Criminal Division E



SPN 02157727


DATE: May 18, 2001
TIME: 2:20 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
LOCATION Criminal Justice Center

14250 49th Street North
Room 1100
Clearwater, FL 33762


Crissy Cladakis
Stenographic Reporter
Notary Public
State of Florida at Large


915 Chestnut Street
Clearwater, FL 33756

(727) 468-2002




Assistant State Attoeey
14250 49th Street North
Clearwater, FL 33760

For Jesse Prince: DENIS M. de VLAMING, ESQUIRE

Denis M. de Vlaming, P.A.
1101 Turner Street
Clearwater, FL 33756

For Joseph Fabrizio: HELENA K. KOBRIN, ESQUIRE

Moxon & Kobrin
1100 Cleveland Street
Suite 900
Clearwater, FL 33755

* *


* *

Direct Examination by Mr. de Vlaming . . . . . .. . 3

Cross-Examination by Mrs. Wardell ............... 37
Redirect Examination by Mr. de Vlaming ........ 42


BY MRS. WARDELL: I just wanted to place on the record that yesterday the Court ordered this deposition and it was the defense request to take this deposition. He did go ahead and abrogate the private investigative privileges, I understood, in order for you to appear today.

In furtherance of your appearance, my office prepared a subpoena to that effect, but it wasn't intended or to be construed as the State subpoena. And therefore, it doesn't carry with it the immunities that would normally carry with it. I just wanted to make sure there's no false impressions with regards to that.





Q. Are we ready?
A. Yeah.

Q. Would you please state your full name.
A. Joseph C. Fabrizio.


Q. Spell your last name.
A. F-a-b-r-i-z-i-o.

Q. And your date of birth, Joe?
A. 3/15/45.

Q. And what do you do for a living?
A. Retired law enforcement officer and I'm a private investigator and president of J.F. Charles & Associates, Incorporated.

Q. And is that a private investigative firm?
A. Yes, it is.

Q. Who is Mr. Charles?
A. That's my middle name.

Q. Oh, okay. You are Mr. Charles or there is no Mr. Charles, one of the two?
A. I'm one -- being Italian, it's very difficult for people to pronounce my name, so I figured they can't go wrong with Charles. So subsequently, I named the corporation J.F. Charles and Associates, Inc.

Q. And how long have you been a private investigator?

A. Since August Sth, 1993.

Q. And are you licensed to carry a firearm?
A. Yes, I am.

Q. Are you licensed as a PI or do you have a concealed firearm permit or both?


A. I have the W license to carry as a Florida citizen. I also have a G license, statewide permit, to carry a loaded, concealed weapon on my person.

Q. And you said you had prior law enforcement experience. What would that have been?

A. Twenty-five years retired as a detective, Mercer County Prosecutor's Office, Mercer County, New Jersey.

Q. Did you do any private investigative work in New Jersey or did that start once you came to Florida?

A. It's a conflict of interest in New Jersey, so it started in Florida.

Q. As a private investigator, were you hired on a particular job that involved working with a man, another private investigator, by the name of Barry Gaston?

A. That's correct.

Q. Do you remember when that work began?
A. Approximately, February the 7th. Although, I had meetings with him the later part of January, beginning of February.

Q. How were you introduced to him?
A. Barry --

MRS. KOBRIN: Can we just clarify what year you're talking about, then. He didn't say what year.



Q. I'm assuming the year 2000.
A. Yes. Barry belongs -- in response to your question, Barry belongs to a professional private investigator's association called FALI, Florida Association of Licenced Investigators, and he is a member and I am also.

Q. How did you locate him?
A. I was -- I knew of him. And I was introduced to him by one of the regional directors.

Q. Why was he chosen for this particular task?
A. Because the area in which we were going to be working was a black neighborhood. So therefore, I had to use a black investigator.

Q. Had you worked with Mr. Gaston before this project?

A. No.

Q. And did you explain to Mr. Gaston what his job duties would be?

A. Yes.

Q. Were they basically surveillance?
A. Investigative. Basically, it was to acquire information, intelligence. That was the purpose.

Q. For what purpose to require intelligence information?



A. To ascertain their -- basically, when I was hired from -- by the law firm, they wanted -- it was a security matter where -- to protect -- for the protection of the members of the congregation.

Q. Congregation of what?
A. The congregation of the church.

Q. Of Scientology?
A. Yes.

Q. And was one person thought to be a breach to that security?

A. Well, there was -- it was indicated to me that -- that there was --

MRS. KOBRIN: I just want to assert a work-product objection to the extent it's not related to this investigation.


Q. Okay. Related to this investigation, then.
A. There was a continuing harassment of both members and staff. There was -- there was a number of occasions where people, members, and the staff were targeted as Scientologists, so it was my duties to gain -- get intelligence and gain information with respect to people that may be involved or responsible.

