Monday, July 31, 2006

Howling at the Moon

The case against Ann Colomb and her three sons was rock solid. When police officers broke through the front door of the Colomb residence on October 22nd, 2001 they found four cookies of crack cocaine with a net weight of 72 grams in a bedroom dresser drawer. In the same dresser they found a handgun and $160 in cash. Clearer evidence of big-time narcotics trafficking is hard to imagine.

The Colomb residence was raided after a confidential informant named Stevie Charlot purchased three rocks of crack from Ann and Edward Colomb in Ann's bedroom. Two police officers heard Ann and Stevie discussing the transaction over a transmitter they had placed in the informant’s sock.

It got worse. During the March 2006 trial, a police officer testified that he had found crack cocaine in a car Sammy Davis and Edward Colomb were riding in back in 1993. Another officer reported that he had seen Danny Davis hand another drug dealer a rock of crack cocaine which was subsequently sold to a third party. That was in 1995. A third officer testified that he had purchased crack cocaine from Sammy Davis under the carport in front of the Colomb residence in 1999.

Then the coup de grace: thirty-one federal prison inmates prepared to testify that they sold members of the Colomb-Davis family over a ton of cocaine between 1993 and 1999. Defense counsel repeatedly emphasized that the prison snitches were cooperating with the government in exchange for time cuts. But there were so many snitches—could they all be lying? With so much smoke billowing from the Colomb’s little FHA residence there was bound to be some fire. If nothing else, the government had the cookies in the dresser drawer.

The three facets of the government’s case against the Colomb-Davis family were mutually reinforcing. Stevie Charlot was believable because two police officers corroborated his testimony. The police officers appeared credible because they were all singing the same tune. The jailhouse snitches were convincing because their testimony dovetailed perfectly with what the jury was hearing from the officers and the confidential informant.

To win this case defense counsel had to posit three overlapping conspiracies: a cop conspiracy, a conspiracy of snitches and a prosecutorial conspiracy perpetrated by a U.S. attorney using lying cops and lying snitches to win an easy conviction. Present one conspiracy theory and you look a bit sketchy; posit three overlapping conspiracies and the boys in the white uniforms come to take you away. You might as well be howling at the moon.

Why, jurors asked themselves, would so many people go to so much trouble to bring down a single family?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ummm because they were criminal drug dealers that needed to go to jail? Because the prosecution was doing it's job and bringing forward the best case possible?

ronsaint@cox.net said...

These kinds of cases are always interesting but this story is incomplete. What are the charges and possible sentence? What is the current status? Would you direct me to some sources?

AlanBean said...

At the moment, a federal judge has called for new trials for all four defendants in this case. Two were looking at minimum sentences of ten years; and the other two were facing minimum twenty-year sentences. During the trial it became obvious that the inmate snitches were rehearsing their testimony together and sharing information. In future posts I will explain why the government's apparently convincing case is completely bankrupt.

AlanBean said...

Anonymous: That is a natural, and fairly typical, assumption. Like you, the jury assumed the prosecution, the police officers and at least some of the inmate witnesses were acting in good faith. Future posts will demonstrate why none of these assumptions are warranted.

Anonymous said...

Ahh..cue the big conspiracy theories...

Crawford's Take said...

Your story has me on the edge of my seat. Can't wait for the next post!

Rusty said...

Anonymous said...
Ummm because they were criminal drug dealers that needed to go to jail? Because the prosecution was doing it's job and bringing forward the best case possible?

And in the last 80+ years and over a " TRILLION " dollars later with 1.6 million people locked up every year, untold numbers of INNOCENT Americans, from the elderly to infants being KILLED, YOU STILL SUPPORT THIS FAILURE????? And by doing so ensure that " ALL ASPECTS " of drugs will remain under the control of criminals, the purity, cost AND AGE LIMIT, etc...??? WHY??? So you believe those entrusted with GIVEING EVERY AMERICAN the right to justice, are doing so by threatening them with the maximum time " IF THEY REFUSE A PLEA BARGIN "???

