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August 29, 2015

Posts in "DC Crime"

August 19, 2015

Ex-Cochran Aide Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy

UNITED STATES - JULY 9: Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., heads to the Senate floor for a vote on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Cochran heads to the Senate floor for a vote on July 9. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The former aide to Mississippi GOP Sen. Thad Cochran who was arrested as part of a sex-for-drugs scheme pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine.

Fred Pagan, 49, admitted in federal court just a few blocks from the Capitol that from February until he was arrested in April, he participated in a scheme to possess and distribute meth and assist others in possessing the drug.

On April 23, Homeland Security Investigations agents raided Pagan’s home in Northwest D.C. after law enforcement intercepted a package of the date rape drug gamma-Butyrolactone, or GBL, which was shipped to the address from China. During the raid, the agents also discovered meth in a tightly wrapped package in a binder underneath his bed. In earlier court documents, Pagan allegedly told authorities he had planned to elicit sexual favors in exchange for the GBL and the meth.

Pagan was originally charged with one count of possession and intent to distribute and one count of importing a controlled substance. In April, he pleaded not guilty to the charges, and attorneys indicated in July that a plea deal was in the works.

But Wednesday, Pagan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute. U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Pearlman declined to comment as he exited the hearing. And a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office also declined to comment on the change in charges, citing an ongoing investigation.

Pagan and defense attorney Kobie A. Flowers did not comment as they left the courtroom following the plea hearing, which lasted around 30 minutes. During the proceedings, the gray-haired Pagan stood solemnly as he responded to U.S District Judge Beryl A. Howell’s questions about his guilty plea.

In questions about his competency, Pagan revealed has been receiving treatment for a meth addiction and takes daily medication. “I feel good,” Pagan said when asked if the medication affected him. “That’s what the medication does for me.”

According to court documents, Pagan admitted to knowingly and willfully conspiring “with other persons both known and unknown” to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, meth. The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment on whether the revelation of a conspiracy  or that Pagan was working with other individuals  indicated there would be further arrests in the case.

The statement of offenses obtained, which Pagan agreed to as part of his plea, cites two other individuals involved in the scheme, only identified as “Co-Conspirator 1″ and “Co-Conspirator 2.” According to the court documents, Pagan used meth from at least November 2014 until April 2015.

In February 2015, Pagan agreed to obtain meth from “CC1″ which was shipped to Pagan via “CC2.” Pagan allegedy received one package of meth in February and four in March. He and CC1 arranged for CC1 to pick up the packages at Pagan’s home, since the co-conspirator “in part wanted to avoid detection” for too many packages going to his or her residence.  Pagan was allegedly aware CC1 distributed meth to other individuals and also drove CC1 to the airport on at least two occasions where CC1 “traveled in part to obtain methamphetamine.”

Though there was no mention in the hearing of the date rape drug that prompted the federal raid, the statement of offense did address the GBL. According to the document, Pagan admitted to ordering GBL and to doing so on at least two other occasions. He also admitted to using GBL and sometimes selling meth to friends.

The arrest cost Pagan his job, where he earned around $160,000 annually working as Cochran’s personal assistant and office administrator, according to the LegiStorm database. Cochran’s office dismissed Pagan on May 15, after he spent decades working for the Mississippi Republican. Pagan, a native of Jackson, Mich., first came to the Senate as a page for Cochran when he was 16 years old, and essentially never left. He reportedly finished his high school degree while continuing to work for Cochran, and confirmed in court Wednesday that he did not earn a college degree.

By pleading guilty to the felony offense, Pagan faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. He also could receive a term of supervised release of a minimum of three years and up to life. Pagan also agreed to pay a “special assessment” of $100 per felony conviction.

Pagan was released under the same prior conditions that he continue treatment and return to court. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 30.

Related:

Former Cochran Staffer Hopes for Plea Deal in Sex-for-Drugs Case

Senate Aide Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ to Drug Charges

Cochran Staffer Confesses to Sex-for-Drugs Scheme, Feds Say

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August 5, 2015

Gyrocopter Pilot Looks to Crowdfund Defense Counsel

rthouse, May 21, 2015, after pleading not guilty to six counts regarding his landing of a gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the Capitol in April. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hughes wants to crowdsource his legal defense, but a federal judge isn’t sure whether the law will allow it. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida mailman Douglas Hughes is looking to crowdfund a First Amendment legal defense against the six felony and misdemeanor charges he faces from his April 15 gyrocopter landing on the West Front. Full story

July 24, 2015

Capitol Police Stop Ex-Cop From Taking Loaded Revolver Into Library

lag flies at half staff over the Library of Congress Jefferson Building to recognize the 50th Anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Police at the Library of Congress Jefferson Building found a loaded gun in the Virginia man’s briefcase. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:33 p.m. | Capitol Police stopped a 55-year-old Virginia man who claimed to be a local cop from carrying a loaded revolver into the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building Tuesday.

