Testimony began today in the food stamp fraud trial of state Sen. Tommie Broadwater Jr. (D-Prince George's) with two of Broadwater's codefendants contending they were illegally entrapped by undercover federal agents into buying $70,000 in marked food stamps.
"The government wanted to get Sen. Broadwater," shouted defense attorney Morris L. Kaplan in his opening statement to a federal jury of eight women and four men here, "and before getting the big fish, they hadda get some little fish."
Kaplan said his client, codefendant Raymond Quigley Jr., 49, of Clinton, was "suckered and enticed" with promises of money and free food stamps by agents who would deal "with the devil himself" to get Broadwater.
"Just give us the senator, and we'll give you the United States Treasury," Kaplan said.
Broadwater, 41, Quigley and three other defendants including Broadwater's 21-year-old daughter, Jacqueline, are charged with conspiracy to obtain food stamps illicitly at a fraction of their face value and launder them through Broadwater's Chapel Oaks Farmers Market in Fairmount Heights.
The other defendants are Raymond (Big Jack) Quigley Sr., 68, of Fairfax, father of Raymond Jr., and William Dudley, 49, of Landover.
In his opening statement today, federal prosecutor James P. Ulwick described the two Quigleys as food stamp traffickers working out of an apparently defunct funeral home in Northwest Washington where they arranged to buy $70,000 in marked food stamps for about 40 percent of their face value from an undercover Secret Service agent posing as a food stamp thief. Ulwick described Dudley as a cabdriver who transported the food stamps from the funeral home to Broadwater in Prince George's County.
In turn, Ulwick said, Broadwater processed the food stamps through his food market with the aid of daughter Jacqueline who made fictitious entries in the market's books to conceal the illicit origin of the stamps.
Broadwater was arrested March 6 this year at his legislative office in Landover, according to Ulwick, just after Dudley delivered $25,000 in food stamps that Secret Service agents had marked and powdered with a fluorescent chemical. Ulwick said Dudley apparently had discovered an electronic beeper that agents also had secreted in the food stamps and was leaving Broadwater's office with the stamps when agents moved in to arrest both men. Ulwick said Broadwater's coat bore traces of the fluorescent chemical.
Broadwater, flamboyant bail bondsman and longtime time Democratic political figure in Prince George's County, faces a possible maximum of 25 years in prison and $50,000 in fines if convicted on all counts in the trial.
Broadwater's attorney, R. Kenneth Mundy, did not make an opening statement, indicating he will outline his defense to the jury later. He told a reporter outside the courtroom that Broadwater acknowledges "having contact" with Dudley but claims there was no criminal intent. Gene Johnson, attorney for the elder Quigley, also withheld making an opening statement.
Edward P. Camus, attorney for Jacqueline Broadwater, told the jury his client was an inexperienced employe in her father's market whose job of filling out daily cashier checkout sheets showing cash and food stamp revenues was purely "ministerial" and done without criminal intent.
Fred Warren Bennett, Maryland federal public defender representing Dudley, joined Kaplan in contending government agents entrapped his client.
"The government initiated the crimes on each and every count o," and then induced Dudley to participate in the scheme with promises of "free food stamps and large profits," jury.
The undercover Secret Service agent, Norman James, opened testimony in the trial, saying he was a memultiagency task force assigned to investigate reports of illegal food stamp trafficking. Armed with a "body transmitter" for secretly recording conversations, James said he approached the Quigleys at the Malvan & Schey funeral home, 424 R St. NW, last fall. Posing as an Agriculture Department warehouse employe with access to food stamps, he said he negotiated four sales totaling $70,000 in marked stamps between January and March this year, receiving cash, heroin and Demerol, an illicitly obtained prescription drug, in return.
In the process, he said, he met Dudley, described by the Quigleys as their "main man" in the network.
Portions of three recorded conversations between James and the Quigleys were played for the jury. Armed with a "body transmitter" f recording conversations, James said he approached the Quigleys at the Malvan & Schey funeral home, 424 R St. last fall. Posing as an Agriculture Department warehouse employe with access to food stamps, he said he negotiated four sales totaling $70,0 in marked stamps between January and March this year, receiving cash, heroin and Demerol, an illicitly obtained prescription drug, in reture process, he said, he met Dudley, described by the Quigleys as their "main man" in the network.
Portions of three recorded conversationsn James and the Quigleys were played for the jury.