and some things never change!
Convicted drug smuggler faces trial in hit attempt on relative
He's charged with trying to put hit on a relative
By Vanessa Blum | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
October 13, 2008
A South Florida drug smuggler responsible for the sensational slaying of speedboat king Don Aronow in 1987 is going back on trial in Fort Lauderdale.
This time Robert Young is charged with trying to put out a hit on his brother-in-law from inside a federal prison.
Young, 60, wrongly thought Roderick "Rickie" Mudrie tipped off federal agents leading to his 2001 arrest at his Lighthouse Point home and wanted to retaliate, prosecutors allege.
Prosecutor Donald Chase will tell jurors Young enforced a creed of "you talk — you die" within his drug ring and sought to have Mudrie murdered. Young's threats were not "idle talk" as he had been found guilty in three murders, including Aronow's, Chase wrote in a court filing.
But Young's attorney Paul Donnelly insists jurors should not be told about the killings or his client's drug-trafficking crew.
"I'm trying to stop a lynching," Donnelly said. "If you try him on his criminal history, they would convict him of anything."
Young's trial is set to begin this month. He faces federal charges of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, giving a firearm to another felon and attempting to obstruct justice by harming Mudrie, who he thought was a government witness.
Donnelly contends his client wanted to have Mudrie arrested, not killed. As for the gun charges, Donnelly says the five-year statute of limitations expired before prosecutors filed charges in June 2007. His spin: "How can Young be in prison and still possess the weapon?"
Young, who began serving a 10-year federal sentence in October 2001, is set for release in March 2011. If convicted, he would likely spend the rest of his days behind bars.
To Thomas Cash, who ran operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Florida from 1988 to 1995, that's what Young deserves.
"There are certain people who belong in prison and Young is one of them," Cash said.
Young is best known for his role as hit man in the mercenary-style murder of Aronow, a powerboat mogul with presidents and drug runners as clients. For years, the mystery of who shot Aronow captivated South Florida.
In 1989, detectives linked the murder to Young, a federal prisoner in Oklahoma. Young struck a deal with Florida prosecutors in 1995, pleading no contest to the $60,000 hit job. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison.
If Aronow was flashy, Young was the opposite, said Gary Rosenberg, who prosecuted the case.
"He was a nobody," Rosenberg said. "He was just one of those guys who would do what you wanted if you paid enough."
Young was released in June 1999. At the time, Florida prisons were severely overcrowded and some inmates were let go with years left on their sentences.
Prosecutors contend Young later got into the drug trade, importing cocaine from Central and South America in a hidden compartment on his sailboat. That compartment was built by Mudrie, Young's intended victim, according to prosecutors.
Young has denied wanting his ex-wife's brother dead. In June 2004 interviews with federal agents, he said he wanted an associate to plant a gun on Mudrie, a convicted felon, so he would be arrested.
and some things never change!
Last edited by chuckbeecher; 10-14-2008 at 08:44 AM.
Does it Ever ??????
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