The odds of a Kansas City jeweler getting off the hook by cutting a deal with the Feds with no publicity whatsoever: in a word, slim.
So says two-time convicted felon and former special agent to the Kansas attorney general Craig Glazer, who as they say, has been there, done that. Even were the jeweler in question a first time offender, he’s still almost certain to spend some slam time along with a heaping helping of local news headlines to wash it down with, Glazer says.
Here’s how it works.
“It’s called spinning,” Glazer says. “The feds spin you in the opposite direction. Instead of working against law enforcement they get you to work for law enforcement. Because when the sentencing guidelines are big enough, 90 percent of people will cooperate.
“When I was in prison, the majority of people there had cooperated. People that had life sentences reduced to 20 years. Twenty year sentences reduced to 10 years. Ten year sentences reduced to five.”
“There’s two reasons why a guy like me or Rod Anderson of the Hereford House or a big name local jeweler will go to trial,” Glazer says. “It’s a game and the feds want big names because they’re in business to show the public they’re getting something done. And when they go out and arrest a bunch of nobodies, nobody cares. People want to read about Rod Anderson, they don’t want to read about Rod Smith.
Meaning if push comes to shove and the feds can make it stick, no way the jeweler walks away with no one besides close friends and family any the wiser.
“Here’s the way it works,” Glazer says. “You come in with your attorney and your attorney talks to the assistant U.S. Attorney and says, is there some way we can work something out? Then you meet with the agents or whatever and they tell you what they want or ask what you can give them.
“A lot of the smaller fish will do more time because they have less to give the government. And the bigger fish do less time. One way you can tell if someone didn’t cooperate is if they go to trial like Rod Anderson did. If Rod had cooperated, instead of 15 years, he’d have gotten 10 or 12, maybe less.”
The odds that we’ll never know what went down with the jeweler?
“There’s only one way that’s going to happen and that’s if he goes into the witness protection program and it’s a really big deal,” Glazer says. “And my guess is, this isn’t going to be at that level. My guess is his lawyer’s trying to work something out and that might take some time. It could be six months; it could be three years. But in the end, he’ll probably do some time.
“Like I said, it’s a business and if the feds can swing a big name and it helps their cause, that’s just the way it is. There was a time when politicians and sports and movie stars were protected from prosecution. But today they can’t wait to bust those guys because it’s big news.”
As for how the bust went down, “Almost all crimes are solved because someone told on someone,” Glazer says. “There really isn’t this thing where they get a certain length hair and find fingerprints – that’s a load of crap. It’s almost always because someone tells on someone. Solving crimes is about people telling on people. And the way they get people to tell on people is they hand out huge sentences – and they’re not kidding either.
“For all we know, someone set the jeweler up – we don’t know. The feds always figure, where there’s smoke there’s fire, but sometimes there’s just smoke. I know, because I was in the middle of one of those. Almost never is a case solved by investigation; it ain’t Sherlock Holmes. The followup is CSI – fingerprints, phone records – but in almost all cases it begins with someone saying, ‘You’re looking for so and so.”