What was he thinking?

February 17, 2011
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A Marion, Ill., attorney was indicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana for attempting to provide heroin to a federal inmate in the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute.

Robert A. Drew, 68, was arrested in August 2010 after authorities learned an attorney was allegedly bringing drugs into the prison. Law enforcement officials stopped Drew’s car when he entered the prison’s parking lot and found a green leafy substance in his car. Drew also produced a package that was taped on his body that contained a substance that later tested positive for the presence of heroin.

Drew faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His initial hearing will be scheduled before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Terre Haute.

I’m always shocked when I read about attorneys blatantly breaking the law. As those who are paid to know the law, when they break it, it’s surprising. Repeatedly smuggling drugs into a federal prison? That’s a dumb move bound to get caught, especially when there are signs up at the prison warning that you and all your belongings are subject to search. It’s also surprising he was able to get away with it several times before he was caught.

According to court documents, Drew said he got the drugs from a package delivered via Federal Express or U.S. Mail. I found an old news article dating to when he was arrested in which he told police he snuck the drugs into the prison because he and his family had been threatened.

I also found a more recent news article in which Drew was shot this January at an Illinois casino. Details were scant on this incident. This guy is not having a good year.

Another article said he was a former county judge and a defense attorney in southern Illinois at the time of his arrest. According to the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois, Drew was admitted to practice in 1977 in Illinois and is listed as voluntarily retired and not authorized to practice law. No date was given as to when that status took effect, but it did happen within the last 365 days. The ARDC also says that Drew has no public record of discipline or pending proceedings.

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  • Hope he wasn't framed.
    One thing that hit me when reading that story was the fear expressed by several criminal defense attorneys as to how easy it would be for the jailors to frame them for "smuggling" drugs into the jail during jail visits, by simply claiming to have "found" drugs in their briefcase. It certainly isn't beyond the realm of possibility that, especially in smaller jurisdictions, good defense attorneys who make life difficult for law enforcement could find themselves targeted for a little retribution.

    But, at least with what's described here, it seems like this guy wasn't framed.

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  1. Paul Ogden doing a fine job of remembering his peer Gary Welsh with the post below and a call for an Indy gettogether to celebrate Gary .... http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2016/05/indiana-loses-citizen-journalist-giant.html Castaways of Indiana, unite!

  2. It's unfortunate that someone has attempted to hijack the comments to promote his own business. This is not an article discussing the means of preserving the record; no matter how it's accomplished, ethics and impartiality are paramount concerns. When a party to litigation contracts directly with a reporting firm, it creates, at the very least, the appearance of a conflict of interest. Court reporters, attorneys and judges are officers of the court and must abide by court rules as well as state and federal laws. Parties to litigation have no such ethical responsibilities. Would we accept insurance companies contracting with judges? This practice effectively shifts costs to the party who can least afford it while reducing costs for the party with the most resources. The success of our justice system depends on equal access for all, not just for those who have the deepest pockets.

  3. As a licensed court reporter in California, I have to say that I'm sure that at some point we will be replaced by speech recognition. However, from what I've seen of it so far, it's a lot farther away than three years. It doesn't sound like Mr. Hubbard has ever sat in a courtroom or a deposition room where testimony is being given. Not all procedures are the same, and often they become quite heated with the ends of question and beginning of answers overlapping. The human mind can discern the words to a certain extent in those cases, but I doubt very much that a computer can yet. There is also the issue of very heavy accents and mumbling. People speak very fast nowadays, and in order to do that, they generally slur everything together, they drop or swallow words like "the" and "and." Voice recognition might be able to produce some form of a transcript, but I'd be very surprised if it produces an accurate or verbatim transcript, as is required in the legal world.

  4. Really enjoyed the profile. Congratulations to Craig on living the dream, and kudos to the pros who got involved to help him realize the vision.

  5. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

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