Tuesday, January 26, 1999

California man linked
to drug deals will split year
in prison, house arrest

By Debra Barayuga


A former California businessman who pleaded guilty last October to conspiring with two drug suppliers connected to the Frank Moon drug empire will serve six months in federal prison and six months under house arrest.

Joseph Satterfield, who was president of a corporation that distributed "LogoCam" cameras, would have faced 15 to 20 months in prison under sentencing guidelines.

He pleaded guilty to conspiring with drug dealers John Bowley and William Batkin to deposit more than $96,000 in his personal and business bank accounts. The deposits were made in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid reports to the IRS.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra yesterday also ordered Satterfield to serve 1,200 hours of community service during his three years under supervised release and pay a fine of $10,000.

U.S. Assistant Attorney Marshall Silverberg called the sentencing range fair, noting it was lower than those applied to drug dealers.

Defense attorney Brook Hart had asked for leniency and for home detention instead of incarceration so that Satterfield can continue to care for his ailing 74-year-old mother, who requires around-the-clock care.

Satterfield yesterday apologized for his wrongdoings and for dragging his family into it.

He said he took responsibility for the death of his brother who had committed suicide shortly after Satterfield was indicted, and would hate to be responsible for aggravating his mother's condition and shortening her life by leaving her and going to prison now.

But Judge Ezra said to deny incarceration wouldn't be fair to other defendants who come before the court charged with the same crime under similar circumstances but who don't have ill mothers to care for.

The sentence is appropriate because it sends a message that what Satterfield did was "absolutely wrong" but also recognizes that his mother was an innocent victim in the matter, Ezra said.

Four hundred hours of community service for three years is not light, said Ezra, who noted some defendants have asked for more prison time in lieu of community service.

Satterfield had characterized himself as a "guppy" compared to others indicted for their connection to Moon's drug organization, Silverberg said. "But he's still a fish in the pond, and that deserves incarceration."

For without businessmen like Satterfield willing to launder money, drug dealers are left with "closets full of cash," Silverberg said.

Bowley and Batkin, who both pleaded guilty to supplying drugs to Moon, are serving prison sentences of nine years and 10 years, respectively. Moon is serving a 12-1/2-year sentence.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin