Greta and Me Part 3

The Secret Service agents drove me to D.C.’s federal courthouse, and they silently ushered me through courthouse. After the Secret Service agents booked me, I was deposited in a holding cell that held around 20 inmates. The altered state that I had experienced in the Secret Service sedan was punctured by the harsh reality of the holding cell. I had been there for a couple of hours when a pair a U.S. marshals retrieved me. The marshals had the same stern demeanor as the Secret Service agents as they escorted me to a courtroom. As I entered, I noticed my mother standing next to an African-American man in his mid-thirties. He was a bail bondsman who Greta had introduced to my mother. The marshals escorted me past my teary-eyed mother to the defense table where Greta stood.

Shortly after I seated myself, Judge Harold Greene strolled into the courtroom. The 67-year-old Greene was short and compact. He had a black comb over, and he wore large brown-framed glasses. When Judge Greene seated himself at the bench, he leafed through my indictment. Judge Greene was quite surprised that the grand jury had walloped me with a 43-count RICO indictment. RICO is an acronym for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, and it was originally designed to dismantle the Mafia, because RICO allows for mob bosses to be tried for crimes that were sanctioned on their behalf. Judge Greene may have been surprised by my RICO indictment, but I nearly fainted. I was staring at 295 years in a federal prison!

After Judged Greene voiced his astonishment that a mere prostitution case resulted in a sealed 43-count RICO indictment, Alan Strasser, the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Washington, DC, said something to the effect that my case had special circumstances. Strasser ultimately argued that I should be held without bail, but Greta countered that I wasn’t a flight risk, and I had voluntarily surrendered myself shortly after being notified of the indictment. Judge Greene granted me bail, and I was released on a $30,000 surety bond.