Saturday, October 22, 2011

Attorney Arrested for Smuggling Narcotics into L.A. Courthouse, From Bail Bondsman in Los Angeles County

Intelligence was gathered by gang investigators with Operation Safe Streets, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, alleging that Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth Markman was delivering narcotics to his clients who are confined in the Los Angeles County jail system.

On Friday, October 21, at 10am, Defense Attorney Markman arranged an attorney-client interview on the 11th Floor of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center (Criminal Courts Building), 210 West Temple Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Attorney-Client interviews are confidential communications between lawyers and their clients.

While Mr. Markman was waiting alone in the attorney room and prior to meeting with his client, a Sheriff’s Narcotics K-9 unit was brought into the room and it immediately "alerted" on Markman’s legal briefcase and person (narcotics K-9’s are trained to alert their deputy handlers when the presence of narcotics is detected).

Suspect Markman was questioned by sheriff’s gang investigators with respect to possessing narcotics. He removed a package from his interior suit jacket pocket and the K-9 Unit immediately alerted on the package, which was a tightly wrapped wad of electrical tape. Deputies removed the tape and discovered the package contained a total of twenty-six balloons containing tar Heroin and Methamphetamine. It also contained a quantity of marijuana, and three mini-hypodermic syringes.

A 47-year old resident of Los Angeles, Suspect Kenneth Markman was arrested, transported and booked at the
Inmate Reception Center on several narcotics related offenses. He being held in lieu of $145,000.00 bail. The estimated value of the narcotics is $30,000.00. Charges include: Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics; Transportation of Methamphetamine and Heroin; Transportation of Marijuana; Transportation of Narcotics into a Custody Facility; Participation with Criminal Street Gang Members in Felonious Conduct; and Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics.

Narcotics such as these, and the abuse of these narcotics, can lead to violent confrontations with law enforcement personnel, especially in a more confined environment such as a jail setting. Use of these controlled substances by inmates in a custody facility can also lead to assaults against other inmates due to the unpredictable nature of people who are under the influence of these drugs.
Suspect Markman was meeting with his client, who is a violent gang member appearing in court Friday to be sentenced on a felony case. Information about the gang member is not being made available at this time.

So far in 2011, 47 arrests for narcotics violations were made in Los Angeles County courthouses. Meanwhile in 2011, two guns and 34,266 knives were confiscated.

In 2010, 73 narcotics arrests were made, and two guns and 51,806 knives were confiscated from persons entering Los Angeles County court facilities. The Court Services Division of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has the responsibility for providing security for the 42 courthouses of the Los Angeles Superior Court system, which is the nation’s largest. It is the mission of Sheriff’s Court Services Division personnel to provide a safe environment, as well as effective and efficient levels of security to Judges, Superior Court employees, court patrons, court prisoners, and Sheriff’s Department employees assigned to work at the courthouses within Los Angeles County. Sheriff’s Deputies, armed Sheriff’s Security Officers, Sheriff’s Security Assistants and personnel from a privately contracted security company monitor all court patrons upon entrance to the courthouses. Sheriff’s supervision helps ensure that correct monitoring procedures are adhered to, in addition to handling those situations which are beyond the scope of the Security Officers and Security Assistants.

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