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ONE RAT AT A TIME by Mark Anthony Given


     Information is the currency of democracy. — Thomas Jefferson
              THE FEDERAL REPORTER’S come out every few weeks in paperback. The latest United States Court of Appeals decisions, and the Federal Supplement’s containing every case worthy of publication from the lower or United States District Court’s. This is where the Rubber Meets the Road when determining WHO’S A RAT or who isn’t. If you are named in a Case as a Confidential Informant or Cooperating Witness; it’s written in stone. When I was the Head of the Inmate Law Library at the Federal Correctional Facility at Seagoville, Texas, just minutes from Dallas-Ft. Worth, in the early 1990’s, we had a file called “The Cut Case’s.” Guy’s would literally run from the Bus that brought them there, many Self-Surrender, to the Inmate Law Library and surgically cut their Cases right out of the Law Books. Or make the book disappear.
             NEARLY ALL the cases brought to me involved Rat’s, the government call’s them “Cooperating Individuals, “CI’s.” Most Inmates could not distinguish between an individual who “Got on the Bus,” first, and agreed to admit their guilt and involvement and throw themselves to the Mercy of the Court, and those who travel from one federal jurisdiction to another, from one end of the country to the other, set up large shipment’s of drug’s, and have the government deliver them and then jail’s everyone involved: -Minus the “CI.” He gets an upgrade of his per diem allowance and a hefty Treasury Check to boot. And he’s on to the next town….
            I POURED OVER these incoming law books like some people read the Sport’s Page, except I knew this was important stuff;  
Knowledge is Power.–Francis Bacon.  
And, "In the Land of the Blind, The One Eyed Man Is King!" I don’t know who said that but believe me after I got done reading one-hundred and twenty volumes of US Supreme Court cases, and one look at the line of grown Men waiting to talk to me wherever I went in prison, it’s true...
           NEARLY ALL, my clients were high-level drug dealer’s and I got to pour through reams of government’s documents; FBI 302’s what would be similar to a local Police Report giving the whole rundown, just in pieces. It only made sense if you had all the pieces. Reading the lengthy Trial Transcript's it occurred to me that many of these “CI’s,” were like “Show Ponies’,” for the government.
         THE FIRST THING your lawyer is going to ask the CI on the stand is “Have you testified in previous criminal matters for the government?” Have you ever been convicted of a Crime?” One of my first big multiple defendant’s and jurisdictions, Colombian Cartel drug deals case I had involved a bright yellow Penske rental truck with 3,000 kilos of Cocaine at a Houston transmission shop. I read in the 302’s that the coke was delivered by the US Government military planes until it reached US soil, then transported by the DEA from El Paso to Houston in this huge bright Yellow Penske Rental truck which is all over Houston. My Client told me the moment he saw that bright yellow truck he knew he was going to jail, but like a bit part player in a huge production he played along and received a life without the possibility of parole at only 30 years old….The CI who orchestrated the matter claimed this was a one time deal. He got caught and flipped. Then I ran across him again in a similar deal in New England going page by page in the Federal Reporter’s paperback; they are turned into the lined volumes you see in lawyers offices’ and law libraries after about a year. While in paperback, it gives the public time to proof read and identifies errors in the printing.
           Because the government has to demonstrate that it’s CI’s have previously provided reliable information in the past, before they could obtain Affidavit’s in Support of Search Warrants, which they used to gather up all the evidence, again based upon the “reliability of the CI,” these CI’s were often not only the Center piece of the government’s case, but often the Star Witness, corroborating all the evidence amassed. And they don’t give you their names; their Identity is kept anonymous to protect their safety. They will place a hood over their heads on the Witness Stand in Open Court.  But sometimes they did.
          I CAN’T TELL YOU the number of times the first words out of people’s mouth was,“How do I know you are not going to tell everyone what you read in my file?”  I.e., PSI or PreSentence Memorandum.   Many times it wasn’t because they had cooperated, but their standard Plea Agreement say’s they “Agreed to Cooperate.” Sometimes they were flat out Rat’s and needed my help to prompt the government to file “5K Motion,” or a “Rule 35,” every Federal Prisoner knows.    It’s the only way for a reduced sentence.   Rat out everybody you know, get on the witness stand and point them out to the Jury, and get to go home someday.   I can’t number the Men I left in prison who will never see another day of Freedom.   A few good men I hope to write about soon to expose travesty of Justice. 

          THERE IS ANOTHER WAY. Once your ass is locked away in some concrete and steel miserable existence without a single moment or Privacy, surrounded by murders and thieves, you stare at the ceiling at night when the hours get real long, and mentally deciphering every bit of conversation you heard or anything you seen that day for a scrap of Information, a sliver of currency, a hint of light at the end of a very dark tunnel of time. The Golden Ring, Title 18 U.S.C. 35—enacted in the _____ provide that if you solve a crime or provide substantial information.
        I HAD A CLIENT who was a member of the USAF from Miami stationed in Nebraska. Seeing a short supply of what he had plenty of at home, he started transporting kilograms of Cocaine to this ho-bunk town in Nebraska. Being of Cuban decent and involving his brothers and high school friends the government charged him with the “King Pin,” Statute under the Continued Criminal Enterprise, or known as an“848” case for its Title 21 U.S.C. 848. Two thousand pages of trial transcripts, everyone flipped on him, and there was nowhere to “Roll.” In Closing or Final Argument his lawyer tells the jury:
“This case reminds me of a story my grandfather told me when I was a child. Remember there are no eye witnesses, no audio tape, no video, not even finger prints; just his co-defendant's pointing the finger at him. My Grandfather told me that when he was still courting my Grandmother, he was hunting up in the Yukon. One day he was setting aside a tree writing a Love letter to my Grandma when he looked up and Giant Grizzly had the jump on him. Said he jumped up and tussled with the giant bear for his life and at the last moment he jammed that Number 2 Pencil in the Bears heart and killed him dead! 
I said, come on Grand Pa, that’s a little much. 
He was insulted and jumped up and said 
“Helen! Where’s that damn pencil? 
They made a big show of looking all over the place and finally, he whips open a drawer and point’s to an old #2 fat black pencil as you had in Elementary school; 
“There! I told you!”
And that’s the government’s case, and the Pencil doesn’t prove anything, all they have is a parade of Criminal informant’s with Plea Agreements!” He lost. Doing 30 years without parole when I met him and he knew I specialized in big cases.

