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Letters to the Editor

For the Defense

Willy Stern has done a meticulous job of piecing together an extraordinary story about Jake Gamble ["One Man's Gamble," Vol. 9, No. 10].

In the interests of fairness, it might be appropriate to make one or two observations about how the FBI in the Eastern District of Tennessee handled Jake Gamble as a source of information. I have reviewed the reports prepared by the FBI in Knoxville about the information given to them by Jake Gamble. The agent in question regularly warned Jake Gamble that he was not authorized to commit illegal acts and that if he did so, he could be the subject of a separate criminal prosecution. Jake never described the advance fee part of his relationship with Larry Sangaree. Had Jake been more forthcoming, the FBI in East Tennessee would have known what was happening and Jake would have had a defense. It seems a little harsh to me to fault either the agent in question (an individual of considerable ability and integrity) or the FBI in East Tennessee for failing to know what Jake Gamble was really doing. This is particularly true since the activities which ultimately led to Jake's prosecution took place outside East Tennessee, more specifically in the Middle District of Tennessee, Florida, Antigua and Dominica.

When Jake Gamble entered a plea of guilty to money laundering charges, he did so because he knew that he was responsible for his own actions. He never attempted to shift responsibility for what he did to the FBI in East Tennessee because to do so would have been unfounded. His own story is quite remarkable enough without such a fillip.

Charles W.B. Fels
Ritchie, Fels & Dillard, P.C.

Ed. Note: Mr. Fels defended Mr. Gamble in federal court.

Many Feathered Cap

Knoxville has another feather in its hat—Valleyfest, the highly enjoyable and professionally done film festival ["Cinerama" by Coury Turczyn, Vol. 9. No. 9]. From Friday to Sunday, March 12-14, 10 features, 14 shorts, four documentaries, and six animations were shown and four filmmaker workshops were held at the Regal Downtown West Theater. Filmmakers were on hand to discuss how these films came to be made and the hurdles they faced in financing and producing these films.

The fun was in seeing the picture then hearing what incredible effort it took to make the picture. Many of the filmmakers were there to answer questions about how the films came about, the costs of production and how these were met, and the truly interesting films that resulted.

Thanks to Valleyfest, Euphoric Productions, Regal Theaters, Mayhem Made Easy, WUOT, and all others responsible for bringing such an intriguing event to Knoxville. From we seniors and all others here who enjoy independent films, we appreciate Valleyfest's efforts and hope it becomes an annual event. Thanks to Metro Pulse for your coverage of this event.

Betty & Sid Carroll