as compared
to the Neighbors’ complete blamelessness. Compare Taylor, 487 U.S. at 339 (pointing out the
defendant’s culpability; “Then there is the fact of respondent’s failure to appear. The
Government was prepared to go to trial on the 69th day of the indictment-to-trial period, and it
was respondent, not the prosecution, who prevented the trial from going forward in a timely
fashion.”); Saltzman, 984 F.2d at 1093 (“[T]he record indicates the delays were equally
attributable to both the defense counsel and the Government”), with United States v. Johnson,
120 F.3d 1107 (10th Cir. 1997) (remanding to the trial court to determine whether to dismiss
with or without prejudice and “observ[ing] . . . that Ms. Johnson bears no responsibility for the
circumstances leading to the Speedy Trial Act violation, and that she properly asserted her rights
under the Act”). The factual record in this case demonstrates that the defendants were prepared
to go to trial in May of 2007 on the first indictment and they promptly asserted their speedy trial
rights on the second indictment.
The only evidence the government presented as to the Neighbors’ culpability was that
they would not acquiesce in a continuance under the first indictment and that they also could
have notified the court of potential speedy trial issues. This does not, however, establish their
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 14 of 22
4 The Tenth Circuit has stated that “[w]hen the charges are serious, courts should
impose the sanction of dismissal with prejudice only for a correspondingly serious delay,
especially in the absence of a showing of prejudice.” Saltzman, 984 F.2d at 1093. This court
distinguishes this case because the weight accorded to the seriousness of the offense was
lessened by the evaluation of the applicable advisory sentencing guidelines, there has been
prejudice shown in this case, and there would likely have been a serious delay if defendants
would have sat on their rights instead of so promptly bringing their motion.
culpability. The government could have filed a motion for a continuance without their
agreement. And, when the government filed the second indictment, it could have asked the court
to expedite the case or simultaneously filed a motion to exclude the time in the interests of
justice. See 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(8)(A). The prosecutor remained the same under both
indictments, so she was familiar with the case. The defendants, on the other hand, were
represented by different counsel under the second indictment than the first. Both attorneys had
little familiarity with the case in comparison to the prosecutor. In light of these facts, the
government should have alerted the court to the speedy trial implications and moved to expedite
the case, particularly where the original case was before a different district judge. Between the
government and defendants, it was the government which had the responsibility to bring
defendants to trial within the speedy trial time, and the court finds that only the government’s
conduct was culpable in leading to the speedy trial violation.
The length of the delay also is to be considered when looking at the facts and
circumstances that led to the delay. United States v. Taylor, 487 U.S. 326 (1988).4 In the
previous Memorandum and Order the delay was calculated by defendants at fifteen days and the
clerk’s office calculation through CM/ECF showed a nine-day delay. While this is a
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 15 of 22
5 The court acknowledges that if the government’s failure to move to expedite the trial
was a result of prosecutorial misconduct, this would strongly favor dismissal with prejudice,
more so than the government’s negligence. Cano-Silva at 1036 (If the violation is the result
of “intentional dilatory conduct, or a pattern of neglect on the part of the Government,
dismissal with prejudice is the appropriate remedy.”). Where the government alone is at
fault, however, even negligence can weigh in favor of dismissal with prejudice, albeit not as
heavily as prosecutorial misconduct does.
consideration, this court also considers that defendants did not sit on their rights and wait to file
the motion to dismiss until a much later date, for example, after all trial preparations had been
completed. Defendants likely could have extended the delay as a result of the government’s
misunderstanding of the law that the speedy trial clock had started over; but for the filing of the
motion to dismiss, the delay would have likely extended beyond the nine or fifteen days. The
trial date has not yet been set, so there is no definitive answer to how long the delay ultimately
would have been.
In sum, the court finds that this factor weighs slightly in favor of dismissal with prejudice.
While the court does not find that any wilful prosecutorial misconduct led to the speedy trial
violation, it was a result of the government’s inadvertence and ignorance of the implications of
the first dismissal (at its own behest) on the speedy trial clock. Furthermore, the “additional
evidence” which was allegedly the whole basis for dismissing the first indictment and tolling the
speedy trial time between indictments, is of somewhat questionable probative value, at least as
based on the evidence presented at the hearing before this court.5
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 16 of 22
III. Adverse Impact of Reprosecution on Administration of Justice and Speedy Trial
Act, Including Prejudice to Defendants
The court’s rationale concerning the facts and circumstances leading to dismissal is
perhaps most pertinent in light of the third factor the court must consider, which is the adverse
impact reprosecution would have on the administration of justice and the Speedy Trial Act,
including the prejudice to the Neighbors. If the court were to dismiss Count 2 without prejudice
and permit it to be refiled, it would negatively affect the administration of justice because the
Neighbors would face their third prosecution on the same charge for reasons which are
attributable to no fault of their own. The first indictment was dismissed because “additional
evidence” allegedly became available. Without second guessing that judge’s decision to dismiss
without prejudice because he did so based on proffers of what was expected to occur and not the
record of what actually transpired thereafter, the court finds that the showing at the hearing in
front of this court demonstrated that the substance of this “additional evidence” was minimally
probative and perhaps within the reach of the government at an earlier date, all as discussed
previously. The second indictment has now been dismissed by this court as mandated by the
Speedy Trial Act as a result of the government’s failure to ensure that the defendants’ speedy
trial rights were not violated. Now, if the court were to dismiss this charge without prejudice
the defendants would be subjected to prosecution of this charge yet a third time.
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 17 of 22
6 Admittedly, defendants did not allege prejudice to specific tactics at their trial, such
as when a witness is no longer available. Cf. Abdush-Shakur, 465 F.3d at 464 ("There is no
evidence the defendant lost a crucial witness because of the delay, nor did he offer any
evidence as to how the absence of this witness testimony prejudiced his case."). Nor did they
allege the length of the delay is presumptively extreme. Cf. United States v. Jones, 162 F.3d
1174 (10th Cir. 1998) ("[T]he length of the delay [between indictment and trial] is a
barometer of the prejudice suffered by the defendant."). However, based on the notion from
the Supreme Court that "[b]ecause ‘prejudice’ may take many forms, such determinations
must be made on a case-by-case basis in the light of the facts," the subsequent discussion
shows the other ways that defendants would be prejudiced by yet another reprosecution. See
Taylor, 487 U.S. at 341, n.13. Also, as previously discussed, defendants should not be
penalized because they promptly brought the motion to dismiss as opposed to letting time
accrue and then alleging the length of the delay was extreme.
7 Defendants hired their own counsel after the first indictment. Mr. Neighbors
testified that the agreement with that attorney was for $5,000, which he now has been unable
to pay in full. He also testified that his hired attorney was ready to defend him at trial before
the first indictment was dismissed. After defendants were arrested pursuant to the second
indictment, they were appointed counsel different from their hired counsel. The court finds
these circumstances relevant to the possible reprosecution on a third indictment. Due to the
delay, there is no guarantee that current counsel would be available and able to represent the
Neighbors at yet another trial if they were indicted on the charge in Count 2 once again.
Defendants would suffer prejudice related to the trial if reprosecution were allowed.6
They would be forced to endure a third time making an “initial appearance” before the
magistrate judge, a third set of pre-trial preparations, and a trial at a date much later than their
initial trial on this charge was scheduled (a trial for which they were ready to proceed). Also,
defendants may not even be able to have the same counsel if there is yet another delay, as
evidenced by the change of counsel after the second indictment.7
Defendants also would suffer prejudice from the liberty restrictions and negative
publicity, including negative effects to their business, financial, and personal life. “Inordinate
delay between public charge and trial, wholly aside from possible prejudice to a defense on the
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 18 of 22
8 As to the implications of a rearrest, the government argued at the hearing that in the
initial rearrest pursuant to the second indictment, defendants were not treated any differently
merits, may seriously interfere with the defendant’s liberty, whether he is free on bail or not, and
may disrupt his employment, drain his financial resources, curtail his associations, subject him
to public obloquy, and create anxiety in him, his family and his friends.” Taylor, 487 U.S. at 340
(internal quotations and citations omitted). “We do not decide that as a matter of law there could
never be any prejudice to a defendant whose speedy trial rights were violated, but who was also
being held on other charges. Because ‘prejudice’ may take many forms, such determinations
must be made on a case-by-case basis in the light of the facts.” Id. at 341, n.13. Defendants
have complied with conditions of their bond, so they have already endured restrictions on their
freedom. See Biggs, 419 F.Supp.2d 1277 (granting motion to dismiss with prejudice as to two
of the defendants who had complied with their bond restrictions but not the third defendant who
had not complied and therefore suffered no prejudice based on those restrictions). The court
finds that based on this compliance, the prejudice from the liberty restrictions would continue
for a prolonged period of time beyond the time of the trial on counts 1, 3, and 4 because the
government would receive a new seventy day speedy trial clock upon reindictment of that count
in this context.
