From the more mundane annals of crime, via Rob Farley who's convinced he saw this on Law & Order already.
...But federal authorities charged Wednesday that the success their former colleague, Paul Bergrin, had in defending drug dealers and gang leaders was based on a brutal calculus that he had boiled down to a phrase he repeated like a slogan: No witnesses, no case.
In an indictment unsealed on Wednesday in United States District Court in Newark, prosecutors accused Mr. Bergrin, 53, of orchestrating the murder of a confidential witness by leaking his name to drug dealers who shot him in broad daylight on a Newark street corner; of traveling to Chicago to hire a murderer to kill a witness in another case; of coaching some eyewitnesses to lie; and of paying others to change their stories or leave town on the day they were to testify.
The charges, which left Mr. Bergrin in federal custody and facing a possible death penalty, were a stunning development for a flamboyant man who owned a Mercedes and a Bentley, hobnobbed with movie stars and boasted of beach homes in New Jersey and the Caribbean.
My first thought when I saw this was, Is he kidding with that mustache? It's the upper lip equivalent of Rod Blagojevich's hair! Guy might as well wear a sandwich board around the Jersey courthouses: "Corrupt and Morally Bankrupt Shyster. Rates Negotiable." Begin's innocent until proven guilty. The mustache deserves life without parole.
I like this bit:
The indictment says that investigators secretly taped Mr. Bergrin and an associate during numerous conversations in which they tried to hire a killer to murder a witness known as Junior the Panamanian before he could testify. In one of the conversations, investigators say, Mr. Bergrin ordered the gunman to rob his target’s apartment so that the killing would appear to be part of a burglary.
“Make it look like a robbery; this can’t look like a hit,” court papers quote Mr. Bergrin as saying.
Junior the Panamanian. And they say all the good mobster nicknames are taken.
Read all of David Kocieniewski's story in the New York Times.