No exaggeration. That was how Kemo DeShawn McCray came to be a confidential informant.
To say Special Agent Shawn Brokos was “ambitious” in recruiting Kemo to work as a CI doesn’t quite cut it. Just before Brokos recruited McCray, she was coming off the high of basking in the heavenly glory of formal commendations for her successful investigation into street gangs.
Seemingly starved for more recognition, Brokos set her sight on new opportunities for advancement. Her unbridled and narcissistic ambition led her straight into the home Kemo shared with his mother.
In her testimony in the U.S. v. William Baskerville case, Brokos shamelessly described how she schemed, manipulated, lied and forced Kemo into the dangerous life of being an informant. But don’t take my word for it. Here are her own words straight from her testimony in the Baskerville case:
…I had worked with a long-time informant by the name of …and…he suggested to me on several occasions that…Kemo McCray might be very useful to use because he has some very good inside knowledge as to this set of Crips we’re looking at…[we] spoke at length about Kemo helping us out in this investigation. In the midst of these discussions, we weren’t sure how to approach it, …called me and said Kemo is hiding a gun in …apartment. That very day I got some agents...went to the apartment…the gun was exactly where … said it would be.
…Initially, Kemo denied that the gun was his and (his mother) tried to say that the gun was hers. So we went through several different interviews trying to ascertain whose gun this was, knowing full well it was Kemo’s…Kemo actually ran out the back door and…we could not find him.…I spoke to (Kemo’s mother) … and told her that if Kemo does not come forward, we’re going to have to charge her because she was saying the gun was hers and we knew it wasn’t…
…we (actually) weren’t certain whether or not we could charge this as anything because it wasn’t a federal crime…it was a very weak case…
…So I explained (to Kemo’s mother to) tell Kemo we just want to talk to him about this gun and see if he’ll come in…convince Kemo to do the right thing.
…She brought him to our office, we sat down with Kemo…He said he would like to help himself out…He admitted the gun was his and from that day forward we began our working relationship…and…he started his work with us…(and we told him) we would do everything we could to protect his safety.
A “working relationship.” Really? I am not sure I would call it a working relationship. She threatens to file criminal charges against his mother, charges she knows there is no legal basis to file and then tells a jury that Kemo said he “would like to help himself out.” Does that make you want to vomit or what?
I wonder if Kemo’s family knew the federal government never had any intention of charging Kemo and that Brokos was flat out lying to manipulate Kemo into being an informant.
In his first six months on the job, Kemo bought drugs from about 15 gang members. All of them were arrested. Like most confidential informants, Kemo never had to testify in the prosecution of these individuals. Hence the term “confidential informant” (as opposed to confidential witness) their identity is almost never revealed in drug cases. Usually cases are dismissed before a prosecutor will disclose who a CI is. This is such common knowledge that it makes the claim Paul Bergrin made the statement “no Kemo, no case” completely moronic. But hey, John Q. Jurors bought it, so who am I to say?
After Kemo scored big for Brokos in just six months, Brokos didn’t even let the poor kid rest. She was worse than Kathy Lee Gifford with her slave-driving child labor sweatshops.
In January of 2003, Kemo began buying drugs from William Baskerville while wearing a body wire. All of these buys were surveilled by the FBI and recorded by video or audio. There were at least 35 tapes capturing Baskerville selling drugs to Kemo.
Forgetting the promise to protect Kemo and showing her gross incompetency and total disregard for Kemo’s’ safety, Brokos had Kemo buy drugs in smaller quantities than what Baskerville regularly sold. Big mistake and one that would cost Kemo his life.
Second big mistake. Brokos was impatient. Kemo didn’t have a phone one day, but a buy would have to be made. So instead of getting the kid a new phone, she gave Kemo her fellow agent and boyfriend’s cellphone number to leave for a dealer to call him back on. I am sure the dealer was just a little concerned when the phone he expects Kemo to answer goes into a voicemail greeting, “This is Agent so and so of the FBI…”
Can you imagine the conversation between Kemo and Brokos when that faux pas is discovered... Oops! OMG Kemo. Sorry about that. Oh well! No biggy. Don’t worry about it. You’re going to be toast soon anyway. In the meantime, do me a big one would ya? Let’s get out there and squeeze in a few more buys so I can get me some more of them good ol’ commendations. Thanks a mill’!
