Mobile attorney Joe Kulakowski says he now has a notebook containing what is essentially a flow chart of cocaine-selling activity by a group that included local law enforcement and government officials, including then-Circuit Court Judge Herman Thomas, as recorded by Brandon Carr in 2004.
The royal blue composition notebook purported to be Carr’s was delivered to Kulakowski April 24, he said. It is a piece of evidence he has hoped to find since Carr first mentioned it more than a year ago, he said. Carr is currently sitting in Metro Jail after being sentenced to 30 years in prison for a 2008 CVS robbery. He is also awaiting federal trial on bank robbery, a case that is supposed to begin jury selection this week.
Thomas was indicted last month by the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office on 57 charges mostly surrounding allegations of having sexual relations with prisoners and transferring cases from other judges’ dockets to his own. He awaits trial on those charges.
Kulakowski says Carr has repeatedly described his relationship with Thomas as being his gateway into selling drugs, something he says he began when he was 16. Carr met Thomas as a member of the Kappa League, a junior member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity Thomas belongs to. Carr claims he once showed up at the Kappa house at 650 St. Francis St. in downtown Mobile and saw Thomas, along with several law enforcement officials and high-ranking government officials gathered around a table with what he estimates to be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Carr’s claims are not intended to tar all members of the fraternity, and he mentions several people who were not fraternity members.
“The notebook was delivered to my office by a young female Friday the 24th sometime after five o’clock. I was looking for a notebook and have had several delivered. But when I saw this one, I didn’t even have to open it —I knew it was the one,” Kulakowski said. “Brandon had been telling me for sometime now that he was invited by Herman [Thomas] into the drug dealing business in a bigger way after Brandon had witnessed the large amount of money on the table at the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity house. I think it’s been about a year and a half I’ve heard about the possibility of this book existing.”
The notebook carries a date of August 2004 in its upper left corner, which would have meant Carr recorded the information when he was 18, long before he was a convicted felon or Thomas was experiencing any legal problems of his own. As for why it took so long to get the notebook, Kulakowski said Carr has moved several times and has also been incarcerated since robbing a CVS in April of last year.
“For the most part he has been in jail. He has limited capacity to locate it. I have had other notebooks brought that were school notebooks, but they were the wrong ones,” Kulakowski explained.
Carr’s notes place Thomas among five top men in a drug ring that, if accurate, would include former and current members of the Mobile and Prichard Police departments, the Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s offices and other high-ranking local officials. According to Kulakowski, it essentially details the progress each individual, including Carr, has made in selling 18 ounces of powdered cocaine. In the upper right corner of the page is written, “What can you make out of 18oz?”
“What is of interest is the people — certainly the people that are named in this accounting of how cocaine is distributed. A kilo of cocaine is divided in half and an individual or individuals are given a pound of cocaine and they then report back on whether they’ve sold it, how much is remaining and how much they’ve sold it for. And once you finish selling that pound, you get another pound. You get a pound at a time,” he said.
Kulakowski said the names of those allegedly involved should be of primary interest to those investigating the Thomas case, as Carr’s notes implicate some prominent people. It is also important to point out Carr’s notes name both black and white officials and include both members and non-members of Kappa Alpha Psi.
“It appears to me there were some elected officials, or soon-to-be-elected officials, police officers and deputies,” Kulakowski said. “This was somewhat of a report from the organization that distributes the cocaine as to different individuals having different responsibilities to sell cocaine in different parts of the county. Talking about Prichard area, Maysville area, talking about the outskirts of the county areas, talking about Eight Mile, the Toulminville area, the area around Dawes road, Grand Bay, Mt. Vernon, Chunchula, etc. The meeting is to find out where drugs are selling and where they’re not selling.”
Carr’s notes list such information as an individual in charge of parts of Mobile, Eight Mile and DIP having made $5,000 by selling nine ounces and still having nine left. Another taking care of the Dawes Road area is reported to have made $5,200 off his nine-ounce sale.
The notes also contain information that another meeting would be held in November, and that things were “real quite (sic)” in Citronelle, Saraland and Mount Vernon. “Theodore is booming,” it adds.
The notes also contain a warning purported to be from Thomas.
“TMV on lock!! Thomas said stay away from D. Town (down town),” the notes read.
Kulakowski says he can’t imagine, if the notes are indeed authentic, any reason Carr would have had to fabricate such a flow chart five years ago and stick it away. He expects to turn the book over to whichever investigators show interest in pursuing Carr’s and others claims that Thomas was involved in the local drug trade.
He also made a point to say the notebook would be neither at his office, home or on his person, and would be at least “three layers” away from him until turned over to law enforcement.
“If [District Attorney John] Tyson wants it, I’m sure he’ll contact me,” Kulakowski said.