Q. And was Jesse Prince the primary target in this particular project?


A. I wouldn't call him a target. He was one individual, in particular, that we were looking at.

Q. As it related to Mr. Gaston's duties, were there any other individuals involved, or was it primarily Mr. Prince?

A. Well, Barry Gaston subcontracted with me, so I was responsible for Barry Gaston.

Q. In other words, he reported to you?
A. Yes, he did.

Q. But my question is: Did Mr. Gaston -- was he hired specifically to investigate Jesse Prince?

A. Well, to gain information and intelligence about Mr. Prince.

Q. But it was Mr. Prince involving Mr. Gaston, not Mr. Prince and others?

A. No, not necessarily. If there were others, then it would have been indicated in the reports.

Q. Okay.
A. Basically, the information I'm giving you is what is contained in the reports that were written by Mr. Gaston.

Q. Did you write any written reports?
A. No, I did not.

Q. Did you take any notes of any of your meetings?


A. No, I did not.

Q. Did you have an opportunity to review the notes that have been given to us by Mr. Gaston?

A. Oh, yes.

Q. To your knowledge, are they accurate?
A. Yes.

Q. In those notes, he talks about, basically, at the end of each chronicle day having a meeting. Most of the meetings seem to be with you and some with you and Raftery, and some with you Raftery and Raftery's son. I think there was a couple of them with his son. What would the purpose of those end-of-the-day meetings be?

A. Basically what had occurred, what information was obtained, discussed different strategies on how we can legally -- without violating the law or doing anything unethical or immoral in order to obtain the results. I always -- I always stress that it has to be within the law. We can't violate anyone's rights.

Q. Well, for example, many of these beginning meetings -- not meetings, repoGastonrts chronicle going to a lounge in a black community called Maccabee's?

A. That's correct.

Q. I think it's Maccabee's, M-a-c-c-a-b-e-e-s.



A. Yes, I'm familiar with it.

Q. And in the beginning, Mr. Prince didn't show up. There were quite a few in the beginning where they would surveil -- Gaston would sit at a bar stool. He would wait and he would chronicle the time and so forth, and finally say that he didn't come into the target section, is the way he put it, and he would leave.

Would you have meetings at the end of the day about what should be the done the next day in order to try to conduct proper surveillance?

A. Yeah. And I would -- I would -- we would discuss different strategies on how we can obtain and gather intelligence and information.

Q. Would you ever receive communications primarily by telephone from other PIs, particularly Brian Raftery, of the whereabouts of Mr. Prince so that he could be surveilled at those given locations?

A. That's correct.

Q. And did you, yourself, ever call Barry Gaston and give him a lead as to where he might find Mr. Prince?

A. Yes.

Q. And when they went to these places, what was Mr. Gaston's responsibilities as far as interacting


with Prince?

A. Well, he wasn't -- he wasn't instructed to interact, personally, with Mr. Prince. He was to -- he was there to -- again, to observe. He was an extension of me. He was my eyes and ears. And actually, it was Mr. Prince who, from the outset, started a relationship with Barry Gaston.

Q. When Mr. Gaston first came back to you and said that he had met Mr. Prince and Mr. Prince's girlfriend, I believe the first time was at Wilson's Liquor Store where there were pleasantries expressed --

A. Right.

Q. -- did you have a meeting with him after that and did he tell you that he had actually shaken his hand and met him?

A. Oh, yes, yeah.

Q. Were there any directions given to Mr. Gaston as far as pursuing a friendship with Mr. Prince?

A. I told him that he can continue to do whatever he felt comfortable with as long as it didn't violate anyone's rights.

Q. Did he ultimately tell you that he forged a friendship with Mr. Prince and that Mr. Prince had invited him to his home?


A. He told me that Mr. Prince had invited him to his house; that anytime he was in the area, that he could stop in with a friend or without a friend and give him a call.

Q. And again, was that discussed with Mr. Gaston, as far as how far he could take it? In other words, whether he could go to the Prince home and go inside Mr. Prince's house?

A. I told him if he felt comfortable. I wasn't ordering him to do that, but if he felt comfortable in gaining entrance to the house, it was fine with me.

Q. Since the subject came up of him potentially going into the Prince household, was he given any instructions about what he has to do inside Mr. Prince's house at all?

A. There were noangatherythinginformation instructions whatsoever as to what he should do or look for while in the residence.

Q. Okay. Was the purpose of this investigation, though, to see if Mr. Prince was doing illegal or immoral?

A. It was initially to gather -- the way it was presented to me by Mr. Kendrick Moxon was to .

MRS. KOBRIN: All right. I want to make sure you're limiting this precisely to this investigation.



Because anything outside of this is work product or investigator's privilege, and that is not abrogated if it's not directly related to this.

MR. de VLAMING: Yeah, to this investigation, right.

THE DEPONENT: Would you restate the question, then?

MR. de VLAMING: Yeah. Can you read it back?


MRS. WARDELL: Well, what was your directive --

MR. de VLAMING: That's all right.

