Thursday, September 11, 2008

New York Criminal Defense Attorney Charged With Trying to Kill Witness

A prominent New York criminal defense attorney has been charged with conspiring to have a witnesses in a drug trial killed. Robert Simels, a well known New York criminal defense attorney, was working for Shaheed Khan. Mr. Khan is in jail awaiting trial on gun charges. Mr. Khan runs an international cocaine ring with a paramilitary unit in the country of Guyana that has murdered people and committed acts of violence at Mr. Khan's direction. Federal authorities had been working with a confidential informant who secretly recorded conversions with attorney Simels. In those recordings, Simels is recorded telling the informant that "any witness you can eliminate is a good thing." According to the Criminal Complaint, Mr. Simels told the witness that Mr. Khan would be willing to pay whatever amount of money was required to keep the witness from testifying. He offered to give the informant the home and work address of one key witness and apparently is recorded as saying that "if she didn't testify, refused to testify, that would be good." He also apparently said that if they could "eliminate" another witness it would be "very good." During a meeting in June, Mr. Simels allegedly paid the informant $1,000 and told the informant that Mr. Khan requested the he do whatever needs to be done.

Mr. Simels served as a special assistant attorney general for the New York Special Prosecutors Office which investigated corruption by officials working in the New York city criminal justice system. He has represented known drug lords, the Murder Inc. record label, New York Jets player Mark Gastinueau and former mobster Henry Hill. Mr. Simels is charged with Witness Tampering and Obstruction of Justice. He is free on a $3.5 million bond.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at or call as anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

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