Anderson Valley Advertiser

The corruption of the drug war reaches every level in our country.

Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA)
12 May 1999

Mark Heimann

Tele: 707-895-3016
Fax: 707-895-3355


MONDAY, MAY 17 at 8 am Redwood Valley resident John Dalton will get a full evidentiary hearing on Outrageous Government Conduct at the Federal Courthouse on Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco. 

Judge Susan Illston has ordered the unprecedented hearing to explore the conduct of the Drug Enforcement Administration agents who busted Dalton two years ago on a variety of charges related to marijuana production. 

In their zeal to bust Dalton, DEA Special Agent Mark Nelson stepped way over the line of acceptable law enforcement practices; he seduced Dalton's mentally ill wife, telling her she was a special agent of the DEA. 

Nelson even assigned Dalton's wife, Victoria "Tori" Horstman, a "special agent number," which the DEA refers to in over 30 internal reports. 
The DEA now claims Horstman was never a special agent, in spite of all the references to her by her DEA ID number.

Agent Nelson convinced Horstman, a longtime cop wannabe, that she was a "secret agent" so she would place a recording device  underneath  the bed she shared with her husband, among other questionable practices.

Nelson, a married man with two children, manipulated an unbalanced woman with a drinking problem to arrest Dalton.  But Nelson and the DEA  can't have it both ways.  If she was an agent, the evidence she gathered was obtained illegally.  If she's not an agent, the information she gathered and turned over to Nelson was probably gathered illegally. 

Either way whatever evidence against Mr.  Dalton was obtained by recording devices buried in the marital bower, it is protected by marital privilege, and as such, should be tossed, gutting the core of the government's case. 

And that's only one aspect of a DEA investigation so outrageous the entire case risks being thrown out by Judge Illston.  Famed San Francisco attorney Tony Serra represents Dalton, so Monday's hearing promises to be quite a show. 

Shari Greenberger, of Serra's office, wrote the motions which won Dalton the hearing --- a hearing believed to be unprecedented at the federal level. 

That part of the public interested in tracking out-of-control police agencies like the DEA, are encouraged to attend and lend John Dalton and his attorneys their support.

Copyright: Anderson Valley Advertiser

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