In Support of the Lively Green Defendants

Mar 4th, 2008 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Organized Crime, Politics
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Occasionally, someone's comment on The Border Report is unique enough to warrant its own story.

This is a note I received from a reader, a former U.S. National Guard recruiter writing in defense of his colleagues, now serving a prison sentence in the largest sting operation in this history of the FBI, Operation Lively Green.

The charges involved should have merited multiple years in prison; but the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona, then under prosecutor Paul Charlton, turned the cases down after discovering that several of the defendants and the FBI's informants sexually assaulted a prostitute in a Las Vegas hotel room, told the FBI agents about the assault and were told to eliminate the evidence. In early 2007, the Bush Administration fired Charlton along with seven other federal prosecutors.

I wrote about the case in detail, here, here, and here.

Writing is Craig Linton, a former National Guard recruiter who worked on Valencia Road in Tucson.

To the world or who ever will listen:

I was a former Arizona Army National Guard recruiter, directly involved with former SSG Damien Castillo, the former SFC Darius Perry, Former SSG Raul Portillo, and also the informant Frank Arvizu who was also a member of the Arizona Army National Guard.

Castillo, Perry, Portillo, myself to include SFC Doyle Morrison all of us worked together in the same recruiting office on Valencia Road in Tucson, Ariz.

I remember Frank Arvizu when he came to recruit me to work as what he described as working for the FBI, making money, but not on the payroll.

I asked him how can this be done, and he said our job is to set up dirty cops, border patrol agents, immigration officers and other law enforcement officials.

As far as Perry, Morrison, (and) Castillo, none of these soldiers displayed any facets or behaviors having to with drug running. For the first year I was assigned as a recruiter I drove the Government Car that was assigned to SFC Perry, often I would have to open the trunk and transport prospective applicants personal belongings, other than spare tire and associated equipment for the spare tire and recuiting materials there was nothing else in the trunk.

None of these former soldiers of the Arizona National Guard presented any negative behavior that would be characteristic of running drugs. Our office enviorment was very close. One could not conceal very much working as closly as we worked. I find it very interesting that the FBI never contacted me concerning this case especially since I was so closley involved with at least three of their suspects.

I even contacted the FBI and no one ever called back. I don't believe the government was concerned about fairness or ethics as long as there was a 100% conviction rate. I don't believe the Government wanted any of these cases against all individuals concerned to ever come to trial, or else investigative errors would have surfaced.

I know a good man was torn from his family, for a mistake that was made, yes by him, but in this case I do not believe the crime deserves the time.

There was no drug cartel, the Government had to either use confiscated drugs or purchased the drugs with tax payer money. I remember when Perry introduced me to Fank Arvizu, we were both told that this was an operation to catch dirty law enforcement officials.

Some one did flip as the investigators accurately described it, but it was not those arrested or presently serving time.

It was the Government. I would like my voice heard in defense of my friend

-- Craig Linton

-- Michel Marizco

One comment
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  1. Holy cow! I love this blog, Michael! I remember reading about this in an earlier posting, the whole incident was a disgrace and a joke. Craig, I understand your points, but I have to say, if you were running cocaine, would you just leave it hanging out in the trunk of a car for a co-worker to find? The drug runners that do that are in jail after a day. I’m sorry your co-workers were polite enough to hide their drug business from you, Dave

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