     I KNEW WHERE THE BODIES WHERE BURIED. If I were on the Compound for even a year or so, I’d know a dozen guys’ secrets, and every move I made was scrutinized for tell tale signs of impending doom.

     THE FEDERAL REPORTER’S are a microcosm of the growing pains of democracy. The underbelly of American society’s commerce, inventions, crime, you name it, Real Life in Black and White cases of everyday affairs. If you were involved in a multi-defendant conspiracy, this published Opinion might be the first time you yourself know what really happened.  Find out who really ratted. Imagine going to prison for conspiring with someone you never even met?  It happens. “Conspiracy,”  has been called the “Quicksand of American Jurisprudence,” and many people never find that out until it’s too late.
             AFTER THE FIRST thirty volumes I started over. And by then, examine the merits of a case before me at a glance. I could tell by its Title if it was a criminal matter or a patent dispute. A habeas corpus death penalty case from a labor relations case, which is I’d guess, comprise an easy 40% of every volume. Workplace or Commerce or business disputes, Criminal matters 30%. Once I identified it as a criminal matter, I’d scan the whole page for “CI” or "Confidential Informant.”
           I WAS ONE HUNDRED Volumes into the Federal Reporter 3rd, which began in 1993, I started back at Volume One and began to record every case by Title and Page number or Citation, for every “CI” or “Confidential Informant,” I encountered, and duly record it. I could get up to ten names out of a single Volume. Sometimes nary a one. It’s a fickle business. I wanted to compile a database of every known and published case of Confidential Informant's, published in the Federal Reporters, not secret documents, FBI 302’s, DEA 6’s, which are the same thing; Information that is available to the public.
            This is what the website “Who’s A Rat, "does.  In fact, their Disclaimer states their site is legal because they only purvey public information. They started in 2006, and I was collecting Citations in 1993. When I Maxed out I had amassed a collection of 700 pages with nearly 30 names and citations on every handwritten page, i.e., US v. Morrison, 293 F.3d 874 (1995) (“CI”), on each page. The government in the Southern District of Florida had already shut down something similar in the early 90’s and every lawyer I mentioned it too, told me the government would rip me limb from limb if I started a website selling this information at $600 a year to access or $49 one time search. Trust me, if you were confronted with one of the nationwide career criminal informants or Rat’s, and the government says this is a one-time deal, and you can show where he has previously testified elsewhere? I shouldn't have to tell you what that means. I personally, have seen them use the same “Load,” in three separate cases and neither case of knew of the other…. and it doesn’t come out in the wash until years later on Appeal in three separate jurisdictions. Even the Appellate Judges don't catch it because unless they go back to examine all the cases I did, the 8th Cir. doesn't know of a 5th Cir. Case. Only guys like me see the connection……the guys who see Time as an important tool. Page by page examining every Federal Appellate Jurisdiction and the Federal Circuit and the DC Courts. It will blow your mind the stuff you will come across…. The underbelly of American Culture, e.g., US v. Pollard, Oliver North, Carlos Marcello, Jimmy Hoffa (Landmark decision in early 70’s where the FBI had an informant as Hoffa's right-hand man. Monster of all Rat cases...
     AFTER IT TOOK TWELVE YEARS TO MAX OUT a Ten Year Sentence with the Fed’s and I had amassed 700 Legal pages with 30 Names and Citation of each documented Rat, 30 x 700 = 2100. I would try and find big tough guys who were broke on their ass but with a little Brains, and I kept two or three guys busy at all times paying them .25 a Citation. Kept two or three typists at a $1 a page busy too.
     I GOT COLD FEET. I eventually equated publishing this information with hopping the fence at the City Zoo just before breakfast, and traipse around looking for just the right Stick with the sharpest point you can find. The longest one in the Zoo, and find the biggest meanest Man Eating Beast in the Jungle the World Over, and poke that sum bitch right in the Eye, just to piss him off. That was my reason not to put a lot of Elbow Grease into not “Who’s a Rat?” but “Who is The Rat?” Because as I said; you find your name in one of these Published Opinions? It’s written in Stone, and you better Check In or Catch Out....or come see me...

This very first ever eBook created on Facebook, Twitter and Blogspot simultaneously!, “Real Men, Real Case's, Real Life Heist’s The Dope Feign Shuffle,” the entirely true story Cover to cover,  Beginning to end, Word for word, Page to page, Edit to edit, right down to the very last One Wrong Word:  Began April 27, 2013 to Present  By Mark Anthony Given. 4/27/2013 7:26:07 AM Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved
     Copyright 2015 by Mark Anthony Given All Rights Reserved 28 USC 1746, Invoking 90 Stat. 2541 and Article 2(4) of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary an

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