MRS. WARDELL: -- as it relates to Mr. Gaston's involvement?

THE DEPONENT: Well, I mean, in other words, it wasn't -- he wasn't told to go into the house. I told him that if he felt comfortable with that, that was fine, but he was not going in there with the intent or the instructions of me to look for any illegal activity. It was to maintain -- to gather intelligence and information.


Q. And just a little bit more pointed than Mrs. Wardell's question: Was part of this


investigation to find out whether Mr. Prince, in his life, was doing anything illegal or immoral and report back to your employer?

A. I would say that if there was something illegal being -- that was being done that was illegal, that would be reported to me. But that wasn't the expressed intent and purpose of him to gain entrance to the house or his car or cars or anything like along those lines.

Q. What information was sought that ultimately was to be used for some benefit?

A. Well, there is -- it was mentioned to me that there may be future litigation, and if we could impeach this subject based upon the information that we got, then we could utilize that or the law firm could utilize that to their benefit.

Q. Now, long did this investigative project of Mr. Prince, in this case, take?

A. February 7th to approximately August 13th or up until the point when was arrested.

Q. Did you, yourself, ever make any calls to either the police department, Largo Police Department, or the office of the state attorney concerning this investigation?

A. No. At the time -- I personally did not. At


the time I -- at the time I realized that it was -- it was going to be criminal, then I knew that it was our obligation to notify the necessary authorities.

Q. What did you learn from Mr. Gaston that lead you to believe that the investigation had turned criminal?

A. When Jesse Prince told them, would you like to see my pets. And he took them out to the pool deck area and he showed them a variety of marijuana plants, some as high as 5 feet, some less than 3 feet. And Mr. Gaston, having 14 -- almost 15 years of law enforcement experience, knew what marijuana plants looked like, and it was at that point.And then during that same particular time, Mr. Jesse Prince went into a bedroom. He exited the bedroom with a metal -- a metallic, metal box with a -- black with a flower pattern on it, opened it up and proceeded with papers, probably Zig Zag Papers and started to roll a joint. And there were other seeds and other residue in that same box. He smoked a joint and passed it to around to Deneen. And on the first occasion was -- it was denied, Barry denied putting it anywhere near him.

Q. About when was that? About what date was that?


A. I don't -- it's not contained in the reports. I wouldn't be able to give you a specific date; although, I'm familiar with the report.

Q. Is that before law became involved?

A. Yes. That's just prior to enforcementit.

Q. Did Mr. Gaston ever tell you that he possessed marijuana during the course of this investigation of Jesse Prince?

A. That he possessed? Clarify that for me, will you?

Q. Did he hold something in his hand that appeared to be marijuana?

A. At some point, he mimicked what -- by placing the cigarette near his lips to mimic that he was smoking the cigarette. Because most people that use drugs want their associates or friends to partake of the drug.

He did not inhale it. Barry is very straight and narrow. He doesn't even smoke cigarettes. He's not a drinker.

Q. Did he tell you about how many times that he held marijuana in his hands and simulated the smoking of the marijuana?

A. It was only -- there was only two occasions


that I'm aware of -- or three, three occasions; once in the presence of the undercover law enforcement officer who had to do the same.

Q. And did --
A. And two other times; once in a car, in the back seat of a car, and once in the house.

Q. And did any of those take place before Mr. Crosby contacted him to make him a confidential informant?

A. There was two instances; once at the house, once when Barry was in the back seat of a car. There was two females that were friends of Deneen and Jesse's who were coming in from Memphis, Tennessee, and Jesse wanted them to bring marijuana, drugs, and they were. So what they did was they bought oversized bras. They stuffed their bras with bags of marijuana, got on a commercial airline and flew in. Nobody checked them or bothered to check.

Q. I think my question was: Did Barry Gaston possess marijuana before he became a confidential informant as it relates to this investigation?

A. He didn't possess it. He held the cigarette in the back seat of the car.

Q. Well, how is that not possession?
A. Well, I mean, when you say "possession," that


could mean many things. I cannot hold a cigarette up to my mouth and possess it in my pocket.

Q. Right.
A. He mimicked smoking with Jesse behind the wheel and Deneen in the passenger seat. But of course -- and in a dark car, they couldn't tell whether or not he was actually -- he was just mimicking what a person who uses marijuana would do with that cigarette.

Q. I think the confusion of the question is, you're talking about simulating the smoking of it. I'm talking about possessing it or touching it or holding it.

So my question is: Did Barry Gaston possess marijuana -- and I'm not talking about inhaling it, did he possess it before he became a confidential informant?

A. He -- the cigarette was passed from Jesse to Deneen, to Deneen to Barry and Barry back to Jesse.

Q. Before he became a confidential informant?
A. That's correct.

Q. All right. Now, you're a private investigator?

A. That's correct.

Q. Are private investigators allowed to possess


drugs as part of their duties?

