Oklahoma Vice: Accused Irish Mob ringleaders protest prison treatment
The alleged ringleaders of the Irish Mob drug ring claim they have been kept isolated for up to 23 hours a day and have been denied proper access to phone calls and visits from family and their attorneys.
In court documents, attorneys for accused drug ring kingpins Chad "Big Homie" Nathan Hudson; Richard "Lucky" Joseph Coker, Christopher "Breezy" Paul Brown, Richard "Pothead" Lee Potts and David Dean Cagle, claim their constitutional rights to legal counsel are being violated.
Federal authorities accuse the men of being "high-ranking members of the Irish Mob Gang and its prison component, Sinn Fein," according to court documents. The Irish Mob drug ring was allegedly responsible for trafficking large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine in Central Oklahoma, all orchestrated by Oklahoma Department of Correction prison inmates.
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The alleged Irish Mob ringleaders have been held since January at the Bureau of Prisons' Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City in the Special Housing Unit, or SHU, a kind of solitary confinement. Inmates are typically moved to the SHU either as a form of punishment, or for safety and security reasons.
The Irish Mob defendant's attorneys claim the men have been limited to one phone call from their attorneys once every 30 days and have been subjected to severe isolation since being moved to the federal facility. The men are on lockdown for up to 23 hours a day and are also only allowed limited visits with family.
"Rather than being housed in a pod, the defendants are housed in small cells — two defendants are confined to one cell together, and one defendant will always be held in isolation, with the defendant to be housed in isolation rotating out every two or three weeks," the attorneys claim. "The defendants are on 23-hour lockdown, but are permitted up to one hour outside in a cage daily. They have no access to a television or to the commissary."
The federal prison has constructed a special attorney visitation booth at the prison specifically for the Irish Mob defendants to visit with their lawyers, according to court documents. The Irish Mob defendants' attorneys claim the booth was constructed for the sole purpose of limiting the men's access to legal counsel.
"Furthering problems, the defendants’ access to their attorneys has been severely and inexplicably curtailed. Attorney-client visitation is no contact. The attorney is confined to a tiny visitation booth that separate the attorney completely from his/her client by a Plexiglas partition while communicating through a tiny circle of holes drilled through the glass. The holes themselves are at a height that require both counsel and the defendant to stoop down in order to hear each other and speak. Furthermore, the defendant-side of the meeting room opens up to a large area, making it more difficult for the defendant to hear counsel and/or the audio from the other side of the plexiglass.
The attorneys have asked that their clients be allowed to have access to a television, as well as canteen privileges and "unfettered attorney-client contact."