Jeff Jefferson Ahn, listed as Yong Ahn in documents filed in D.C. Superior Court, entered the Jefferson Building’s carriage entrance on First Street Southeast, Tuesday morning. He placed a black briefcase into the X-ray machine around 9:45 a.m. During screening, an officer noticed what appeared to be a handgun. Full story

July 22, 2015

National Security or First Amendment? Gyrocopter Case Proceeds

UNITED STATES - MAY 21: Doug Hughes conducts a news conference outside of the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, May 21, 2015, after pleading not guilty to six counts regarding his landing of a gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the Capitol in April. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hughes wants to argue a “necessity defense” for his gyrocopter flight. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The airspace security concerns Congress has harped on since the April 15 gyrocopter stunt on the West Front continue to delay Douglas Hughes from a federal trial, but the Florida mailman has dreamed up his own defense strategy.

Hughes presented his “necessity defense” to reporters Wednesday, after a status hearing in the federal courthouse mere blocks from the Capitol. Full story

July 10, 2015

Former Cochran Staffer Hopes for Plea Deal in Sex-for-Drugs Case

A federal judge on Friday granted attorneys more time for the case of a 49-year-old man who spent decades working for Sen. Thad Cochran, starting with a stint as the Mississippi Republican’s page, before serious drug charges related to methamphetamine and date rape drugs cost him his career.

Fred W. Pagan pleaded not guilty on April 29 to charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and importation of a controlled substance, after allegedly confessing plans to distribute both drugs “in exchange for sexual favors.” U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell continued the case until Aug. 7, with attorneys hinting a plea deal may be in the works. Full story

July 7, 2015

Himes Consoles Family of Slain Former Intern

Kevin Sutherland

Himes consoled the family of a former intern who was murdered in D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., was in his home state Monday paying respects to the family of former intern Kevin Sutherland, who was stabbed to death on July 4 in Washington, D.C.

Sutherland, a 24-year-old American University graduate, worked in Himes’ congressional office as an intern from September to December 2013. He recently began working as a digital strategist for New Blue Interactive, a new media strategy firm specializing in Democratic campaigns. Full story

June 17, 2015

As White House Fence Jumper Heads to Prison, Security Upgrades Continue

Gainer suggests a fence around the Capitol, similar to the barricades at the White House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More security upgrades are underway outside the White House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Iraq war veteran Omar Gonzalez is headed to prison for the White House intrusion that raised serious questions about the Secret Service’s ability to secure the executive mansion.

A judge sentenced the 43-year-old to serve 17 months behind bars. Meanwhile, security changes implemented as a result of the Sept. 19 breach are still underway. Full story

May 29, 2015

‘Catfish’ Subject Indicted for Metro, SOTU Threats

A 20-year-old D.C. man allegedly called Metro Transit Police on the night of State of the Union, claiming people “from France” told him they planned to ambush President Barack Obama’s motorcade and assassinate the president that night.

The caller went on to say the same people had placed bombs around the Potomac Avenue Metro station, and also planned to kill a police officer. As a result of these threats, the entire station was shut down and sweeps were conducted to check for the reported bombs or other destructive devices, the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority stated in a release announcing the arrest of Jerez Nehemiah Stone-Coleman.

Full story

May 28, 2015

Former Senate Commerce Staffer Indicted for Defrauding Vulnerable Women

Known as a fixture on Capitol Hill until his January 2010 retirement, longtime Senate staffer Robert Lee Foster is now making headlines for his alleged involvement in a scheme to defraud vulnerable women for approximately $500,000.

A Virginia grand jury on Thursday indicted the 65-year-old man, who worked as a staffer on the Senate Commerce Committee for more than three decades, on nine counts of wire fraud, allegedly connected to his Senate Federal Credit Union account. Full story

May 21, 2015

Doug Hughes: Congress Must Honor Vows to ‘We the People’

Hughes soaks in the support at the courthouse. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hughes soaks in the support at the courthouse. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Florida mailman Douglas Hughes got a hero’s welcome when he returned to Washington Thursday to face six charges related to his April 15 landing on the West Front of the Capitol.

In a lofty speech to supporters and about two dozen reporters, Hughes called on lawmakers to “honor the vows of fidelity implicit in the Constitution.” The 61-year-old advocate for campaign finance reform clarified, that’s “fidelity to ‘We the People.'” Full story

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