Gene Tatum GABRIEL TABOADA
Breaking News January 21, 1997
January 21, 1997
By Gene "Chip" Tatum
I recently received a letter from an old business associate" who is currently serving a lengthy federal prison sentence. This old "associate" relayed his situation in detail, hoping that I may have a solution. known as an alternative planner during my years with "The Company" and other intelligence organizations, Gabriel was sure that I could offer an alternative which he and his attorney had not yet considered.
I was aware that Gabriel had been captured in Switzerland and extradited to the United States to be tried on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering. Gabriel Taboada, ( see attachment 1) facing life in prison, agreed to testify against General Manuel "Tony" Noriega. What I didn’t know was Gabriel Taboada would also be used in numerous other federal prosecutions to include the trial of "La Kika" Mosquera, the airline bombing case which Janet Reno has recently lauded as a masterpiece in investigative and prosecutorial professionalism and named herself as the architect of the case.
For his cooperation in the Noriega case, Gabriel told me that he was offered a sentence reduction to five years imprisonment, entry into the federal witness protection program, and designation to a federal prison camp rather than a prison with "walls, gun towers, and razor wire." As sated by Gabriel, it was important to receive a new identity and be put in a camp due to the repercussions from the international drug community for "snitching and lying." He went on to explain that most convicted drug dealers were placed in federal prisons, and the cartels had placed a $5 million dollar contract on him. This could easily be done in a prison full of convicted cartel members.
Apparently the U.S. Department of Justice allows two types of sentence reductions: The "5K1" reduction allows for a sentence reduction of a convict for providing assistance in his case or a related case. The second form of sentence reduction comes as a result of testifying or assisting federal authorities in a case not related to the case for which the convict was imprisoned . This is a called a "Rule 35" sentence reduction.
After arriving in Miami from Switzerland, Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSA) Guy Lewis and Pat Sullivan met with Gabriel Taboada and his attorney, F. Lee Bailey. It was in these series of meetings that Taboada agreed to testify against "Tony" Noriega in exchange for a sentence reduction from possible life to five years.
In preparation for trial, Taboada met with AUSA Lewis and Sullivan for hours at a time. It was Taboada’s understanding that when one testifies in the U.S. Federal Court, you are obligated to tell the "truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth." But , it was the threat of the AUSA Lewis and Sullivan, after hearing the truth about Noriega’s involvement with the cartels, that if Taboada tells what really happened, he won’t see the outside of federal prison for the rest of this life. With that, the training began. As Gabriel writes in his letter to Senator John Kerry (attachment 2) he "danced to their [the AUSA’S] tune" and held his testimony to what the U.S. Attorney’s office wanted rather than telling the whole truth (see attachment 2, page 2, section 3
In defense of the U.S. Attorney’s office, I will state the following. Federal criminal code defines the overt acts which must be committed in order to find a defendant guilty. In most cases, it is very difficult to receive testimony from witnesses which is adequate to fulfill this requirement. So, the U.S. Attorney’s office always coaches their key witnesses in how to present their testimony. . Unfortunately, many AUSA’s see their position as ensuring defendants are prosecuted and imprisoned rather than seeing that justice prevails. Gabriel, driven by the threat of a life of imprisonment, performed so well that AUSA’s Lewis and Sullivan realized that they were now in possession of a "Golden Goose" (see attachment 3).
Following the conviction of Noriega, and elated over the performance of Taboada, AUSA’s Sullivan and Lewis decided that to let Taboada out of their control would not be prudent. So, at this point, the U.S. Attorney’s office sought a 21 year sentence on Gabriel Taboada. Following the U.S. Attorney’s recommendation, Gabriel Taboada was sentenced by a federal judge to 21 years in federal prison. Due to the length of imprisonment, he was not eligible for a prison camp as promised by the U.S. Attorney’s office. Instead of giving Taboada a new name to conceal his identity from Colombians serving in federal prison, the U.S. Judge ordered Taboada to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, with no further instructions.
Placed in a life-threatening situation, with the only hope of protection cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Miami, Gabriel Taboada found it necessary to begin working for the government. From 1991 through 1993 Gabriel Taboada was key in the prosecution of six federal trials. In all of his testimonies, he performed exceptionally, "dancing to the tune" of the U.S. Attorney’s office. The truth be damned- he had to get out of that prison!
In May of 1993, Gabriel Taboada was transported in handcuffs, ankle cuffs, and chains, to the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Charleston, South Carolina. It was here, almost three years later, that Gabriel’s sentence was reduced. But, instead of a reduction to the original five years promised in 1990, Gabriel Taboada was resentenced from 21 years imprisonment to twelve years. Again, after lying in numerous federal trials as instructed by the Miami U.S. Attorney’s office, the U.S. government again broke their promise to Taboada (attachment 2, page 2, section 2). Not only did they renege on the maximum sentence of five years, but Taboada still didn’t qualify for a federal camp under the Federal Bureau of Prison guidelines, and there was no witness protection order given by the judge, so the pressure was still on the government’s "Golden Goose." They [the U.S. Attorney] had a "golden egg" in mind and needed Taboada’s skills in witness tampering to get the conviction they [the government] were looking for.
