By LARRY NEUMEISTER
NEW YORK (AP) — To prosecutors, the Twins Go-Go Lounge in New Jersey was fertile ground for crime and unfit to be owned by a top Drug Enforcement Administration official and another DEA employee. To defense lawyers, the club was an investment that the DEA should not care about. The criminal case was left in the hands of a jury Wednesday after closing arguments.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Bell appealed to the common sense of a Manhattan federal court jury that will decide whether David Polos and Glen Glover conspired to hide their ownership in a club where bikini-clad dancers offered lap dances.
He said partial ownership of the South Hackensack, New Jersey, club where the scent of marijuana had been noticed and where condom wrappers in the lap-dance area and the parking lot meant prostitution was a possibility was bad particularly for Polos, who as assistant director in charge of the DEA’s New York office needed to keep himself free of places where his integrity might be compromised.
Polos, 52, of West Nyack, New York, was privy to the highest level of government secrets as his office pursued highly sensitive matters including the shutdown of Silk Road, an anonymous website that authorities said rang up $8 million in monthly drug sales, Bell noted.
So he said it was no mindless error when Polos and Glover, 46, of Lyndhurst, New Jersey, failed to mention their extensive work at the club when they filled out top-secret security clearance forms in 2011 that asked about outside employment.
“This was not an ordinary work place,” Bell said, pausing for effect. “This was a strip club!”
He said it was “not the sort of work where at the end of the day, oops, you just forget.”
Polos and Glover pleaded not guilty and contested the government’s charges. Polos has retired and Glover has been suspended without pay.
Attorney Marc Mukasey said Polos “might not be a perfect guy” but was a “dedicated, devoted, die hard DEA agent.” He said Polos “did not purposefully mislead or conceal” anything.
Attorney Cathy Fleming, representing Glover, said Polos and Glover operated the club lawfully and considered themselves owners rather than employees.
“Did he think he was employed at Twins? The answer is no,” she said.
As Bell summarized government evidence shown to jurors over the last week, Bell directed them to study phone and email records that show Polos and Glover were in frequent contact with the club and its employees and that they each worked regular shifts as they dealt with the staff, advertising, club improvements and paying employees.
Bell said Polos also hid his extramarital affair with a Brazilian dancer who entered the country illegally even though he was required to notify the DEA of close or continuing contact with any foreigners. Mukasey said the relationship began after the security check.