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The government has until today — Friday — to disclose the names and addresses of law enforcement officers who were present the night Leon Houston was arrested in January.
Houston requested the information in his federal case.
Prosecutors objected to the disclosure, but U.S. Magistrate C. Clifford Shirley Jr. ordered the government to produce the information.
“The court finds that this disclosure is fair, reasonable and appropriate, and a proper balance of the defendant’s and government’s interests,” Shirley said in his order.
Houston is charged in federal court with possessing a firearm while being an unlawful user of a controlled substance and threatening to kill attorney James Logan.
He faces a separate trial on each charge.
The firearm charge stems from his arrest at the family farm on Jan. 11. According to court records, federal agents were securing the area around his brother’s residence when Houston approached them on a four-wheeler armed with three loaded firearms. He stopped when the agents aimed their weapons at him.
Houston was questioned and allegedly admitted to “getting high.” He also allegedly made a reference to some “wacky tobacco.”
Houston, who is representing himself on the firearm charge, denies making those statements. He said he needs the names of the officers who were present the night of the arrest to prepare a proper defense.
“The court is not aware of, nor has the government asserted, any privilege that would prohibit the government from revealing the names of the law enforcement officers present during the defendant’s arrest, search of his residence, and/or who were present during his statements,” Shirley said. “Likewise, the government has not asserted or represented any concern or likelihood of harm that would result if such names were disclosed.”
Houston and his brother, Rocky Houston, have a history of filing lawsuits against police officers, prosecutors and judges, including Shirley.
The brothers previously have sought to subpoena former president George W. Bush and current President Barack Obama.
In response to Leon Houston’s motion, prosecutors argued that providing the names of the officers would “invite a frivolous request for a subpoena for each and every one of them.”
That concern didn’t persuade Shirley.
“Whether the defendant may or may not make a frivolous request for a subpoena is both unknown to the court and not determinative of this motion,” Shirley said.
Rocky Houston is charged in federal court with 14 counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
The brothers are being tried separately.