A. It depends on the situation and the case that you're working on in that -- let me clarify that. As long as you notify the authorities that the case that you're working on may or may not be criminal, and you advise the proper authorities -- in order to facilitate working on the case, you may have to hold -- hold the cigarette.

Q. Have you ever --

MRS. KOBRIN: I'm going to object to this question on the basis that it calls for a legal conclusion. I'm not sure he's qualified to do that.

MR. de VLAMING: Okay. Let me ask it this way. I'll ask it in a factual way.


Q. Have you ever contacted a local law enforcement agency in and around Pinellas County that would give you permission to possess drugs as a private investigator when they are not directly supervising you?

A. I have never inquired about that, because I've never ran into this type of situation.

Q. But you believe that you would be able to do that?

A. I really -- really, I'm not qualified to


answer that. I would want to research it.

MRS. WARDELL: Can I just ask something?

MR. de VLAMING: Go ahead.

MRS. WARDELL: With regards to the testimony that you're giving today in answering these questions, are you relying on the information contained in the reports that Barry Gaston wrote as far as dates?

THE DEPONENT: That's correct.

MR. de VLAMING: Go ahead, if you want to follow up.

MRS. WARDELL: Well, I just wanted to place on the record that April 15th was the date that the defendant referred to the plants as his "pet" at his home when Mr. Gaston was there. April 22nd was the date at Wilson's where he observed the drugs in the car, what he believed to be cocaine and crack.

April 24th is when law enforcement is verbally notified. May 5th is when Mr. Gaston gets in the car with the marijuana. That may change a little bit, either way.

THE DEPONENT: Okay. Thank you.

MRS. WARDELL: And it's my understanding, based on the reports, neither the 15th or the 22nd he consumed or participated in the passing, but perhaps participated on May 5th.




Q. You would not say, though, based upon the reading of the reports, that Mr. Gaston possessed or passed marijuana in this investigation more than a half-dozen times or a half-dozen or more times?

A. To my knowledge, three times. And that includes when Howard Crosby, known as a/k/a Mitch, was in the house and also was passed the marijuana cigarette.

MRS. KOBRIN: I want to clarify something on the record. He's saying to his knowledge, but I want to make sure it's clear that he has no firsthand knowledge.

MR. de VLAMING: Right, right.

MRS. KOBRIN: He didn't personally observe any of this.

MR. de VLAMING: Correct. To his understand it was three times, approximately.


THE DEPONENT: I have never seen Jesse Prince. Jesse Prince has never met me. I've never been by Jesse Prince's house. I don't even know what his house looks like. I know what the address is, only.



Q. Have you ever surveilled him yourself?

A. Absolutely no.

Q. Is this the first project concerning Jesse Prince that you've been on?
A. That's the only project, yeah.

Q . Have you done other work for The Church of Scientology?

MRS. KOBRIN: Objection. Outside the scope.

A. It's irrelevant

Q. Can you tell me approximately how much you got paid for this particular project?

A. It's personal.

MR. de VLAMING: No, I think the prosecutor will tell you that's cross-examinable.

MRS. WARDELL: You can answer the question.

THE DEPONENT: How much in dollars and cents?

MR. de VLAMING: Yes, sir.

MRS. KOBRIN: If you know, for this project.

THE DEPONENT: I really don't know. I'd have to --

MRS. WARDELL: Is it an hourly rate?

THE DEPONENT: An hourly rate, I would say.

MRS. WARDELL: How many hours did you spend as it relates to the involvement of Barry Gaston?


THE DEPONENT: This is now 2001, May 2001. I -- those records are shredded. I just use them for income tax purposes only.


Q. Well, let me see if I can help you. Mr. Gaston said he was paid approximately $7,000. And from reading all of this, it appears as if you were the PI closest to working with him of the PIs assigned. Does that help you in arriving at approximately how much you were paid for this particular assignment?

A. It would only be a guesstimate, and I really wouldn't want to mention a number and then find out that my number is either under or over.

Q. What is your hourly rate?
A. Fifty dollars an hour.

Q. Can you guesstimate the number of hours you put into this project?

A. There was a time when I could have given you the exact number of hours. Now I could not, in all honesty.

Q. Did you know that a warrant was going to be issued for the search of Jesse Prince's house?

A. I knew that. Although I didn't participate


in the meeting, I knew that Barry was going to be meeting with the authorities.

Q. But did you know that a warrant was going to be issued?

A. No, I did not.

Q. It appears as if Brian Raftery videotaped Mr. Prince's arrest by being across the street, and that has been provided to us by your lawyer to the left. Were you aware that it was going to be videotaped?

A. No, I was not. In fact, I didn't even -- I wasn't even aware he was going to be across the street or anything.

Q. When Mr. Gaston was in town, did you often speak with Mr. Raftery to get his aid and assistance in locating Mr. Prince so you could pass it on to
Mr. Gaston?

