Inmate trying to withdraw drug plea says agent should have known info was false
BY JARREL WADE World Staff Writer
Thursday, October 04, 2012
2/27/13 at 6:40 PM
Grand jury investigates police corruption: Read all of the stories, view a timeline and read key documents.
A man who was convicted of federal drug charges in 1997 alleged in court records this week that a federal drug agent knew or should have known that information used to convict him was false.
Jeffrey Dan Williams, 52, pleaded guilty to drug charges in the case but tried to withdraw his plea immediately afterward and several times since. He is scheduled for release from federal prison in 2028.
Current hearings are addressing Williams' motion to withdraw his guilty plea in the wake of a police corruption investigation that brought new evidence to his case.
The hearings began in May in Oklahoma's Northern District federal court before U.S. District Judge James Payne.
If Williams is successful in modifying his sentence, he will become at least the 46th person to be freed or have a sentence changed as a result of the police corruption case.
The allegations in Tuesday's brief are against U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Leon Francis, who led the investigation against Williams in 1997.
Williams alleges that Francis should have seriously questioned the statements he received during his 1997 investigation and might have known they were false.
The World contacted the Tulsa DEA office for comment Wednesday, but officials there were unavailable for comment.
Francis testified in May that he had no reason to question the statements given by Gregg Elliot Fillmore in 1997 regarding a significant amount of drugs allegedly manufactured by Williams.
Fillmore had testified in May that he had been coerced and coached to give the statements to investigators by men who identified themselves as law enforcement officers.
Fillmore has prior drug convictions and was charged in 1993 with the murder of his wife, Darlynna Fillmore, but the charge was dismissed after he spent nine months in jail.
Fillmore testified in May that one of the unidentified law enforcement officers threatened him with drug charges and the refiling his murder charge and implied that there would be no investigation if Fillmore was found dead.
Fillmore said he complied with the threats and called a number the officers had given him, eventually leading to his statements to Francis.
However, Fillmore testified that he didn't believe that Francis had any reason not to believe him.
In Tuesday's court filing, Williams argues that Francis did nothing to corroborate Fillmore's statements and was expecting his call, based on Fillmore's testimony.
In the government's closing brief against Williams, filed last month, prosecutors argued that if the court finds in Williams' favor at all, the judge should strike Fillmore's original statements from the record and resentence him based on "unquestioned" accounts of his drug manufacturing.
The government maintains that there was no "fraud on the court," a legal standard that must be overcome for Williams to change his pleading in the case.
Tuesday's court filing by the defense was the final memo to be submitted before the judge as he determines his judgment in the case.
The final remarks were due by Tuesday night. Prosecutors did not submit a final memo, records show.
Original Print Headline: Inmate: Agent should have seen fraud
Jarrel Wade 918-581-8367