Monday, January 24, 2005

Dem indicted for plan to plant crack cocaine and murder a witness.

The St. Louis Post that St. Louis is a dangerous place for a witness in a case of Democratic voter fraud.
The indictment against Ellis, a Democratic committeeman, states that he learned that a confidential witness had met with federal agents Oct. 5 and implicated him in election fraud. That was a month before candidates and others raised vote fraud allegations following the November election. Republican County Board member Steve Reeb, who lost the race for St. Clair County Board Chairman, was one of them.

Without East St. Louis votes, Reeb had a lead of 52 percent to 48 percent over his Democratic opponent, Mark Kern, and a 4,000-vote edge. After East St. Louis was included, the numbers reversed. Reeb said at the time that he believed the election numbers were fishy.

Ellis, 55, of East St. Louis, came under a spotlight publicly when FBI agents raided City Hall on Nov. 23 and took from his office computer hard drives, boxes of files and his lizard-skin briefcase. He's a Democrat precinct committeeman with ties to other leaders in the city.

According to his indictment, within two days of learning about the witness's contact with authorities, Ellis worked on a plan to plant one-half ounce of crack cocaine on the witness and have her arrested. Conversations between Ellis and an undisclosed person were apparently recorded. The talk shifted from a set-up to Ellis' alleged instructions to "dispose of her."

The other person showed Ellis a photograph "depicting what appeared to be the murdered" witness, the indictment states. The other person told Ellis, falsely, she was thrown to the bottom of Horseshoe Lake in Madison County.

According to the indictment, Ellis also tried to corruptly influence several witnesses to invoke their right to remain silent when they appeared before a grand jury in November. For all this alleged activity, including the attempted murder accusations, he faces four charges of obstruction of justice.

Ellis been in federal court before. In the late 1980s, he used his influence as executive assistant to Mayor Carl E. Officer to halt a nursing home project until the construction company gave a $184,000 plumbing contract to a company he controlled. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to extortion.
What other "leaders in the community" does the indicted Ellis need to be associated with to get his mitts on a half ounce of crack?

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