Mr. Gorence explained to the Jury a Plea Agreement is a contract. The government got what they bought and paid for, and at long last they can confront (not heard, possibly Roman).
By January 21, 2011, that was when the government got him (Roman). Mr. Gorence referenced the Roman Plea Agreement dated January 26, 2011, and explained to the Jury and emphasized that within 5 days the government drafted a Proffer to make a deal with Roman to become a representative of the U.S. Mr. Gorence continued explaining that the government cut him all the slack in the world, and urged the Jury to look at the deal.
Mr. Gorence added Roman is described as a cartel member, but not the nature of the deal. Agent Pacheco described La Linea as one of three of the largest cartels in Mexico. Haggerty was even flown in from Washington and described this cartel as a transnational criminal organization – not just in Mexico but all over – not just involved in drug trafficking, but kidnapping and on and on, and responsible for thousands of murders.
Mr. Gorence told the Jury it is almost unbelievable the government wants (not heard). Mr. Gorence continued reminding the Jury that from Agent Pacheco they were ready to set him up, even though he is a liar, for his alleged cooperation. Roman thinks he’s going to Mexico and facing certain death. Haggerty explained the organization of transnational gangs, and called it a structured business.
Mr. Gorence asked the Jury if Roman ever said one thing about money going to Mexico to the agents, or anything about the stash houses. Nope. He asked if Roman talked about all the other cartel members. Nope. Mr. Gorence stated the only thing Roman wanted to talk about was the Reeses.
Mr. Gorence reminded the Jury that drugs exported across the border into the US are valuable. Marijuana is $350 a pound close to the border, but north of the checkpoint the value increases to $2000 – $5000 a pound just for getting it past law enforcement checkpoints around the border.
Mr. Gorence reminded them that Roman takes the drugs from here and the government turns a complete blind eye, and instead, focuses their attention on an American family who has never been in trouble. Rick has paid taxes in this country for 35 years, and raised his sons his way, yet was targeted based on a cartel member.
Mr. Gorence stated sometimes you hear judges condone this stating we have to make a deal with the devil because we need to catch a bigger devil, and sometimes that is necessary. Mr. Gorence gave an example of John Gotti, who was a star witness, and in that case the government had to cut a deal with Gotti because they needed to get someone responsible for the deaths of hundreds.
Mr. Gorence pointed out that in this case the government took a cartel member and targeted a family with no criminal history, and once they flipped Roman, they cut him a sweetheart agreement. Mr. Gorence reminded the Jury that they need to understand that Roman didn’t take any responsibility for smuggling 4000# of marijuana, no gun smuggling charges, no anything in exchange for the Plea Agreement.
Instead the government goes all in on the Reese family.