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United States v. Wilson

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

October 22, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
ROBERT A. WILSON

          KAY MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          ORDER AND REASONS

          JAY C. ZAINEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the court is a “MOTION TO DISMISS THE INDICTMENT” (Rec. Doc. #21)and “MOTION TO DISMISS THE INDICTMENT BASED UPON PRE-INDICTMENT DELAY” (Rec. Doc. #22) wherein Defendant, Robert A. Wilson, moves to dismiss the indictment filed against him pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure Rule 48(b)(1) and (2). For the reasons that follow, both motions will be denied.

         THE INDICTMENT

         On June 14, 2018, a grand jury returned an indictment charging defendant, Robert A. Wilson, with twenty-one counts of Receiving Illegal Gratuity by a Public Official in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 201(c)(1)(B). The indictment charges that Wilson received twenty-one separate payments from an Apeck Construction, Inc. (“Apeck”) Co-owner, in exchange for helping to ensure that Apeck was the source, supplier, or provider of construction material for contracts, supply and delivery contracts at Fort Polk.[1]

         FACTUAL STATEMENT

         The Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk (collectively referred to as “Fort Polk JRTC”) is a military installation near Leesville, Louisiana. Fort Polk's mission is to prepare, deploy, sustain, and redeploy trained and ready forces of the U.S. Army, including active duty, National Guard, and the Army Reserve. Fort Polk provides housing, training, maintenance, and community facilities and services, as well as supply, transportation, and logistical planning, in support of the U.S. Army mission.

         Various directorates and installation support offices issue task orders and administer contracts on behalf of the United States for Fort Polk. The Directorate of Public Works is responsible for maintaining the facilities and supporting the infrastructure at Fort Polk. Defendant, Robert A. Wilson, was employed by the Directorate of Public Works at Fort Polk; Wilson's employment made him a public official as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 201(a)(1) by virtue of his position as an Engineer Tech.[2] Wilson served as the Point of Contact for contracts Apeck received at Fort Polk from approximately 2004 through 2010.

         From approximately March through September, 2010, Agent Darrin K. Jones with the office of the Inspector General, Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, investigated and questioned numerous individuals relating to Apeck. The investigation continued through the year 2011. Wilson was questioned within his office within the Department of Public Works at Fort Polk on July 20, 2010.

         On April 21, 2011, Wilson received a target letter from Stephen Booker, Trial Attorney, associated with the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division. On August 8, 2017, Wilson received a target letter by AUSA, Kelly Uebinger, on behalf of the Acting U.S. Attorney. On June 14, 2018, a grand jury returned an indictment charging Wilson with twenty-one (21) counts of Receiving Illegal Gratuity by a Public Official in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 201(c)(1)(B). Count 1 asserts that the first payment took place on July 20, 2007 and Count 21 asserts that the last payment took place on May 28, 2010. The first alleged offense occurred more than eleven (11) years from the date of the indictment, and the last alleged offense occurred more than eight (8) years from the date of the indictment.

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

         Wilson moves to dismiss the twenty-one count indictment. Wilson maintains that the indictment was filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations. Wilson also maintains that his right to a fair trial was prejudiced due to prosecutorial delay in bringing the accusations.

         Should the indictment be dismissed based on prescription?

         In response to the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (“AUMF”)[3] which authorized the President to use the United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks after which the United States conducted and continues to conduct combat ...


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