""""Ahh..cue the big conspiracy theories...""""

The only way to bring down a corrupt system, IS TO OVERLOAD IT! Welcome to the NEW AMERICA you can have as many Freedoms and as much Justice AS YOU CAN AFFORD!!! Those who have manipulated our system for their own agendas and biases have sold out their religion and their souls and our country in doing so! Those that subjugate themselves to this "FEAR and CASH COW " do so at the cost of their Honor and the future of our young AND OUR COUNTRY!!!

There has got to be a better way!!!

Rusty White
Speaker www.leap.cc

Anonymous said...

"There has got to be a better way!!!"

Please enlighten me and tell me your ideas for making things better.

Rusty said...

anonymous,

First off we end this known failure called the war on drugs. Redirect our resources to help our people instead of harming them. Take the " 69 BILLION DOLLARS " we throw down the rat hole every year and start facing the realities and facts instead manipulate fear and propaganda. Start holding people responsible for their actions not their personal choices. Take the excuse of drugs away from both the bad guys and the good guys! Stop letting people manipulate our laws with their own personal agendas and biases. Empty our jails , prisons and people ranches of all non-violent drug users. Remove the life time records from those who have harmed NO ONE! Start telling and teaching the truth, so our kids will be armed with the TRUTH and information that could save their lives. Use our law enforcement resources against REAL CRIMINALS, child molesters and killers, etc.. instead of non-violent people that make choices OTHERS DON'T LIKE, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. Stop turning neighbor against neighbor, kids against kids! End the policies that create second class citizens in our country, those with no hope, no future, who turn on our own people to survive!

I invite all to www.leap.cc watch the 12 minute video on our home page, and then see if you feel the same??? We don't have all the answers, but at least we are no longer denying the realities we live in! Also look at the links and educate yourself like those of the King County Bar Association. Look at those who support these new approaches, churches, Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Pediatricians, Health organizations, Lawyers, Judges, present and former law enforcement officers, etc....

Rusty White
Speaker www.leap.cc

BruceH said...

Anon, please read the archives here, or at many other anti-drug war sites. I suggest http://drugwarrant.com/ for a lucid and succinct discussion of why the drug war is wrong and what we can do about it. Asking for more information is commendable, but there is too much wrong with the drug war to address in a mere comment.

Without going into too much detail, I can briefly list some of the reasons we feel the way we do.

1) the 4th ammendment. The drug war has eroded our fourth ammendment rights against frivolous search and seizure. For instance, it is legal for the police to seize your property on the mere suspicion of drug possession. They do not even have to accuse you in a court of law, much less obtain a conviction.

2) This country spends billions of dollars fighting substances that cannot be eradicated. This is wasteful in the extreme. The government can't even keep drugs out of the prisons, to think they can get it off the streets is delusional.

3) The drug war has eroded our right against unreasonable detainment and incarceration. Is possessing a gram of some substance that is not a danger to anyone else really deserving of long time confinement? I think not.

4) The drug war is racist. Far more minorities are convicted of drug offences than are whites, even though whites use or abuse drugs at approximately the same rate as anybody else.

5) The drug war causes people who may have serious problems with drug abuse to go underground where they will not receive the help they need. This is institutionalized cruelty. To add to that, when these unfortunate souls do get arrested, they are sent to jail instead of treatment facilities, and still will not get the help they need.

Rusty said...

bruceh,

WELL SAID! And you are correct, it is very difficult to address this issue in short responses. At least now the subject is no longer considered taboo or unacceptable to even entertain. I for one welcome any opportunity to discuss the issue, any time any place. I do so in the hopes of bringing the issue out in the open so we can find the answers our people and country so desperately need. Thank you having the heart to stand up and for being honest and trying to help. If we looked at the facts and realities of this issue there is little chance for anyone to honestly defend this failed policy, known as the war on drugs! Nor justify the harm it is doing.Together one day " AGAIN " common sense may be the bases for our laws and path of our country instead of manipulated fear,biases and agendas to continue this " CASH COW "!

Rusty White
Speaker www.leap.cc

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