A. Oh, yeah.

Q. What were Mr. Raftery's duties in respect to this particular investigation?

A. Well, I'm an agency owner and so is Barry and so is Brian, so I really didn't get involved. He wasn't subcontracted with me, so therefore I didn't know. It was on a need-to-know basis, so I really


didn't question him about that.

Q. It seems from these report that you all met rather regularly, however, and discussed strategy and what to do the following day and so on and so forth. Did you have certain duties and obligations and did Mr. Raftery have certain duties or obligations or were you just told to work together?

A. I don't know. I didn't -- Brian Raftery did not work for me. He wasn't accountable to me; however, Barry was. So I was responsible for Barry. And if Brian wanted certain things done, he would have to go through me to get -- in order for me to -- in other words, Barry took orders -- did not take orders from Brian Raftery.

Q. You were the one he reported to?
A. He reported to me, yes.

Q. But Mr. Raftery helped out as far as surveillance of Mr. Prince so it could be passed on to either you or Mr. Gaston?

A. He would indicate where we might find
Mr. Prince, where he might be, where he was at one particular time or another.

Q. From February to August of the year 2000, did Mr. Raftery on almost a daily basis, at some time during the day, surveil Mr. Prince, to your knowledge?


A. Not to my knowledge.

Q. If he did, he didn't report to you or tell you?

A. Yeah, if he did, I was unaware of it.

Q. Did Mr. Gaston ever tell you that at the Prince house, when the two ladies had come into town to visit Deneen -- that's Jesse fiancee -- that he got intoxicated?

A. No, he did not.

Q. So intoxicated that he was asked to stay at the house and offered a place to sleep so that he wouldn't drive?

A. It was -- I was led to believe that not because he was inebriated or intoxicated, they were offering that as a -- just as a convenience so he didn't have to drive as far as he would have.

Q. Do you know the incident I'm talking about, when the two ladies who came into town and they all were at Mr. Prince's residence?

A. Right.

Q. Did you meet with Brian -- excuse me. Did you meet with --


MR. de VLAMING: Thank you.



Q. -- that evening?
A. Did I meet with Barry?

Q. Yes.
A. Oh, yes.

Q. That evening?
A. Yes.

Q. After he had left the girls?
A. He had indicated that there was two woman that had stuffed their bras with narcotics.

Q. So you can say he was not intoxicated that night?

A. No. His -- he wasn't -- he wasn't swaying. He was standing outside the car. His speech wasn't slurred.

Q. Okay.

MRS. WARDELL: For the record, that was July 28th.


Q. Does that sound about right, July 28th?
A. Yes.

MRS. WARDELL: Into the early morning hours of the 29th.


Q. Did Mr. Gaston ever discuss Deneen's children, two boys?


A. Yeah. I believe they were nine and thirteen. And him being a father, he was concerned that drugs were being cultivated in a pool area where the children used the pool and drugs were also passed and openly used in the living room while the children were in the house.

Q. So your answer to my question, did he mention that they had children, was yes?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. Did he ever mention taking any evidence out of the Prince home while he was an invited guest?

A. No, not to my knowledge.

Q. Let me read something to you. Tell me whether you recall reading this. This is July 3rd, while he was a confidential informant, and this is at the Jesse Prince residence.

"This writer noticed a marijuana plant in a white ceramic flower pot. This writer pulled off a leaf to be sure it was marijuana. It was later found to be marijuana. The pot was sitting on a table toward the southwest of the pool."

Did he ever mention that he took evidence without a warrant from Jesse Prince's house?

A. No.


Q. Did you read this report?
A. I read that. But I'm saying I was not aware of that.

Q. Did you question him and tell him that the removal of any evidence from a house without a warrant would be illegal?

A. It's illegal search and seizure, yeah.

Q. Did you discuss it with Mr. Gaston when you read this?

A. Well, after I read the report, I discussed it with him. But I wasn't aware of it prior to the report.

Q. Do you remember what he said in response to you telling him it was illegal?

A. Yes.

Q. What did he say?
A. He wanted to make sure that it was -- it was in fact tested and to be marijuana.

Q. Do you remember where it was tested?
A. I have no knowledge of that.

Q. Well, was it tested in a lab or was it tested in a private solution?

A. I have no way of answering that. I really don't know.

Q. You know it was tested, but you don't know


where or how?

A. I was -- based upon what he told me, it was tested and I didn't -- we didn't go any further.

MRS. WARDELL: Did he bring it to the attention of law enforcement?

THE DEPONENT: I imagine so. I really can't answer that. I don't know because all the conversations between the undercover agent and Barry were kept confidential from me.

MRS. WARDELL: After you read it, did you bring it to the attention of law enforcement?

THE DEPONENT: I had no contact. They really didn't -- they didn't -- actually, they never contacted me or discussed anything with me with regards to Barry being a CI or the marijuana leaf.

MRS. KOBRIN: I want to just put an objection on the record, and it's a continuing objection. I mean, you're -- he's being asked about things which he doesn't have any personal knowledge.

