Court Documents Reveal Indicted Trainers, Others Will Move To Exclude Wire Taps

Documents filed in federal court ahead of a status conference scheduled for next week indicate defense teams in the federal case surrounding an alleged horse doping ring will likely try to get as much evidence as possible excluded before the case goes to trial. A letter filed on behalf of trainer Jorge Navarro and several of the co-defendants charged alongside him outlines a series of motions their attorneys plan to file in the route to a trial date. The list anticipates motions to dismiss certain counts, suppress post-arrest statements, expert testimony, “introduction of test results,” and evidence derived from search or seizure of property, including electronic property, among other anticipated motions. The group of co-defendants that includes Navarro is also likely to move “to exclude references to horse deaths or horse injuries at trial.”

Counsel representing trainer Jason Servis indicated that defense team will make motions to suppress wiretaps and cell phone search and seizure, among other motions. That letter to U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil emphasized the tremendous volume of evidence provided from prosecutors, who worked with the FBI as part of the investigation, to defense attorneys.

“We note that these recent productions, which we understand total approximately 2.4 million files, are more than 43 times the cumulative volume produced to the defense prior to Sept. 29, 2020,” the letter reads.

There is some debate about how difficult it should be for defense attorneys to review the information provided to them, according to a subsequent letter to the judge from prosecutors. In that letter, acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss states the government’s evidence includes eight terabytes of data, including veterinary and shipping records, data from 80 electronic devices, drug marketing material, laboratory test results audio of intercepted calls and other data. All of that, Strauss, wrote, has been organized into folders and subfolders for the defense.

Strauss also outlined three groupings of defendants it expects to try together, but did not provide insight on the reasons for the groupings, as not every defendant is facing the same charges. The groups are:

Group 1: Navarro, Erica Garcia, Christopher Oakes, Michael Tannuzzo, Marcos Zulueta, Rebecca Linke
Group 2: Servis, Kristian Rhein, Michael Kegley Jr., Alexander Chan
Group 3: Seth Fishman, Jordan Fishman, Lisa Giannelli, Rick Dane Jr.

A status conference is scheduled for next week, where it’s expected attorneys and the judge will confer on a possible trial schedule.

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