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March 2013 Archives

Tim Zerillo Quoted on ABC News 8 On Mark Strong Conviction

For a video of the story, go to http://www.wmtw.com/news/maine/York-County/Kennebunk-hopes-life-settles-down-after-prostitution-conviction/-/9284124/19227238/-/ylk1gk/-/index.htmlFrom the WMTW website:Kennebunk hopes life settles down after prostitution conviction

Defense attorney says Strong conviction sends message

ALFRED, Maine —The Kennebunk prostitution case brought international attention to the small York County village, and now that one of the key figures has been convicted residents hope things will quiet down.
Jurors convicted Mark Strong on Wednesday of 13 counts related to promoting prostitution. He will be sentenced later this month.
Alexis Wright, who is accused of prostitution, is supposed to go on trial in May, but many people think her case won't go to court.
The dance studio at 8 York St. that gained infamous status as a result of the case will reopen soon with a new name and management. But it will be a long time before locals stop associating the storefront with Wright, Strong and the prostitution case.
"I'm glad it's over, and I'm waiting for the new studio to open up and give Zumba a better name than it's had for the last six months," said Kennebunk resident Eileen Willard.
People in and around Kennebunk said they're glad the state went after Strong, even if the investigation cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.
"I think if it's a law that's on the books, you're obligated to pursue it," Willard said.
Now residents would like the notoriety to go away.
"I think people were just sick of hearing the same old stuff," said Bryan Flewelling of Kennebunkport.
Next up is supposed to be Wright's case. She pleaded not guilty, but at least one defense lawyer suggested settling before it goes to court.

"If it was me, I'd start to work on a deal," said Portland lawyer Tim Zerillo.
Zerillo said Strong's conviction is bad news for Wright and her case.
"If they get the video in, then it's a big problem for her," he said.
Zerillo and his law firm also represent four of Wright's alleged clients. He said a lot of the johns in the case may have also been waiting for the outcome of the case against Strong.
"No john wants to be the test case of this thing, but it wouldn't surprise me if somebody stepped up and tried it," he said.
Zerillo said he thinks if Strong is sentenced to any jail time it will be a short sentence meant to send a message. Wrights is scheduled to have a settlement conference with prosecutors later this month.

For more on Zerillo Law, LLC, click here.

Important Article From the ACLU For Iphone Users

New Document Sheds Light on Government’s Ability to Search iPhones

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project & Naomi Gilens, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 10:11am
Cell phone searches are a common law enforcement tool, but up until now, the public has largely been in the dark regarding how much sensitive information the government can get with this invasive surveillance technique. A document submitted to court in connection with a drug investigation, which we recently discovered, provides a rare inventory of the types of data that federal agents are able to obtain from a seized iPhone using advanced forensic analysis tools. The list, available here, starkly demonstrates just how invasive cell phone searches are—and why law enforcement should be required to obtain a warrant before conducting them.
Last fall, officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized an iPhone from the bedroom of a suspect in a drug investigation. In a single data extraction session, ICE collected a huge array of personal data from the phone. Among other information, ICE obtained:
  • call activity
  • phone book directory information
  • stored voicemails and text messages
  • photos and videos
  • apps
  • eight different passwords
  • 659 geolocation points, including 227 cell towers and 403 WiFi networks with which the cell phone had previously connected.

Before the age of smartphones, it was impossible for police to gather this much private information about a person’s communications, historical movements, and private life during an arrest. Our pockets and bags simply aren’t big enough to carry paper records revealing that much data. We would have never carried around several years’ worth of correspondence, for example—but today, five-year-old emails are just a few clicks away using the smartphone in your pocket. The fact that we now carry this much private, sensitive information around with us means that the government is able to get this information, too.
The type of data stored on a smartphone can paint a near-complete picture of even the most private details of someone’s personal life. Call history, voicemails, text messages and photographs can provide a catalogue of how—and with whom—a person spends his or her time, exposing everything from intimate photographs to 2 AM text messages. Web browsing history may include Google searches for Alcoholics Anonymous or local gay bars. Apps can expose what you’re reading and listening to. Location information might uncover a visit to an abortion clinic, a political protest, or a psychiatrist.
In this particular case, ICE obtained a warrant to search the house, and seized the iPhone during that search. They then obtained a second, separate warrant based on probable cause before conducting a detailed search of the phone. However, even though ICE obtained a warrant for this cell phone search, courts are divided about whether a warrant is necessary in these circumstances, and no statute requires one. As a result, there are many circumstances where police contend they do not need a warrant at all, such as searches incident to arrest and at the U.S. border.
The police should not be free to copy the contents of your phone without a warrant absent extraordinary circumstances. However, that is exactly what is happening. Last year in California, for example, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a common-sense bill that would have required the police to obtain a warrant before searching seized phones, despite the bill’s broad bipartisan support in the state legislature.
Intrusive cell phone searches are becoming ever easier for law enforcement officers to conduct. Companies such as Cellebrite produce portable forensics machines that can download copies of an iPhone’s “existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags” in minutes. This type of equipment, which allows the government to conduct quick, easy phone searches, is widely available to law enforcement agencies—and not just to federal agents.
While the law does not sufficiently protect the private data on smartphones, technology can at least provide some protection. All modern smartphones can be locked with a PIN or password, which can slow down, or in some cases, completely thwart forensic analysis by the police (as well as a phone thief or a prying partner). Make sure to pick a sufficiently long password: a 4 character numeric PIN can be cracked in a few minutes, and the pattern-based unlock screen offered by Android can be bypassed by Google if forced to by the government. Finally, if your mobile operating system offers a disk encryption option (such as with Android 4.0 and above), it is important to turn it on.

Update From Federal Drug Client Who Made Drill Sergeant - "thanks for believing in me."

The attached card was received recently from a client I represented in federal court on a drug case. He is an amazing man, and I was thrilled to get the federal charges disposed of so he could continue to serve our country. Good on you for making Drill Sergeant!

John Burke Gets Felony Drug Trafficking Case Dismissed in York County

Last week, Attorney John Burke worked out another great deal for one of our clients.  This Client was charged with felony drug trafficking.  John was able to establish that our client was not present in a drug house for the purposes of trafficking, but was present in the drug house for a non-trafficking purpose.  The prosecutor agreed to dismiss the felony for a misdemeanor with a fine only.  Great work by Attorney Burke!This reminds me a bit of defenses I have brought in federal drug conspiracy cases in the past.  In those cases, everyone potentially involved is sometimes indicted.  This can include those who were drug users, but not involved in an actual conspiracy.For more on Zerillo Law, LLC and its drug defense practice in the State of Maine and federal courts, call 207.775.4255 or go to www.GetZerillo.com.