And you've deposed the person who has the personal knowledge. You've got the reports of the notes of the person with the personal knowledge, and he really doesn't have something to add to that. I mean, if he says something that's the same or he says something that's different, it's just a memory of


something that was hearsay in the first place. so I just have an objection on that basis.

MRS. WARDELL: I just think on this issue we were -- defense, and now the State, was interested in any conversation he may have had with Gaston after learning that the leaf was taken out of the residence.

MR. de VLAMING: We didn't know that until we got the report.

MRS. WARDELL: So neither one of us was able to question Mr. Gaston about it.


Q. Did Mr. Gaston ever tell you that he believed Jesse Prince was an alcoholic?

A. No. He's never -- he never made that comment to me.

Q. So he never said to you that Jesse Prince had a drinking problem?

A. No, he never mentioned that to me.

Q. Did Mr. Gaston ever say that every time he got in Mr. Prince's car that Mr. Prince would smoke marijuana?

A. I'm not sure. I would have to use the report as a basis for recollection because I'm not clear on that.

Q. Was it ever discussed during one of these


evening debriefings that there would be any gifts purchased for Mr. Prince or his family?

A. Once, by Mr. Raftery.

Q. And what was proposed?
A. It was -- it was proposed that several gifts would be given to the undercover law enforcement agent --

Q. Would that be the --
A. -- and given to Jesse Prince.

Q. That would be the wine and the Hawaiian nuts and the crackers and so forth?

A. Macadamia nuts, yeah.

Q. And what was the purpose of offering those gifts to Mr. Prince?

A. To facilitate the idea that Mitch, Howard Crosby, undercover law enforcement agent, was in Hawaii on vacation and that's why he wasn't around.

Q. Was it ever discussed that Mr. Gaston would bring hard liquor to the house as gifts?

A. Only once did he -- to my knowledge that he did that, because he didn't want to seem like a mooch.

Q. And do you know what he brought?
A. Puerto Rican rum, I think it was. I'm not sure.

Q. That's what the report indicates, on two


occasions. Does that sound about right to you?

A. Not on two occasions. One occasion I know of Puerto Rican rum.

Q. Just once?

A. Once that I'm aware of. Now, again, You know, whatever -- if the report says more than once, then you'd have to use that as a basis.

Q. Was Mr. Gaston ever given spending money by you for this project?

A. He would use his own spending money. Only did he borrow $20 from me.

Q. By using his own spending money -- in other words, if he went to Wilson's Liquor or he bought a drink for Jesse and Deneen and so forth, he would use his own money and then get reimbursed later?

A. He would get reimbursed from me and I would get reimbursed from the law firm.

Q. And would you get reimburse with a check or cash?
A. Cash.

Q. Would he tell you how much he spent or would he hand you receipts, which you later gave the law firm?

A. No. It's not a good practice to get receipts if you're in that -- in that capacity. So he would just tell me the amount.


Q. Why is it not good to get receipts in that capacity?

A. Well, because usually if you're buying somebody rounds and drinks and you start asking for receipts, it makes people look at you a little differently. You know, maybe this guy's not who he says he is. So it's not good practice.

Q. Oh, you mean receipts from the merchant?

A. Yeah. It's not a good practice to get receipts from a merchant when you're buying somebody a drink or a round of drinks.

Q . Did you ever affix Mr. Gaston with a transmitting device, a body bug?

A. Never.

Q. Did he ever have a recording of some kind where he could turn on a pocket micro-cassette recorder or something like that?

A. Not with me, no. Not from me, no.

Q. And to your knowledge, was there any videotaping of Jesse Prince done pursuant to this investigation?

A. No, no videotaping.

Q . Did you, yourself, do any audio or videotaping or monitoring of audio or videotapes in this investigation?


A. No. There was one instance in the report where it mentioned that I was going to be in a parking lot, and I did have a video camera with me. And a large group of blacks -- that's a, like, white/black neighborhood, and at the time, my Lincoln, it didn't have -- it was the old Lincoln -- it didn't have a tinted windshield, tinted glass. And there was about ten or twelve that were throwing stones at other unoccupied cars, and then my car.

Of course I got out of the car, left the camera and chased them and they all dispersed in all different area.


Q. So you never did any videotaping?

A. Absolutely not.

Q. There was one mention in the reports about Mr. Gaston being given a device that looked like a beeper but it appeared to be transmitting device. Do you recall that instance?

A. I don't recall. I was told about it afterwards as a safety factor. Assuming that, in the event that a situation turned nasty, then backup would go in there and protect Howard and Barry.

Q. While Mr. Gaston was conducting this investigation, did he carry a licensed firearm, to your knowledge?


A. He never carried a firearm on his person the whole time during the whole investigation. He is licensed to carry, but he did not have a weapon with him.

Q. Did he have one in his vehicle?
A. I don't know.

Q. Because when you said he didn't carry on his person, to your knowledge, did he have a weapon with him during this assignment?

