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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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