Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Author: JOHN BEAUGE; For The Patriot-News
When did the U.S. attorney’s office know about the statewide grand jury investigation that led to the arrest last month of two Williamsport police officers on corruption charges?
A defense attorney in a federal drug case in which one of the officers, Cpl. Dustin Kreitz, was a lead investigator wants to know.
Andrew Shubin, who represents Markeif Fields, raises in a court document the allegation that the U.S. attorney’s office might have withheld materials in that case to avoid a credibility issue with Kreitz.
“I want the judge to determine when the U.S. attorney’s office was aware Kreitz was being targeted,” the State College lawyer requested in the filing. U.S. Middle District Judge John E. Jones Jr. yesterday allowed Shubin to file a motion that could lead to that information.
U.S. Attorney Thomas A. Marino denied any information was withheld from the defense.
Jones in December granted a defense motion to suppress evidence in the Fields case obtained from a South Williamsport apartment and wrote that Kreitz intentionally, or with reckless disregard for the truth, made false statements to obtain a search warrant.
In May, the judge issued a second order in which he stated he wrongly impugned Kreitz’s character. He commented he would not have had to correct his first order “had the government not made such utter hash out of its presentation.”
About a month later, Kreitz and Patrolman Thomas H. Ungard Jr. were charged at the recommendation of a statewide grand jury with a number of counts, including tampering with public records.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Williamsport worked closely with the Lycoming County Drug Task force when Ungard, then a city police lieutenant, was its coordinator and Kreitz was his assistant, Shubin states. In the Fields case, evidence was lost and then rediscovered, he said.