In the international drug community, the name Gabriel Taboada was deadly. As the result of numerous trials and precise testimony by Taboada, narco-traffickers received sentences totaling over a thousand years. A plea negotiation was often the only viable option of the U.S. Attorney’s office intended to use Gabriel Taboada as their witness, and defense attorney’s knew it. Taboada was so "trainable" in facts and elements of the crimes, that his name was commonplace in the Washington DC "main justice" offices (attachment 4, page 1, section 1).
So, when a trial as important to the integrity of the FBI And U.S. Attorney’s office as the bombing of a n airliner purportedly by bad guy Dandeny Munos "La Kika" Mosquera materialized, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and U.S. Attorney David Troyer turned to Gabriel Taboada, the U.S. Department of Justice’s "Golden Goose" to lay the "golden egg." It was Taboada’s duty to recruit and advise prospective witnesses for the case. As Gabriel arranged the witnesses from various prisons he was adamant in explaining the need to testify as they are told and not to vary from the facts as explained to them by Troyer. The "golden egg" was laid and La Kika was convicted. Now Gabriel Taboada , feeling as if he were a true government witness, informant, and American citizen had finally positioned himself to leave federal prison (attachment 5).
A subpoena arrived from the office of Senator John Kerry requiring Taboada to testify before Kerry’s committee concerning international DEA corruption. It was Taboada’s belief that he was called by Senator Kerry to provide the truth, so he told the truth. This is the first time that he was able to be truthful since becoming involved with the U.S. Department of Justice in 1990 (attachment 2, page 4, section 5).
AUSA Guy Lewis accompanied Gabriel Taboada to the congressional hearing to ensure that Taboada did not answer any questions pertaining to the Noriega case or the Habibe case (Haiti). But Taboada, feeling as though he was a partner and team member of the Miami U.S. Attorney’s office, decided to answer the questions asked concerning the Noriega and Habibe cases (attachment 6, page 2, paragraph 5).
It was this testimony that U.S. Attorneys Troyer and Lewis would use to leverage Gabriel into further work. Tired of lying, Taboada refused to cooperate any further with the U.S. Attorney’s office (attachment 7).
Gabriel and his attorney petitioned the court to further reduce his sentence in 1995, but Judge Sol Blatt, U.S. District Judge in South Carolina did not reduce his sentence.
Gabriel stated that the U.S. Attorney’s office is trying to keep the pressure on so that Gabriel will testify in an upcoming murder trial of Willie Falcon. This case involves corruption of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in a conspiracy to murder a federal witness currently housed in the Miami detention center. But, Gabriel’s answer to AUSA Pat Sullivan who wants Gabriel to fabricate testimony against Falcon is to the point, "Don’t hold your breath...try keeping your promises, Mr. Sullivan...I have been used and abused and you expect me to pony-up a bunch of new assistance!" (see attachment 8).
As I study the events which Gabriel has laid out since his contact with the U.S. De[Department of Justice in 1990, I find several disturbing points, as would most of you. But getting beyond the fact that Gabriel Taboada has struggled with the Department of Justice for the last six years in an attempt to get a debt paid, we must also be concerned about that congressional testimony given before Senator Kerry. Is there testimony hidden in the various committee’s records which bring us closer to the truth about the attack by U.S. forces against a sovereign nation purportedly for the sole purpose of extraditing a drug trafficker? And if so, is justice being served by keeping this information from the public? And if congress has found it necessary to conceal the information provided by Taboada, how many others testified concerning government corruption only to end up with a sealed record? Perhaps that’s what happened when Ricardo Duran Sarmiento (drug pilot) testified to congress concerning the CIA’s involvement in drug trafficking and has now mysteriously disappeared from his cell in Jesup Federal Prison.
In all honesty, I am stumped on an alternative solution for Gabriel Taboada. The U.S. government holds all the cards. There is no resolution for the common man. So I present Gabriel Taboada’s circumstances to the millions of readers on the Internet. Perhaps there is an attorney out there that sees a way past the U.S. Department of Justice wall that has been built around a government witness, or are its strings attached to the government witness which controls him/her for the duration of their life? Or perhaps there is an alternative planner out there that sees a way to crack that wall so that the government’s "Golden Goose" can quit laying eggs. If not, perhaps there’s a member of the clergy out there that can say a prayer for those of us who life in the good "ol’ USA, living in a country controlled by a gang of terrorists wearing ties and carrying the identification of the U.S. Department of Justice or member of congress.
It’s not what we had in mind when our forefathers drafted the Constitution, or our Declaration of Independence. I’ll bet it’s not what the American population has in mind today, either.
I was taught as a child that it is never too late to correct a wrong. So come on American, give us an answer. Do we simply throw out our Bill of Rights and allow officers of the Justice Department and congress to blatantly violate the law in order to convict criminals? If that’s the case then lets just save ourselves a lot of tax moneys and do away with the $30,000 a day U.S. criminal trials and shoot those who are suspected of crimes against the United States.
Is there an answer? Hope so.
Gene "Chip" Tatum
[email protected]> P.O. Box 8955082 Leesburg, FL 34789
Gene Tatum was a personal friend of mine he and I did many radio show together in 1996-1997 as co-guests.
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I, Stew Webb released the Short Version below of the Cutolo Affidavit in 1993 after being given both the 90 page long version and the short version in August 1993 by my Friend Bill McCoy DOD-CIA-Private Investigator (Murdered in 1997)
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