Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Miami Mice: One Aquitted, Mistrial For The Other Six

Almost but not quite lost in the excitement of the weekend:

Federal prosecutors have failed to secure a single conviction in a mass-entrapment operation set up in Florida by yet another FBI informant [read: agent provocateur] (no, not William "Jameel" Chrisman) who tried to incite seven Miami men to attack a Chicago landmark:
In a stinging defeat for the Bush administration, one of seven Miami men accused of plotting to join forces with Al Qaeda to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower was acquitted yesterday, and the case against the rest ended in a hung jury.

The White House had seized on the case to illustrate the dangers of homegrown terrorism and trumpet the government's post-Sept. 11, 2001, success in infiltrating and smashing terrorism plots in their earliest stages.

The group never actually made contact with Al Qaeda and never acquired any weapons or explosives.

Prosecutors said no attack was imminent, acknowledging that the alleged terror cell was "more aspirational than operational."

Lyglenson Lemorin [photo], 32, had been accused of being a "soldier" for alleged ringleader Narseal Batiste. He buried his face in his hands when his acquittal was read.

Lemorin, a legal US resident originally from Haiti, was subject to an immigration hold and would not be immediately released, his lawyer said.

Outside the courtroom, jury foreman Jeff Agron said ... the evidence was weakest against Lemorin, who had moved with his wife and children to Atlanta and gotten a job at a shopping mall after splitting with Batiste months before the group was arrested.

In a statement to the FBI, Lemorin said he never wanted to be associated with Al Qaeda and that he knew "nothing good would come from this."
That's for sure.
Federal prosecutor Richard Gregorie said the government planned to retry the six next year, and the judge said a new jury would be picked starting Jan. 7.