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USA v. Black et al (Criminal Action No. 16-20032-JAR)

Judge Info: 
Case Summary: 

The defendants in this case are charged with conspiracy to traffic in contraband, including methamphetamine, cigarettes and cellular phones inside the Corrections Corporation of America (“CCA”) Leavenworth Detention Center. The defendants include detainees at CCA, family members or associates of these detainees who operated outside of CCA, and one prison guard employed by CCA. During the course of discovery in this case, allegations arose that the Government had obtained video recordings of attorney-client communications as well as audio recordings of calls from inmates at CCA to their attorneys, and that these recordings had been disseminated in discovery.  The Court held three hearings and the parties submitted several rounds of briefing concerning the privilege issues related to these recordings.  At the first hearing, the Federal Public Defender's Office (“FPD”) entered its appearance on behalf of clients who were allegedly included in the recordings.  During the hearing, the parties jointly moved for the appointment of a special master to review the recordings and determine whether they contained privileged material. On October 11, 2016, the Court issued an Order appointing David R. Cohen as special master in this case. The Court first directed Mr. Cohen to conduct an assessment of the feasibility of identifying and excising privileged and confidential communications contained within the audio and video recordings.  Second, the Court explained that after reviewing the feasibility report it would determine whether Mr. Cohen should proceed with identifying and excising privileged communications and potentially performing other functions related to the issues in this case.

Mr. Cohen issued an initial feasibility report and the Court directed him to proceed to Phase II of his appointment, which involved identifying and excising privileged communications within the video and audio recordings. Mr. Cohen issued several reports on these matters, to which the Government and the FPD each responded.

On May 17, 2017, the Court issued a Memorandum and Order directing Mr. Cohen to proceed to a Phase III investigation of the Government's conduct relative to all recordings it obtained in connection with the CCA investigation. This web page provides a brief summary of the case along with selected documents filed by the parties.  To view all of the records in the case, please use the court's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER).  For more information on PACER and how to access court records, including court transcripts, CLICK HERE.

Contact Information: 
Special Master
David R. Cohen
David R. Cohen Co., LPA
24400 Chagrin Blvd, Suite 300
Cleveland, OH 44122
Plaintiffs' Counsel
Debra L. Barnett
Office of United States Attorney - Wichita
301 North Main Street, Suite #1200
Wichita, KS 67202-4812
Donald Christopher Oakley
Office of United States Attorney - Kansas City
500 State Avenue, Suite 260
Kansas City, KS 66101
Dustin J. Slinkard
Office of United States Attorney - Topeka
290 US Courthouse
444 SE Quincy
Topeka, KS 66683-3592
Defendants' Counsel
Cynthia M. Dodge
Counsel for defendant David Bishop (06)
Cynthia M. Dodge, LLC
233 SW Greenwich Drive, #10
Lee's Summit, MO 64082
David J. Guastello
Counsel for defendant Karl Carter (02)
The Guastello Law Firm, LLC
4010 Washington Street, Suite 501
Kansas City, MO 64111
Jason P. Hoffman
Counsel for defendant Anthon Aiono (03)
Hoffman & Hoffman
CoreFirst Bank & Trust Bldg.
100 E. 9th St. Third Floor East
Topeka, KS 66612
John Jenab
Counsel for defendant Lorenzo Black (01)
Jenab Law Firm, PA
110 South Cherry Street, Suite 103
Olathe, KS 66061
Kathleen A. Ambrosio
Counsel for defendant Alicia Tackett (04)
Ambrosio & Ambrosio Chtd.
800 SW Jackson, Suite #817
Topeka, KS 66612
Michael M. Jackson
Counsel for defendant Catherine Rowlette (05)
727 South Kansas Ave., Suite 2
Topeka, KS 66603
Branden A. Bell
Counsel for Movant Federal Public Defender
Office of Federal Public Defender - Topeka
117 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 200
Topeka, KS 66603
Kirk C. Redmond
Counsel for Movant Federal Public Defender
Office of Federal Public Defender - Topeka
117 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 200
Topeka, KS 66603
Melody Brannon
Counsel for Movant Federal Public Defender
Office of Federal Public Defender - Topeka
117 SW 6th St, Suite 200
Topeka, KS 66603
Interested Parties
Catherine A. Zigtema
Counsel for David Lougee (14-20068-05)
Law Office of Kate Zigtema LC
11660 W. 75th Street
Shawnee, KS 66215
Corrections Corporation of America
Erin C. Thompson
Counsel for Richard Dertinger (#14-cr-20067-06)
Foland, Wicketns, Eisfelder, Roper & Hofer, PC
1200 Main Street, Suite 2200
Kansas City, MO 64105
Jacquelyn E. Rokusek
Counsel for Richard Dertinger (#14-cr-20067-06)
Rokusek Law, LLC
11658 W. 75th Street
Shawnee, KS 66214
Jonathan L. Laurans
Counsel for David Lougee (14-20068-05)
The 1609 Law Building
1609 West 92nd Street
Kansas City, MO 64114
Melanie S. Morgan
Counsel for Michelle Reulet
Morgan Pilate LLC
926 Cherry Street
Kansas City, MO 64106
Shazzie Naseem
Coordinating Discovery Attorney
Berkowitz Oliver LLP - KCMO
2600 Grand Boulevard, Suite 1200
Kansas City, MO 64108