A federal judge dismissed charges of cocaine distribution and conspiracy against a woman in a major drug case yesterday, dispite the woman's pleas that she be allowed to stand trial.
"I've never heard of a defendant who want to stand trial," U.S. District Court Judge Oren R. Lewis told Eva D'Oliveira in Alexandria shortly before dismissing the charges. "That's new and novel to me."
D'Oliveira did not explain why she wanted to go on trial with five other defendants in a major Washington area cociane case.
Nor did her attorney, Jonathan Shapiro, who asked unsuccessfully to confer with Lewis in the judge's chamber.
Shapiro did tell Lewis that D'Oliveira had been threatened after reports that D'Oliveira had been plea bargaining with prosecutors were published last week.
In her discussions with prosecutors, D'Oliveiria gave what was described as limited information about a mysterious cocaine figure know only as "Carlos" and about other drug-related matters.
That information was disclosed in open court last week by Assistant U.S. Attorney Leonie M. Brinkema, who said then she was "not satisfied" with D'Oliveira's cooperation.
Prosecutors didn't explain yesterday why they wanted the charges against D'Oliveira dismissed if they were unsatisfied with the information she had provided.
Shapiro urged Lewis to permit D'Oliveiro to stand trial. Barring that, he asked for dismissal of the charges against his Client "with prejudice," meaning that they could not be reinstated.
Lewis refused to do that, so prosecutors can seek to reindict D'Oliveira if they choose. Prosecutors declined comment on this possibility.
The trial of the other five defandants is scheduled to begin Monday.