FRESNO -- A retired Stanislaus County sheriff's captain will stand trial in April on charges that he covered up the extent of his relationship with a retired deputy who became the target of a federal investigation in 2006.
Raul DeLeon, 52, of Modesto appeared Monday before U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger to request that false statements and conspiracy charges against him be dropped. Wanger denied the motion.
DeLeon faces up to 25 years in prison and $250,000 in fees if he is convicted of lying to investigators about his relationship with retired sheriff's deputy Robert C. Holloway III, sharing sensitive information with Holloway and concealing Holloway's suspected illegal activities from law enforcement.
Prosecutors have submitted no evidence to show that DeLeon knew of the probe into Holloway's business dealings, said DeLeon's attorney, Paul Q. Goyette of Sacramento.
DeLeon's alleged "false statements" revolve around the depth of his friendship with Holloway and several interactions in 2007.
Holloway, 61, of Turlock, was arrested with about a dozen other men, including DeLeon, in 2008 after a lengthy federal investigation involving wiretaps, surveillance and confidential informants. Authorities say Holloway and his son, Brent Holloway, 37, of Modesto, ran a chop shop out of the Denair motorcycle business they owned and that Robert Holloway encouraged threats and violence against customers who didn't pay bills.
Goyette had hoped the judge would dismiss the charges based on what he called "outrageous" conduct by federal investigators. He argued that prosecutors abused the grand jury process when they created a "sham" subpoena in late 2007 that called DeLeon to testify about Holloway's wife, Kathy, who worked for a time as DeLeon's secretary.
Seeking the source of leaks
Prosecutors indicated in recent court records that they wanted to find out if DeLeon would share information about the subpoena with Holloway. They said they wanted to find the source of leaks about their investigation into Holloway's activities at Road Dog Cycle in Denair.
According to transcripts from federal wiretaps, DeLeon mentioned the subpoena to Holloway in October 2007. He appears to have made several statements to investigators about Holloway in November that appear, in light of the transcripts, inaccurate.
The judge ruled that the case will move forward and set DeLeon's trial for April 28.
"I don't know what the evidence is going to be, whether or not there is going to be any proof that is going to connect your client to any of these (Holloway's) activities or not," Wanger said to Goyette. "But in terms of an investigative tool, using a fake grand jury subpoena to see if that facilitates contact and communication is not against the law."
Bee staff writer Emilie Raguso can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2235.