A. I never -- I could -- he always wore clothes that it would be impossible to reveal -- I mean to conceal a weapon. And he never had a weapon on him ever during this whole investigation.

Q. Well, how would you know if it was so concealed that you couldn't see it?

A. No. I said the clothes that he was wearing, it would be impossible to conceal a weapon --

Q. Oh, I'm sorry.
A. -- on the clothing that he would wear, that I would see him wear.

Q. How about yourself, did you carry a firearm?
A. I always carry a firearm. I mentioned to you I have a W license and valid G license.

Q. Right. Do you know what Mr. Gaston has? Does he


have a W license?

MRS. KOBRIN: Only if you know.

A. I'm not sure. It's quite possible that he has both, but I'm not sure.


Q. I forgot to ask him. I thought maybe you knew.

MR. de VLAMING: Do you have any questions?

MRS. WARDELL: I have a few.

MR. de VLAMING: Go ahead.



Q. Did you ever give Mr. Gaston any instructions or advice or directions that once you, in fact, see illegal activity, you need to get law enforcement involved and step out and not go back without law enforcement?

A. I gave him instructions that once he observed or heard about illegal activity, that we were obligated to notify the proper authorities.

Q. So what I'm having a hard time understanding is on April 15th is when Mr. Prince shows the "pets" at his home to Mr. Gaston. Why isn't law enforcement notified the 16th, 17th? Why weren't they notified after that first visit?


A. Actually, he wasn't -- to look at plants and look at drugs, he wasn't positive unless it was tested. So at that point, they could have been plants that looked somewhat like marijuana, but weren't marijuana. So as a result, he didn't feel it was necessary to notify authorities.


Q. Well, that same night, on the 15th, was also when a joint was passed in his presence and he declined to smoke it stating that he had to take a urine test the next day. So I understand that he didn't know the plants were, in fact, marijuana at that point and wanted to maybe see them better, but he certainly knows the smell of the marijuana joint, and he put in his report that a joint was passed that night.

A. Yes.

Q. So my same question: Why not call law enforcement after the 15th?

A. I really can't answer that.

Q. Are you aware that Mr. Gaston actually got a CI number from law enforcement?

A. Afterwards, I found out about it.

Q. Okay.
A. I did not participate in that -- in that aspect and that was a decision made by the Largo


Police Department.

Q. So when did you learn that he was actually given a CI number within the police department?

A. It was after the fact that he mentioned to me that they were going to be give him CI status and he would be assigned a number.

Q. You mean after the arrest or sometime during the investigation?

A. No. After the authorities were notified that there was illegal activity.

Q. My records indicate that he got a CI number on April 24th. Do you have any idea how close in time to that you learned of the CI number?

A. It was after that. It was after that. I wouldn't know. I wouldn't know, you know.

Q. Well, was it prior to law enforcement actually going to Mr. Prince's house the first time?

A. I think he got the CI status -- and again, I'm not absolutely certain on this, but I think he got it prior to him introducing Mitch, Howard Crosby.

Q. Right. And that wasn't my question. My question is: When did you learn? I know he got CI status April 24th, and I know law enforcement went to the home May 7th.

So my question is: Did you learn sometime


during that week, prior to law enforcement going to the home, that he, in fact, had CI status?

A. Yeah, prior. Yeah, in between there.

Q. Okay.
A. Yeah, prior.

Q. Sometime during that week-and-a-half, ten days, maybe two weeks?

A. Yeah.

Q. So May 7th, law enforcement goes to his home. May 5th, he's in a car at Maccabee's with Mr. Prince and possibly Deneen, the girlfriend, and there, a marijuana joint was passed around.

Were you aware that he had CI status at that point?

A. I may have at that point. I'm not sure.

Q. Were you aware that he -- subsequent to having CI status and subsequent to law enforcement's first visit to the home, were you aware that Mr. Gaston continued to associate with Mr. Prince while narcotics were around?

A. At one point, it's indicated in the report. Mr. Gaston was told to stop any further contact.

Q. So my question is: Were you aware that he continued the contact with the defendant with narcotics without law enforcement subsequent to his CI


A. No.

Q. And with regards to the leaf that was taken on July 3rd, tell me what you think about that as far as your prior law enforcement experience.

A. I would have not -- I would have told him not to take it, if I was aware of it. If I was aware that he was contemplating taking anything or removing anything, I always emphasis that I value my license.

I got a 25-year unblemished law enforcement record, and that without a search warrant, it's illegal search and seizure, so not to remove anything. But I wasn't -- I wasn't aware of that.

Q. Do you know what happened to that leaf?
A. To tell you the truth, again, that was -- I wasn't privy to that information because whatever Largo Police Department did between Barry -- him and Barry or them and Barry and supervisors or Howard Crosby, I was not privy to. I never met Howard Crosby. I wouldn't know Howard if I tripped over him.

