- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - A judge said Monday he would find it “very troubling” if the Drug Enforcement Administration warned employees not to cooperate with defense lawyers after a DEA supervisory agent and a telecommunications specialist were arrested last year on charges they hid their involvement in a New Jersey strip club.

U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe asked prosecutors Monday to see if it’s true.

He said he wanted to know if any DEA employees were threatened with punishment if they cooperated with defense attorneys.

“I would find that very troubling,” he said.

Defense lawyer Cathy Fleming said her preparation for a May 2 trial has been hampered by the DEA’s efforts to interfere.



In court papers, Fleming said current DEA employees were reluctant to speak after a DEA group supervisor revealed to Fleming’s investigator that no one could speak to the defense team without permission from the agent in charge of the DEA office.

“People are scared. People who were talking to us before have stopped talking to us,” she said.

Fleming represents Glen Glover, a DEA telecommunications specialist who is suspended without pay. He and retired DEA Agent David Polos were arrested last May. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Fleming said law enforcement personnel, including DEA agents, went to the New Jersey bar and some of them had “performed some services” for the establishment, which she described as a bikini bar rather than a strip club.

She declined to say what services were performed.

Prosecutors have said Glover, of Lyndhurst, New Jersey, and Polos, of West Nyack, New York, hired, fired and paid bartenders, dancers and bouncers at the Twins Plus Go-Go Lounge in South Hackensack, New Jersey, and they sometimes attended the club during DEA work hours.

The government said the club featured scantily clad and sometimes topless female dancers who offered private stalls for what were supposed to be limited contact dances. Prosecutors said the dancers sometimes engaged in sexual acts with club patrons and staff.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Goldstein said government lawyers have not told the DEA to obstruct the defense.

“To the extent there are DEA agents choosing not to meet with the defense, that is not because of anything the government has done,” he said.

Attorney Marc Mukasey, who represents Polos, told Gardephe that he believed the DEA was discouraging cooperation with the defense because it wanted to protect the agency against reports that some of their agents may have gone to a strip bar or bikini bar.

Goldstein told the judge the DEA would cooperate and there was no conspiracy to shut down “allegations that DEA agent went to an adult establishment.”

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