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Federal judge: FBI can’t review documents seized from Arizona criminal defense attorney arrested in drug case

August 12, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Federal judge: FBI can’t review documents seized from Arizona criminal defense attorney arrested in drug case

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A federal judge has issued a ruling temporarily prohibiting the FBI and federal prosecutors from examining documents and computers seized from the office of a well-known Arizona criminal defense attorney following the lawyer’s arrest in connection with a drug trafficking investigation.

According to Tuscon.com, a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday accused 59-year-old Richard Gallego a longstanding criminal defense attorney in Tuscon and his assistant of helping a client in a drug trafficking case avoid arrest.

Gallego represented Efrain Corrales-Perez, who was arrested at the Nogales Port of Entry last year on drug trafficking charges.

The attorney and his assistant Ricardo Gallego, 39, were charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges.

In her ruling issued Friday, US District Court Judge Rosemary Marquez said that she would consider a request by attorneys for Gallego to appoint a ‘special master’ to review the seized documents to ascertain whether the material is protected by the attorney-client privilege.

The judge also granted permission for the FBI to copy but not review the computers’ memories so the devices could be returned to the attorney.

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