HEEBE, District Judge:
We are faced with a very unusual problem in this case. The events leading to this unique situation, though, are quite simple. On June 1, 1967, a one-count indictment, alleging that the defendant, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ? 111, forcibly assaulted and intimidated an FBI agent engaged in the performance of his official duties, was filed against the defendant, Carlos Marcello. Defendant pled not guilty at his arraignment on June 14, 1967, and was given thirty days in which to file pleadings. On July 3, 1967, defendant filed a motion for a change of venue along with ten other motions. *fn1″ All eleven motions were originally scheduled for oral argument on August 4, 1967, but were continued to September 13, 1967, in order to accommodate defense counsel. At that time the motion for change of venue was heard first at the Court’s suggestion. It was readily apparent to the Court from the memorandum and exhibits submitted in support of the motion for change of venue, from the oral argument thereon, and from the exhibits offered into evidence at the hearing, that extensive prejudicial publicity existed which would deprive the defendant of a fair and impartial trial in this district. Consequently, the motion for a change of venue was granted, and the hearing terminated.
Not more than ten minutes after the conclusion of the hearing, defense counsel entered the Court’s chambers and, to the complete surprise of the Court, made an oral ex parte request for the Court to withdraw its order granting the change of venue which had just been entered. It was somewhat astonishing to the Court, to say the least, for the defendant to move for a change of venue, to argue the motion, and after the motion was granted, to urge the Court to withdraw its order granting the defendant’s motion. Nevertheless, the Court suggested that the defendant file a written motion requesting the desired action together with a memorandum in support thereof. On September 14, 1967, the defendant filed the present motion entitled “Motion to Reconsider Order Directing Change of Venue” which was followed by a supporting memorandum. This motion came on for hearing on September 22, 1967, and because of the unique problem it posed, was taken under submission after oral argument………..
We now turn to the facts of this case which compelled us to grant the defendant’s motion for a change of venue. Carlos Marcello, the defendant and resident of neighboring Jefferson Parish, is a well-known figure throughout the New Orleans area. His notoriety is due in large part to the nefarious publicity he has continuously attracted in this locale for many years. The newspaper exhibits which were submitted in support of the motion for change of venue are only samples of the substantial and constant publicity Marcello has received over the years. An examination of these exhibits will serve to illustrate the sinister image of Marcello which has been conveyed to the public via such publicity. On September 23, 1966, a local newspaper, the Times-Picayune, featured a front-page story describing a raid in New York and the arrest of Marcello and twelve others. The article was boldly titled: “Marcello Arrested; N.Y. Gathering Raided.” The article stated that Marcello and the others who were arrested were high-ranking members of the infamous Cosa Nostra, and described the meeting which precipitated the arrests as a “Little Apalachin.” The paper stated that such raids were a useful device “in keeping tabs on underworld activities.” Photographs of Marcello and his brother, Joseph, also appeared on the front page in connection with the article. On the same day another local newspaper, the States-Item, published an editorial cartoon depicting Marcello’s arrest in New York and indicated that Marcello has successfully avoided deportation for thirteen years. While Marcello and those arrested with him were waiting to testify before a grand jury in New York, the courthouse was evacuated while the police investigated a report that a bomb was planted in the building. This incident was described on the front page of the States-Item on September 26, 1966, under the broad title: “Bomb Scare Delays Marcello’s Quizzing.” Characterizing the group as “underworld leaders,” the article specifically referred to Marcello as “the Jefferson Parish rackets figure.” The newspaper quoted the New York District Attorney as saying that the 1966 meeting “overshadows the Apalachin meeting,” and also stated that an internal struggle for power within the ill-reputed Mafia was thought to be the reason for the meeting. An article in the September 30, 1966 edition of the Times-Picayune was titled: “U.S. Grand Jury Probe To ‘Rock Country,’ View-Organized Crime Involved, Says LaCour”; and it quoted another government official working closely with U.S. Attorney LaCour as saying that the arrest of Marcello in New York “makes it obvious that there is organized crime in this area [Louisiana] and that Marcello was there in the interests of this area.” This quote was repeated in the leading editorial of the October 1, 1966 edition of the States-Item wherein the editor implored the local district attorney to ferret out the local underworld elements and bring them to justice.
How interesting that Carlos Marcello’s lawyer felt free to enter the judge’s chambers and open ex parte communications.
I wonder how such an action would be seen today in the LAED?