Q. Well, my understanding is the leaf was taken at a visit when law enforcement wasn't present. And in your debriefings, if you will, or your meetings with Mr. Gaston close in time to July 3rd, did you ask him what he did with the leaf when you found out that


he had taken?

A. He said he was going to have it tested.

Q. Did he tell you how?
A. No. I assumed that it was going to be given to Largo Police Department for analysis.

Q. So you weren't aware if he was going to turn it over to the police?

A. Yes.

Q. By the reports that you've read and the things that have come to your attention, would you hire Mr. Gaston again for another job?

A. I would not, no.



Q. Why?
A. It's just like my personal preference.

Q. Didn't he follow orders?

A. He followed orders. He's a -- he's a good investigator, but it's my just personal preference, and it's not only Barry. Our other investigators, if I don't like the way they work or if I think they're capable of being unethical, that I will not hire.

Q. And do you think that Barry Gaston fits within that; that is, he's capable of being unethical or something like that?


A. No. It's just my own personal preference. I would not hire Barry in the future, and I haven't hired him since.

Q. But I mean, was it on the basis of what Mrs. Wardell said that he's doing things, perhaps being around drugs, when he was told to back away when drugs were around, and things that you since learned about taking things from Mr. Prince's house? Does that go into your thought process of not hiring him?

A. Well, yes. But I have other personal reasons why I would not.

Q. What are they?

MRS. WARDELL: As it relates to this investigation.


Q. Yeah, I mean, you only worked with him on this.

A. Sometimes people have the tendency to be unsatisfied with the amount of money they're making. And I pay -- whatever I pay is what I make an hour. So I'm not going to pay a person that -- especially when I have the client, I'm not going to pay that person more money an hour than I'm making when I got the client. And as a result, that's why they sign a non-compete clause, a nondisclosure.


Q. And did he think that he might be worth more than $50 an hour? Is that part of it?

A. That's possible, yeah. That's the impression I got.

Q. That reminded me of a question. When Mr. Prince was arrested, there were several calls made after the fact to him -- excuse me, several calls made after the fact to Barry Gaston after Prince's arrest asking the status of the investigation. Was that you?

A. It wasn't me, no. I wasn't even -- I wasn't even -- 1 don't believe I was working the day he was arrested.

Q. Okay. Did you make any subsequent phone calls after the arrest of Mr. Prince of Mr. Gaston?

A. No.

Q. So the last time you talked to Mr. Gaston was when?

A. Oh, God. It was prior to the arrest. I don't -- 1 can't tell you right off the top of my head.

Q. Well, I think you just answered it. So it was sometime --

A. If any calls were made, they were not me -- certainly not made by me because I wasn't even aware that he was arrested.


Q. Did you receive a bonus in this case?
A. Absolutely not.

Q. And do you feel that as far as your being hired for a job, and in part, to get impeachment information if it is out there on Mr. Prince, do you think you succeeded?

A. Well, my purpose -- when you say "impeachment," I mean -- we were trying to impeach his credibility because of --

MRS. KOBRIN: I think this is getting into work product.

MRS. WARDELL: I'm sorry. I didn't hear the question.

MR. de VLAMING: Well, I asked him whether or not he felt that the mission was accomplished about gathering impeachment information from Mr. Gaston.

MRS. KOBRIN: I think this is getting --

MRS. WARDELL: An issue with regards to he civil suit?

MR. de VLAMING: Whatever he eluded to before.

MRS. WARDELL: I think he initially said that the mission related to a civil suit, so it's probably outside of the scope of this, but it's not my --

MRS. KOBRIN: I think it's out of the scope,


because I think it's work product because whether he thinks it succeeded is certainly going to depend on conversations he had with other people.


Q. Okay. Since the date of this project, have you done any more work for that employer, the church?

MRS. KOBRIN: Objection. Work product.

A. I'm not going to answer that.


Q. Okay.
A. With all due respect.

Q. With all respect accepted. Thank you.

MR. de VLAMING: I don't have any other questions. Do you?


MR. de VLAMING: That's all the questions I have, Mr. Fabrizio. I want to thank you for coming. And I know this was a short notice and the fact that you cooperated. I am grateful for that.

THE DEPONENT: Well, it was a pleasure meeting you.

MR. de VLAMING: Okay. Thank you. Put him down for a read.

(At this time the deposition in the above-captioned matter was concluded at 3:15 p.m.)





I, CRISSY CLADAKIS, Court Reporter, certify that I was authorized to and did stenographically report the foregoing deposition; and that the transcript is a true record of the testimony given by THE DEPONENT.

I further certify that I am not a relative, employee, attorney, or counsel of any of the parties, nor am I a relative or employee of any of the parties' attorney or counsel connected with the action, nor am I financially interested in the action.

I, the undersigned authority, certify that JOSEPH FABRIZIO personally appeared before me and was duly sworn.

WITNESS my hand and official seal this 21st day of May, 2001.


Crissy Cladakis
Notary Public - State of Florida
My Commission No. CC 736558
Expires: April 23, 2002