A Los Angeles defense attorney has been sentenced to a year in jail for attempting to smuggle heroin and methamphetamine to his incarcerated client.
Kenneth Roger Markman, 49, a solo practitioner in Los Angeles, was sentenced on March 15 after pleading guilty to charges that he tried to smuggle 26 balloons containing the drugs into a holding facility where his client, Jorge Zaragoza, believed to be a member of the 38th Street gang, was scheduled to appear in court in an attempted carjacking case, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Markman could not be reached for comment. Markman’s lawyer, Henry Bushkin, of the Law Offices of Henry I. Bushkin in Beverly Hills, Calif., did not return a call for comment.
Markman was first arrested on October 21, 2011. He was arrested a second time on November 18, 2011, after security officials discovered suspicious items on an X-ray machine as he attempted to enter a courthouse in Lancaster, Calif. Markman tried to leave, but a sheriff’s deputy detained him and found drug paraphernalia and rock cocaine in his wallet.
Los Angeles County, Calif., Superior Court Judge Fred Wapner also sentenced Markman to one year of a residential treatment program as part of a supervised release period of three years.
Markman initially pleaded not guilty on January 5, 2012, to one felony count of conspiracy, two felony counts of bringing drugs into a jail and four felony counts of possessing a controlled substance in jail and was released on $25,000 bail.
He changed his plea to no contest on February 11 of this year.
His client’s girlfriend, Jennifer Vasquez, who prosecutors allege supplied the drugs to Markman, pleaded no contest to one count of conspiracy to bring a controlled substance into a jail facility.She was sentenced to two years in prison. His client also faces similar charges from the incident.
A graduate of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, Markman was admitted to practice in 1991.
He became ineligible to practice three times between 2001 and 2003 because he either failed to pay his bar member fees or had not complied with his continuing legal education obligations, according to the State Bar of California.
Although Markman is expected to get disbarred due to his felony conviction, the State Bar of California already suspended his license on July 3 for failing to pay bar member fees.
The bar also brought separate disciplinary charges against him on December 27 for accepting a client through a referral from a person who was not an attorney—a violation of California law—and then refusing to return $833.50 to the client, who fired him three days later.
Amanda Bronstad can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.