MBI director Bill Lutz
Orlando Weekly attorney Steve Mason: Do you read the Orlando Weekly?
Lutz: I like to keep attuned to anything that’s being said about the MBI, so I can be available if I am asked questions by main stream media.
Mason: Orlando Weekly is not considered main stream media?
Lutz: It’s alternative. It has a place in the area, but it doesn’t include balanced reporting …
Mason: Do you think it’s unfair?
Lutz: I do think it’s unfair and it’s not balanced.
Mason: Is it truthful?
Lutz: There may be a thread of truth in many of the things that they’ve said. I can’t tell you that I would say it’s truthful, no.
Mason: Well, who came up with the name [Operation Weekly Shame]?
Lutz: I would think that I probably came up with it because the issue of shame has to do with a larger picture of what goes on nationally with phone books, escort services, which we dealt with in 1996, the same time we dealt with the Orlando Weekly. And the phone books and the Orlando Weekly agreed to stop the practice of advertising for escort services. Although the phone books in other jurisdictions have not agreed to that.
Mason: So the arrests in this public fashion with the press release and notifying the press in person and doing it in this spectacular fashion in front of the United States Army had nothing to do with bad motivation on the MBI’s part?
Mason: Or retaliation or just sort of cold blooded viciousness?
Lutz: No, it had nothing to do with that.
Mason: And we’re going to step on them?
Lutz: Let me finish my sentence. This is what we do in every racketeering case where a business is doing something wrong, the public has a right to know. And we bring the press there. And generally these problems go away when it gets into the main stream media that business was doing something wrong.
Mason: Those ads you are pointing to, do you think those ads are illegal?
Lutz: On the surface, they are not illegal. But we all know exactly what it was. I think every 16-year-old boy knows what these are.
Mason: Let’s assume you’re right and let’s assume every 16-year-old boy knows what they are. Is there anything illegal about – let’s just talk about the law.
Lutz: You are trying to take a particular piece and just make every little piece, is that illegal? We operate by the totality of the circumstances. We put all the pieces together.
MBI agent Samuel Riggi Jr.
Mason: Why didn’t [Sgt. Bryan] Bonanno right then and there walk up to him in his car when [Matt] Whiting was getting into his car and say, “Hey, there’s a warrant for your arrest and I’m going to arrest you”?
Riggi: He was by himself and typically we don’t make arrests of that nature by ourselves.
Mason: Don’t police officers make arrests like that every single day, practically every minute of every day in this country?
Riggi: Some officers, yes, sir …
Mason: So does that mean that Lawson Lamar would get a percentage or piece of that money if you were able to [force Orlando Weekly to] forfeit it or maybe more money? It would be like hitting the lottery?
Riggi: I don’t know if it would be hitting the lottery, but, yes, each member agency would get a percentage of whatever monies were settled in the outcome of the case, seized or forfeiture or however you want to word that.
MBI agent Lashon Goins
Mason: But do I understand it correctly that you or Agent Meinke, were you driving at that you were asking [Weekly sales rep Matt Whiting] to have sex with one or both of you? I mean, is that what I’m to take from that December 8th event at least in part?
Mason: Why would you or Agent Meinke, you know, try to tell him that you wanted to have sex with him?
Goins: For a discount on the ad firstname.lastname@example.org
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