An undercover FBI agent, using the alias Richard Han, spent thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on prostitutes in the Philippines, according to a defendant in a firearms trafficking operation. Public defender John Littrell was representing defendants Sergio Santiago Syjuco, Cesar Ubaldo and Arjyl Revereza and claims that the information
According to TickletheWire,
“In order to induce the defendants to participate, an undercover agent spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on prostitutes for himself and for the defendants,” Littrell wrote. “Many of these prostitutes were likely minors. These crimes were not victimless. Indeed, only months after an undercover agent paid thousands of dollars of taxpayer money for prostitutes at a well-known brothel in Manila, the Philippine government raided the brothel, and rescued twenty under-aged girls.”
Littrell has asked the judge to dismiss the case based on “outrageous governmental misconduct,” citing the use of prostitutes in the case — including for the agent — and allegations that the FBI manufactured the case after it failed to find real weapons traffickers in its investigation into Transnational Asian Organized Crime that began in 2010 and ended in December 2011 with criminal charges. A Nov. 13 trial has been set.
“The defendants became involved in this offense only after the government’s effort to ensnare a true weapons trafficker fell apart,” the court documents says. “More importantly, the actual crimes charged in this case — importing weapons to the United States — were committed by federal agents acting unilaterially , without help from the defendants.” In other words, he alleged, that the FBI agents, not the defendants, actually shipped the weapons to the U.S., and the FBI deliberately lied on customs declarations — all so the FBI could charge the defendants with illegal importation of weapons.
According to Littrell, “On several occasions, the undercover agent invited Syjuco, Ubaldo, Revereza and others to ‘Air Force One,’ “Area 51,’ and other brothels in and around Manila in order to reward them for their efforts and encourage them to continue looking for weapons, “attorney Littrell wrote in the court document, based on his office’s own investigation. “Using the name ‘Richard Han,” he ordered prostitutes and paid for himself and others to have sex with the prostitutes.”
“One on occasion, Han demanded that several prostitutes in the club line up and drink five shots of hard liquor,” Litrell wrote. “Han demanded that several prostitutes in the club line up and drink five shots of hard liquor. Most of the girls did so, but one them, who was very small, could not drink the liquor and poured it out. Mr. Alberight stated that Han yelled at the girl and forced her to drink the alcohol until she vomited.”
“Although the government represents that these expenditures were for ‘entertainment and cocktail (tips included) it is impossible that the agent could not have known that the money went toward prostitutes,” Littrell wrote. “On May 9, 2011, the agent was entertained for several hours in a private room at Air Force One, a prostitution club. He sought reimbursement of more than three thousand dollars for ‘entertainment and cocktail (tip included) for that night.”
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The agent, who wasn’t identified in court documents, paid up to $2,400 each time he went to brothels with Syjuco and others to reward them for their work to secure weapons to ship to the U.S. without a license, court documents show.
“I have never seen anything like this during my career as a criminal defense lawyer,” Littrell told The Associated Press on Monday. “I hope that the Department of Justice takes these allegations seriously, does a complete investigation, and ensures that whoever authorized this outrageous misconduct is held accountable.”
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller declined comment Monday, but federal prosecutors acknowledged in court documents that the agent sought nearly $15,000 in reimbursements for “entertainment” and other expenses related to the investigation. The prosecutors said they don’t have any receipts from the clubs, but two of them listed in the filing, “Air Force One” and “Area 51,” are suspected brothels.
No charges have been filed against the agent.