I know some of you folks likely speculate whether or not Slabbed has limits on the topics we cover or if we’re 100% No Fear. That exact subject has been the topic of reader feedback since my second post that re-examined the money laundering prosecution of Greensburg area lawyer Hugh Sibley. The international drug trade is one of those tension raising subjects and for good reason IMHO.
Last week I mentioned Slabbed had received a media inquiry and it was not an ordinary one. Before I get to that and let’s go back to that No Fear thing as it is true the drug trade has no mainstream trade journal, though I am familiar with one Spanish language blog that would be considered the Slabbed of that genre. Amazingly it is tolerated by the drug cartels but rest assured I have no desire to raise the stakes of what Slabbed New Media does any further than the high bar we’ve already set.
So last week investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker sent me an email inquiring about Hugh Sibley as he was connected to Jorge Arévalo Kessler, one of the people that was indicted along with Sibley. Hopsicker’s body of work includes the Barry Seal murder (Slabbed’s profile here) which in turns leads us to Seal’s Baton Rouge Defense Attorney Louis Unglesby, rumored to be one of the combatants engaged in Sal Perricone’s online rants at NOLA.com. It just gets more complicated from there folks but the bottom line is there has been some serious perversions of our drug laws by the intelligence community and it seems as most of the smuggling routes are here across the deep south.
Some of what Hopsicker reports has multiple, credible media sources such as the US Banking connection to the money train. Just this past Sunday 60 minutes profiled the take down of a “Super Drug Cartel” operating out of Columbia illustrating the huge expanse of the topic. I mention this because I’m skeptical on Romney connection cited in this post’s headline, which is taken from the following story by Hopsicker that focuses mainly on Ecuador’s role in the drug trade, which leads us to Jorge Arévalo Kessler, which in turn leads us to Hugh Sibley. I highly recommend it as a companion to last week’s post on Slabbed re-examining the Sibley prosecution. Stay tuned for part three of that series.
It has been close to a month since Mark Titus stopped in with us to tell his side of things in USA v Titus and since then he has reported to prison at the Oakdale Federal Correctional Complex, likely at the Detention Center facility there. I mention this because Mark and I continued communicating, albeit off the record, until the day he reported to prison last week to pay his debt to society. Since I have a small bit of experience seeing the impacts of incarceration first hand I’m not naturally disposed to throw rotten tomatoes at anyone headed to the pokey, especially on a 5 year sentence when such is considered in light of the extremely lenient plea deals cut by Tim Whitmer and Tom Wilkinson, both integral players in the landfill monopoly scheme at the heart of the Jefferson Parish corruption scandal.
For those of you that are new a bit of history is in order. In September 2010, armed with search warrants, the FBI raided the corporate headquarters of the River Birch Landfill. Slabbed followed along with the related litigation in what I consider some of my former partner in blog Nowdy’s finest work on Jefferson Parish corruption. Among the documents nabbed included “evidence of other crimes”. One of those other crimes was a scheme to defraud construction company Garner Services of one million dollars. The two named conspirators in this scheme are Titus and his brother-in-law Dominick “Big D” Fazzio, who also happens to be the Chief Financial Officer of the Landfill. That business association has been the bane of Titus’ existence ever since and lacking the means to fight a strong government case against him Titus cut a plea deal and wore a wire on his brother-in-law. The transcripts of those conversations leads one to the natural conclusion Titus thought his brother-in-law was in the mafia.
Fazzio has vigorously defended himself against those charges, and in a bad twist for Titus, Assistant US Attorney Sal Perricone was outed by Fred Heebe for posting comments about the case on NOLA.com and Jim Letten’s office was recused from the cases tainted by Perricone’s online activities including the case and plea deal with Titus. The events since have their roots in the Perricone debacle. Continue reading “Mark Titus on my mind…….”