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June 01, 2016

Two Ex-DEA Agents on Trial for Owning Strip Club

NEW YORK CITY—South Hackensack, New Jersey, where the Twins Plus Go-Go Lounge strip club is located, is just a stone's thrown from Manhattan, but it's still unclear why two of its owners, former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents David Polos and Glen Glover, are being prosecuted in district court in Manhattan rather than a federal jurisdiction in New Jersey—or why their defense attorney, Marc Mukasey, just happens to be the son of former Attorney General of the United States Michael Mukasey. Be that as it may, Polos and Glover are being prosecuted for having lied on official documents; namely, the background check information they filled out as required by the DEA, in which agency Polos was an assistant special agent-in-charge whose main duty was supervising the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, which targeted major drug traffickers, while Glover was a civilian employee of the agency whose main duties were as a telecommunications specialist, a job that included monitoring the agency's wiretaps. But according to the prosecution, Polos and Glover were leading double lives as owners of the Twins Plus, in large part because supposedly the club was rife with drug abuse and prostitution on the premises—activities the DEA frowns upon. Oh, and then there's the tax evasion ... Not so, said Mukasey during his opening statement at the trial, which began yesterday. "To the bottom of his soul, David Polos was a DEA agent," Mukasey told the judge and jury.  "It was a good little hobby, a good way to blow off steam and maybe an investment that would make a little money," he added. And according to Glover's attorney, Cathy Fleming, plenty of DEA supervisors and employees frequented the club, and she noted that one DEA employee's wife even works on the club's website. Apparently, the question to be decided at trial will be whether the agents' ownership of the club constitutes a "second job," or whether, as the defense team is arguing, it was basically just a hobby or investment that required barely any labor on their parts. However, it is likely that if the agents had disclosed their ownership during the background check, their top-secret security clearances would "most likely have been denied," and they would have been fired from their posts. And speaking of security, one complication might be the fact that, according to the Wall Street Journal, "Most of the dancers were undocumented women from Brazil and Russia who paid between $10 to $30 a night to dance at the lounge." The first witness to be called in the trial was Deputy Chief Inspector Barbra Roach, who was in charge of personnel security in 2010 and 2011. Prosecutor Paul M. Monteleoni asked her why the defendants' ownership of a strip club might be problematic, with Roach answering, "It raises concerns of the employee being exploited, being blackmailed, being forced to disclose information." However, as Mukasey pointed out, "Nowhere on this form does it say 'list any investment you have in the United States,' right?" "Correct," Roach answered. The trial is expected to continue at least into next week, with several more DEA employees and workers at the Twins Plus expected to testify.

 
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