He’ll Take His Oscar in Cigarettes

As far as I’m concerned, the award for best actor in a prison film goes to Manuel Primas. He’s not bad in front of a jury, either.

Primas — the jailhouse snitch whose willingness to wear a wire got Silicon Valley tech exec Amr Mohsen indicted — testified Monday morning that in 2004, Mohsen tried to get him to kill a San Francisco federal judge and intimidate various witnesses in Mohsen’s IP theft case.

But you don’t have to take Primas’ word for it – the feds have lots of the conversations on tape. Primas was held in the same Alameda County jail facility as Mohsen in 2004, and when Mohsen began asking him to intimidate witnesses, federal prosecutors say, Primas told law enforcement authorities and offered to wear a wire.

On Monday, the first morning of Mohsen’s trial, the surprisingly charismatic Primas (surprising for a 51-year-old career burglar) got a laugh or two out of the jury — and managed to get some public screen time when he was shown on a hidden jailhouse camera apparently discussing with Mohsen the supposed burning of a witness’ car. And Primas had a real screen presence, even when he’s wearing a wire. Primas kidded Mohsen about charging him for a special sauce concocted to take the edge of jail food. And the jury laughed when they heard him telling Mohsen to hurry up because “I’m a busy man.?

But Monday’s court session closed with the prosecution’s juiciest presentation yet to come: On Tuesday morning, they’re planning to run the film that purportedly shows Mohsen offering cash to kill Northern District Judge William Alsup, a development that even shook Primas.

“Then I knew it was — shit, I knew stuff was way out of control then,? he told the jury.

Justin Scheck

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5 Responses to “He’ll Take His Oscar in Cigarettes”

  1. David Levin Says:

    Your attenpt to glorify the government snitch Mr. Primas was gross and irresponsible. Your “reporting” is also flawed. Mr. Primus is not a “charismatic burgler” but an eight time convicted felon who was serving time for Armed Robbery when he informed on Dr. Mohsen.

  2. Larry Daniels Says:

    I am not sure why David Levin is so upset about glorifying a “government snitch” as he does not provide any reasoning. Apparently, he seems to think it is a bad thing that the government tries to prevent assination attempts on federal judges. I guess he still has the 3rd grade mentality that it is wrong to tattle on someone. Fortunately, most people realize that it is not wrong to prevent murder.

  3. n/a Says:

    yet its ridiculous that this man claimed he was “scared” when “things started getting out of control”…Primas is an eight time convicted felon and has admitted to serving ten years in prison. award goes to the felon that claimed he was “scared” of a 58 year old “white colar” egyptian man.

  4. member of the jury Says:

    The prosecution attempted to portray Primas “simple”, I didn’t buy that. This man was street smart, calculating and desperate. In my opinion, that does not add up to “charismatic” OR altruistic.

  5. weallcot Says:

    Great job guys… Thank for you work…

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