Claremont Insider: O'Toole Pleads Guilty in Somalia Gun-Running Case - UPDATED

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

O'Toole Pleads Guilty in Somalia Gun-Running Case - UPDATED

Claremont resident and former City Council candidate Joe O'Toole pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring to move planeloads of AK-47 to Somalia. Politico has all the news available right now.

We covered aspects of this story here, and here, over the summer.

Until recently, O'Toole resided north of Baseline near Mountain Avenue. More recently--and perhaps for the next five years--he has been the guest of the Feds in Florida. At 79 years of age, there may be tactical and practical reasons O'Toole chose not to contest the charges. Who knows?--maybe he is actually guilty. We understand he had a public defender at least until a month or so ago when a private attorney was brought on.

Things started to take a serious turn last week when the judge and prosecutor said there would be no more delays, and no plea bargain offered, and the trial would proceed as scheduled on October 5. That's gotta clear one's mind.

[Update: Apparently there was a plea agreement; see below]

Sentencing is scheduled for December 14.

We'll have more as this develops...

UPDATE - 9:55pm

We tracked down the O'Toole plea agreement, signed yesterday by the prosecuting U.S. attorney and the defendant.

O'Toole pleaded guilty to count 1 of his indictment, and the government dismissed counts 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the original indictment. In addition to dropping the remaining charges, the government tentatively agreed to go easy on O'Toole, giving him a sentence towards the lower range of whatever advisory sentence the court arrives at after its probation office conducts a Pre-Sentence Investigation.

Judging from the language of the plea, it sounds as if the feds are mainly miffed at O'Toole's arm dealing without a proper license or permission. Uncle Sam apparently owns the American arms sales rights to Somalia. So no gun shows in Mogadishu, unless you get the official thumbs up:

Click Image to Enlarge

Here's the whole thing: