Defense to possibly question imprisoned FBI agent
BATON ROUGE - Judge Maurice Hicks asked Assistant Federal Public Defender, Mark Upton to report to Federal Court today after consulting with Darin McAllister's trial and appellate attorneys in Tennessee.
Wednesday in Federal Court, Upton advised McAllister to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination. McAllister took that advice, but Judge Hicks said he needed to determine whether the Fifth Amendment assertion is necessary, since McAllister was charged and convicted in Nashville, Tennessee in a matter unrelated to the FBI investigation, "Operation: Blighted Officials".
McAllister is serving a four-year federal prison term on charges of fraud and a false statement for bankruptcy after he defaulted on a home loan for over $1 million.
Darin McAllister worked with William Myles as paid FBI undercover operatives, offering bribes to former mayor of St. Gabriel George Grace, former mayor of New Roads Tommy Nelson, former mayor of White Castle Maurice Brown and former mayor of Port Allen Derek Lewis. McAllister posed as Derrick Johnson, or DJ, fake trash can cleaning company Cifer 5000's financier.
Former mayor of White Castle Maurice Brown also invoked his right to the Fifth Amendment, as advised by his attorney, Bruce Craft. Craft told Judge Hicks that Brown didn't testify in his own trial last year. Brown was convicted on racketeering and fraud charges, for the same reason Grace has been indicted.
Both "mini hearings" were held without the jury's presence.
Hicks said he would not decide before Thursday at 1 p.m. whether imprisoned McAllister will be required to answer questions from Grace's attorneys.