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San Diego

November 10, 1987

A former secretary for the U.S. attorney's office who breached security by informing a drug suspect of an impending raid was ordered Monday to perform 200 hours of community service work.

Carol Haskell, 35, of La Mesa, was also placed on five years' probation by U.S. District Judge J. Lawrence Irving.

Haskell pleaded guilty Sept. 17 to illegal dissemination of confidential information. She could have received five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

Haskell was a close friend of the fiancee of Mark Wheat, a drug suspect, and notified him about the investigation. Wheat escaped before authorities raided his house. He since has been convicted of drug charges and was sentenced last year. Haskell left the U.S. attorney's office in January, 1986.

The judge said his initial reaction to the case was one of "outrage." He said federal agents could have been killed when they arrived to arrest Wheat.

Haskell's attorney, Mark Adams, said she would lose custody of a daughter if she were placed in custody.

Prosecutor James Wilson urged no specific sentencing recommendation but acknowledged that his office did not oppose probation. Wilson, who works for the Department of Justice, was appointed as prosecutor to the case because of Haskell's former ties with the U.S. attorney's office.

Wilson said the main damage was the breach in security.

Irving ordered that Haskell disclose her felony conviction if she applies for a job in government--an option her attorney says forecloses any such job opportunity.

Haskell now is a legal secretary at a local law firm.

The information about Haskell's tip came from Wheat himself in March, 1986, when he testified before a grand jury that Haskell had notified him of the probe.

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