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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Columbia, South Carolina - Rock Hell Phase II

The ongoing, federal ordeal of Mark William Baker, David Channing Oiler and Bruce James Long continued yesterday in Columbia, South Carolina with “Phase II” of the trial. All three men were members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in Rock Hill, South Carolina and all were found guilty of selling cocaine, methamphetamine and prescription drugs to a drug dealer named Joe Dillulio. Dillulio turned out to be a very bad man working for the government.
The same jurors who found the three men guilty must now apportion guilt between the three men and the fat serpent who tempted them with easy money for little risk.

The Jury Charge
The jurors were told they would “need to determine, and indicate on your special verdict form: The amount of the controlled substances the government proved beyond a reasonable doubt is attributable to the entire drug conspiracy; the amount of each controlled substance the government proved beyond a reasonable doubt is attributable to a particular defendant as a member of the drug conspiracy; and the amount of cocaine the government proved beyond a reasonable doubt was involved in each attempted distribution.”
The instructions, which seemed to ignore reality and provide the jurors with only irrelevant and confusing options continued: “Then, you must also determine the quantity of controlled substances attributable to each individual defendant as a member of the drug conspiracy. ‘Attributable to the defendant’ means the amount of drugs that the defendant was involved in distributing, possessing with intent to distribute, or attempting to distribute as a member of the conspiracy; the amount of drugs which the defendant knew, planned, or reasonably foresaw someone else would distribute, possess with the intent to distribute, or attempt to distribute as part of the conspiracy, even if those drugs were never actually obtained, distributed, or attempted to be distributed; and the amount of drugs distributed, possessed with intent to distribute, or attempted to be distributed by other members of the conspiracy….”
“Finally, you must determine the amount of cocaine involved in the attempted distributions…. Based on all of the evidence that you heard during the trial, you must indicate the amount of cocaine attempted to be distributed on each occasion. The special verdict form also has threshold weights involved in each cocaine attempt.”
The Drama
Attorneys on both sides in the case addressed the jury before it began this second phase of deliberations. As it has throughout the trial, the prosecution relied heavily on surveillance photos and various diagrams. Presumably, the government is convinced that the jury believes pictures cannot lie. One particular astounding graphic represented the hells Angels charter in Rock Hill as the nexus of narcotics distribution on the East Coast. It may have been the single most impressive picture of the day. A green line connected Rock Hill far to the north of North Carolina in the general direction of Chicago and Detroit. A purple line pointed toward New York City. A Carolina blue line pointed straight for Cartagena while another blue line and some red lines connected the three convicted men to Atlanta.
There were dozens of shots of the grossly obese Dillulio instigating drug deals in wine bars and at his jewelry store. Whenever possible, the defendants were photographed in their Angels cuts. What the pictures really show is that an FBI Agent named Devon Mahoney used Dillulio to create a concatenation of crimes that would never have otherwise occurred. The point of this “sting” and the subsequent arrests was not to protect an innocent public from a dangerous drug gang. Without the FBI, there never would have been a drug gang. The point of it all was to “get” some Hells Angels.
The defense, which relied less on Photoshop that the prosecution, showed the jury a crudely drawn illustration on graph paper that featured Dillulio at the center of a very small crime empire.
The jury was still deliberating Tuesday.

Lisa Bifield
Before Monday’s deliberations began, Lisa Bifield who pled guilty to a gun charge last December, formally changed attorneys. Mrs. Bifield’s new attorney is Louis H. Lang of Columbia firm named Callison, Tighe and Robinson.
Lisa Bifield and her husband Dan both entered guilty pleas on the same day. Dan Bifield moved to vacate his guilty plea last month. A hearing on his motion is scheduled for April 11.
Lisa Bifield’s new attorney will probably move to vacate his client’s guilty plea within the next two weeks.