With a resounding slap at a veteran federal law enforcement informant, U.S. District Judge Robert C. Jones on Tuesday afternoon dismissed all charges against former North Las Vegas Municipal Court Chief Marshal Ricardo Bonvicin.
Bonvicin, a 15-year veteran and one-time supervisor over the NLV Detention Center, had been charged with six counts of money laundering and one count of lying to a federal officer. But in dismissing all charges Tuesday, the normally reserved Jones made it clear the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office officials had strayed far from the road to justice when they chose to trust veteran snitch witness Steve Barket.
Barket admitted having a 25-year relationship with the FBI, IRS, ATF and other federal law enforcement agencies. It became clear on cross examination by Bonvicin’s attorney Tom Pitaro that Barket used his relationship with the FBI to attempt to bury the defendant after their friendship had soured.
Although Jones stopped short of calling Bonvicin a victim, he said Barket’s lack of credibility and the government’s clear-cut entrapment called for a dismissal of all charges.
“Obviously, these charges were devastating to him,” Pitaro said. “Now that they’re dismissed, hopefully he’ll have a chance to pick up his life and go on.”