AN AMAZING PLEA BARGAIN PUTS AN END TO THE REMAINING DEFENDANTS IN L.A. COUNTY’S BIGGEST MDMA CASE
March 27, 2003
(LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA)
Attorney Ronald Richards, who has won more, defended more, and resolved more MDMA cases than any attorney in the United States, once again, has proven that his firm gets REAL, tangible, results for persons accused of serious MDMA and MDMA related offenses.
On July 14, 2002, eight Israeli’s were arrested in a coordinated Custom’s-Torrance Police Department joint operation. Mr. Richards’s original client along with three co-defendants were arrested after retrieving 400,000 hits of MDMA from a motel in Long Beach. After two of the defendants were entrapped by a government informant to deliver the MDMA to Van Nuys, Mr. Richards’s first and second clients were robbed at gunpoint by a rival Israeli-Armenian group.
Richards first client on January 16, 2003 had his charges dismissed as Richards and Veteran Attorney Mike McDonnell asserted an entrapment defense both at the preliminary hearing and in the higher court. The District Attorney’s Office decided not to re-file against Richard’s client and re-arrested McDonnell’s client as well as the other two defendants.
Richards, who likes challenges, ultimately became retained by the second co-defendant Nury Atias who had been robbed at gunpoint for the MDMA. The forensic challenge for Richards was that Nury did not have the same entrapment arguments that Richard’s first client had. Nury never had any contact with the informant. However, Nuri was part of the original dismissal order. The clinical challenge was to figure out a way to throw a legal life rope which would allow Nury to bootstrap the previous dismissal into this new case. Within three weeks of retention, Richards set forth a collateral estoppel, forum shopping, and law of the case brief to try and persuade the District Attorney’s office that a resolution to the case is better than another dismissal. A second dismissal would have forever barred prosecution of the remaining three defendants. Hopefully, cooler heads would prevail and wasted years for these young people would be avoided as well as tax payer money.
Being concerned about the remaining two co-defendants being left out in the cold, Richards proposed a resolution to package all three defendants into a global resolution even though he only represented one of the remaining three. On February 24, 2003, Richards received word that his proposal was accepted. Attorney Tony Brooklier who had joined the previous motions prepared by Richards in the first case prior to dismissal assisted Richards in pushing the deal through. The firm would like to thank Mr. Brooklier for always being available to deliberate on strategy and the law. At the last minute, Mr. Brooklier’s client refused the plea. David Z. Chesnoff from Las Vegas, NV was then called in who was representing defendant Tal Brisman in a companion case. Chesnoff orchestrated a county jail plea bargain for his client which then caused Brooklier’s client to finally see the light and take the gift of a deal. The firm would like to thank Mr. Chesnoff for his involvement in getting his client a great deal.
Today the three defendants plead guilty happily accepting the plea bargain. They received a negotiated sentence of 365 days. They have served 257 days plus 128 good time work time for a total of 385 days. They outlived the plea by 20 days due to the fighting. They will be released today having served out their sentence. These young boys are going home.
The three defendants’ were facing a minimum of 18 years and spent 8 months in custody with $1,000,000 bails. They will be released today to rejoin their supportive family members. They are allowed to return to Israel as well if they choose to do so.
For those defense attorneys who get discouraged some days, remember, hard work
and dedication to one’s beliefs, abilities, and goals, usually will produce
a better than expected result. The firm would like to thank the remaining defendants
for not calling everyday, for never giving up, and for placing their lives in
our hands. We take our responsibility seriously. The firm would also like to
thank the District Attorney’s Office for making the just decision in this
case. Not all prosecutors are unreasonable as evident by the resolution of this