And that brings us to November 25, 2003, the day the FBI arrested William Baskerville. The arrest complaint might as well have had Kemo’s name in neon flashing lights. With one read, Baskerville immediately knew it was Kemo who had set him up. He knew it because the quantities Baskerville sold Kemo were so little. Big mistake Brokos. Big.
Baskerville tells his attorney who the CI is as any reasonable drug dealer who was just arrested would do. And the attorney who happened to be Baskerville’s attorney, as we all now know, was Paul Bergrin.
After court, Bergrin called Baskerville’s cousin Hakeem Curry and told him, “Will said the guy’s name was K-Mo.” That’s the big recording??? That’s the act that set into motion the execution of a federal witness. Really? No wonder they didn’t charge Bergrin when they indicted Baskerville in 2005. They needed to throw in a whole bunch of other accusations they could find over a ten year period to throw them to the wall at once to see if they would stick like spaghetti. Tragically, it worked.
Getting back to Kemo, while Baskerville is being set up, Kemo began using the money Brokos was giving him to use and deal drugs on his own. At some point after Brokos found out, she fired Kemo as an informant. This convenient firing of Kemo for being a drug using drug dealer just happened to occur after Baskerville’s arrest and after word was out on the streets that Kemo was working for the feds.
After being hunted on the streets for a few months, Kemo pleaded with Brokos for protection. Brokos must have given him a, “Yeah, I’ll get right on that as soon as I am done dusting off my medals.” At the Baskerville trial, she claimed some nonsense as having gotten tied up in red tape and unable to get Kemo into protective custody quickly enough. Why she did not just arrest Kemo for his drug dealing and keep him safe is beyond me. Wasn’t he such a necessary witness???
But maybe it wasn’t the red tape. Maybe it was that Brokos didn’t need Kemo anymore. They had 35 tapes. Why did they need a witness when they had 35 Tapes of Baskerville making drug deals?
Instead of taking Kemo into safety as Brokos promised Kemo --- as she looked into the eyes of Kemo’s mother and promised -- she let him be hunted on the streets like an animal. After three months, that hunt came to an end. On March 2, 2004, Kemo was executed on the street by a black male with shoulder length dreadlocks.
Here’s the horrific truth folks: This ruthless agent threw Kemo to the wolves because he was no use to her anymore. He lost his credibility. There would be no more commendations that Kemo could help Brokos earn. He was dispensable. He had served her purpose and she could not be bothered.
Brokos’ dispensability of Kemo reminds of that famous quote from Arthur Miller in Death of a Salesman. “A man is not an orange. You can't eat the fruit and throw the peel away.”
Someone needs to tell Brokos that CIs are not orange peels that can be thrown away when they are of no use to her anymore.
One wonders how she sleeps at night. Probably doesn’t lose a wink. Cops like Brokos don’t care if they get people killed in their quest to wear a few more medals on their chest. When they get caught, they blame someone else. They use people like Paul Bergrin as a scapegoat to hide their despicable conduct. Thank God, the majority of law enforcement agents and prosecutors really do work to protect society from the bad guys out there.
Regardless of whatever is written about Paul Bergrin, history will be a much harsher judge of Shawn Brokos. It’s the Shawn Brokos’ of the world people in every part of the globe worry about. These people will stop at nothing to win at any cost and abuse their power. And they make the good guys who deserve to wear the white hats look really, really bad.
NOTE: It should be obvious to anyone that's read much of anything I have written and/or knows me that I did not write this post. The party that did is anonymous to anyone except me. Why should it be obvious? I sure do not believe that any of the government people involved in any of these cases wears a white hat or are the good guys in any way, shape or form. Furthermore, I have exactly zero trust for anyone in law enforcement in this country. The US system is a sham. Additionally, I do not believe that William Baskerville was ever a danger to Kemo or anyone else. There is solid evidence that he was wrongfully convicted on everything related to the Kemo Deshawn McCray murder.