If the government is permitted to refile those charges, defendants will likely have to be
arrested for a third time at their home or business. As pointed out by defense counsel, this will
subject them not only to the distress of yet a third arrest, but also the possibility of another search
incident to that arrest.8 This could cause even greater prejudice to these defendants more so than
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 19 of 22
from any other defendant. In closing argument, the government even stated that there are
procedures and processes that defendants must go through anytime someone is charged with
criminal activity. Therefore, the court finds the circumstances of the rearrest relevant because
if another indictment would be brought, defendants would have to be treated like any other
defendant once again. The court, therefore, assumes defendants would have to endure the
same circumstances.
the average defendant because there are two investigations on unrelated charges. Also,
defendants presented evidence of financial burdens resulting from the indictments, such as that
Mr. Neighbors is still in debt to his previous lawyer and that both had to have attorneys
appointed after the second indictment after hiring their own in connection with the first
indictment. There also was evidence that only after negative publicity and passage of time did
government informants begin talking. This is further evidence of prejudice defendants will
continue to suffer for a prolonged period due to the delay. These, along with all the restrictions
endured as a result of the bond conditions, show defendants would be prejudiced if reprosecution
were allowed.
Here, defendants have shown prejudice “aside from possible prejudice to a defense on the
merits,” see Taylor, 487 U.S. at 340, because the prolonged restrictions associated with a third
indictment demonstrate “specific prejudice.” See Saltzman, 984 F.2d at 1094 ("[T]he defendant
has a burden under the Act to show specific prejudice other than that occasioned by the original
filing."). Certainly, dismissal without prejudice does not necessarily make the Act meaningless.
See, e.g., Cano-Silva, 402 F.3d at 1035 (“While dismissal with prejudice is obviously the more
severe sanction, a dismissal without prejudice still requires re-indictment, may expose the
government to statute of limitations difficulties, and generally makes prosecution less likely.”).
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 20 of 22
This, however, pales in comparison to what defendants would be forced to undergo by enduring
a third indictment for the same offense even though the violation was caused by no fault of their
own. Defendants would be forced to endure even lengthier times before trial on this offense, as
the government gets a new seventy-day clock where the dismissal is made upon motion of the
defendant. It would subvert the purpose of the Speedy Trial Act to allow the government to
bring this charge for the third time when it is the only culpable party. This court concludes,
therefore, that to allow the government to indict defendants for a third time would negatively
affect the administration of the Speedy Trial Act.
IV. Balancing of the Factors
In sum, the court finds that although the charged offense is serious, the seriousness of that
offense is ameliorated by the likely application of the sentencing guidelines based on the
evidence presented at the hearing on the current motion. Additionally, the facts and
circumstances leading to dismissal demonstrate, first, that the first indictment was dismissed
without prejudice entirely at the government’s behest under a justification that in retrospect does
not seem very compelling and, second, that dismissal of the second indictment was entirely
attributable to the culpability of the government and not at all to the defendants. Under these
circumstances, reprosecution would negatively affect the administration of justice and the
Speedy Trial Act and meaningfully prejudice the defendants by subjecting them to yet a third
prosecution on the same offense through no fault of their own. It is this unique combination of
factors—that defendants could be subjected to a third prosecution, through no fault of their own,
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 21 of 22
9 Without making any preconceived determination of defendants’ guilt, or lack
thereof, the court does note that the government suffers little prejudice from the dismissal of
this count. The government will still be able to prosecute defendants on the other three
counts of the second indictment. And if the defendants are found guilty, then the possession
of firearms may conceivably contribute to a higher sentence when the factors enumerated in
18 U.S.C. § 3553 are considered.
on a charge that appears would not involve a very serious sentence—that demonstrates that this
is one of the more egregious cases beyond the mere fact that “a violation [of the Speedy Trial
Act] has taken place.” United States v. Cano-Silva, 402 F.3d 1031, 1035 (10th Cir. 2005). The
court does not believe that dismissal with prejudice in this case would “unduly impair[] the
enforcement of federal criminal laws.”9 Abdush-Shakur, 465 F.3d at 462. Instead, this is a case
in which dismissal with prejudice will ensure the fair administration of justice and the Speedy
Trial Act.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE COURT that the Motion to Dismiss Count
2 (doc. 24) previously granted is now granted WITH PREJUDICE.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 21st day of December, 2007.
s/John W. Lungstrum
John W. Lungstrum
United States District Judge
Case 2:07-cr-20073-CM Document 36 Filed 12/21/07 Page 22 of 22