Disbarred lawyer implicated in drug ring, Dead Man, Inc. murder-for-hire
A document filed last week in a federal murder case implicates disbarred defense attorney Stanley Needleman (pictured, left) in a gang-related murder-for-hire scheme, while another document raises questions about how Baltimore City police and prosecutors handled the case.
The case involves the murder of Robert Long, a long-time aid to contractor, arsonist, and drug dealer Jose J. Morales (pictured, right). Long was shot dead in March of 2008, 13 days after he agreed to testify against his boss in a stolen scaffolding case.
Morales was represented by Needleman, a prominent lawyer who has since been convicted and served a year in prison for tax evasion—in a case apparently launched when Morales told federal authorities about his attorney’s million-dollar stash of cash.
City police arrested, and prosecutors convicted, Demetrius Smith for Long’s murder, but the case was dismissed last year shortly before a federal grand jury indicted Morales in the murder-for hire scheme.
Now federal prosecutors say they want to use Morales’s words against him in the murder trial, and that those words and the circumstances under which Morales uttered them render the usual attorney-client privilege moot.
The document, a Notice of Intention to Use Statements Against Defendant Jose Morales, stems from a May 6 hearing in which “the Government contended that Morales had waived his privilege and that his waiver began the day of his arrest in Texas when he began to disclose purportedly about his criminal conduct with his attorney.”
In the summer of 2008, Morales had skipped bail in several Baltimore-area cases and was mysteriously bailed out—by Needleman, it turned out—in another when federal law enforcement nabbed him in McAllen, Texas, trying to charter a private jet back to Baltimore with six kilos of cocaine. He apparently began telling stories right off, and many of them were later discounted in open court.
“However,” the Notice says, “the Government learned from notes taken by the Texas case agent, Special Agent Garrett Huling, that Morales also implicated Needleman in the murder of Robert Long in August 2008.
“Morales said the day his co-defendant snitched, Stanley said ‘don’t worry about it, I’ll take care of it,’” the Notice, which was filed on July 17, reads, in part. “Morales said that Rob Long (his co-defendant) then got killed.”
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