Arrest of high-profile drug case prosecutor stuns colleagues

Low-key Chief Deputy District Attorney David Schubert kept to himself and was the last person colleagues expected to get arrested and accused of possession of rock cocaine.

The shock of Schubert's arrest Saturday in an east valley neighborhood and the charges of possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy, both felonies, rippled through the Regional Justice Center on Monday as investigators began reviewing the prosecutor's casework for potential irregularities.

Schubert, a 10-year veteran prosecutor, was assigned to a federal drug trafficking task force and handled high-profile drug cases, including last year's busts of celebrity socialite Paris Hilton and pop singer Bruno Mars.

Schubert, 47, made no statement to Las Vegas police after his arrest. He is scheduled to appear in Las Vegas Justice Court on May 19 and could not be reached for comment Monday.

Colleagues said they were stunned to learn of Schubert's arrest. A private man, Schubert gave no indication of a substance abuse problem, they said.

But a convicted drug dealer told police Schubert was a regular customer, buying crack cocaine two or three times a week for the past six months.

District Attorney David Roger brushed aside questions about any stress in Schubert's life that might have precipitated drug use.

"I don't believe in excuses,'' Roger said. "You don't resort to rock cocaine to solve your problems."

Roger said that in reviewing Schubert's cases, he was satisfied that there had been no wrongful prosecutions, explaining that checks and balances in the system stem those concerns and that Schubert did not have access to drugs entered as evidence.

But detectives are trying to determine whether Schubert's actions compromised any investigations, including ongoing cases in which he was advising law enforcement officers.

Roger said Schubert was immediately suspended and can either resign or face termination.

Schubert's prosecution will be handled by the state attorney general's office "to avoid the appearance of any impropriety," Roger said.

A Las Vegas police officer stopped Schubert's white BMW about 4:50 p.m. Saturday near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway after he observed a possible drug deal in an area known for it, authorities said.

As officers approached the car, Raymond Streeter, 43, jumped out of the passenger side and ran. He later told officers that he knew Schubert only as "Joe," a steady customer who would call him on his cell phone to arrange small crack buys.

Streeter was arrested in 2006 for felony possession of cocaine with intent to sell. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was ordered to attend counseling and pay a fine or perform community service. There are no indications that Schubert was involved in that or any other case involving Streeter.

While interviewing Schubert, an officer noticed what proved to be .01 grams of cocaine in the prosecutor's car. Officers also found a legally registered handgun and a large amount of ammunition in the car.

The police report does not indicate whether Streeter was charged, and authorities did not respond to questions about his status on Monday.

Roger said he was immediately notified of Schubert's arrest and sent Assistant District Attorney Chris Owens to the scene to help detectives secure warrants for a blood sample and to search Schubert's two Las Vegas homes.

Schubert has prosecuted a myriad of drug-related cases in District Court and at least one in federal court.

A graduate of the Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Schubert worked as a law clerk in the district attorney's office before he was admitted to the State Bar of Nevada in 2001. He became a prosecutor in 2002.

County and court records show Schubert's 10-year marriage ended in divorce in 2005, but he had no legal troubles.

As a prosecutor, Schubert handled several high-profile cases, including that of New York-New York casino shooter Steven Zegrean, who was convicted in 2009 for a 2007 attack that left four people wounded.

In the Hilton case, the celebrity socialite was arrested in August after an officer found 0.8 grams of cocaine in her handbag following a traffic stop. She pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and was sentenced to probation.

Mars, a pop singer, songwriter and producer, agreed to plead guilty to felony cocaine possession and was sentenced to a year of informal probation. If completed, Mars can withdraw the plea and the case will be dismissed.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@ or 702-380-1039.