Return to Transcripts main page

Campbell Brown

FBI's Most Wanted Revealed; Balloon Boy Controversy Deepens

Aired October 19, 2009 - 20:00   ET



RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight, the questions we want answered.

Who is being added to the FBI's 10 most-wanted list? Three dangerous criminals on the run take their place along Osama bin Laden.

DET. RON CHAVARRIA, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: If you look at the video, he's rubbing his hands before he goes in the house. He's smiling, giving the thumbs-up. He looks like he really enjoys what he does. He enjoys killing people.

SANCHEZ: Our special series, the new FBI's most wanted revealed , begins tonight.

CNN video of this crawlspace is where balloon boy may have hid, if it wasn't a hoax. The sheriff now thinks it was.

JIM ALDERDEN, LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO, SHERIFF: They put on a very good show for us, and we bought it.

SANCHEZ: Will the parents end up in handcuffs?

ALDERDEN: This has been a planned event for at least two weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The sheriff having a press conference saying that they're guilty does not make them so.

SANCHEZ: And with new accusations of abuse, just what went on behind closed doors in the Heene family?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This family seems to be driven, led by the father, to do anything to get fame, even if it means putting the mental health of their children at risk.

SANCHEZ: Medical marijuana spreading like weeds in some states. Tonight, the Obama administration says from now on it will not be bust suppliers or users. Where is this headed? I will ask Colorado's attorney general.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is being told by the feds they don't want him doing immigration raids. So, he does it anyway. And listen to what he says about the federal official trying to stop him.

JOE ARPAIO, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA, SHERIFF: He doesn't know what he's talking about. He can't tell me, the federal government, how I enforce the laws of the state of Arizona.


ANNOUNCER: This is your only source for news. CNN prime time begins now. In for Campbell Brown, Rick Sanchez.

SANCHEZ: And, boy, we have got a lot of good stuff tonight. Hi, everybody. Campbell's off tonight. These are the stories that are making an impact right now. We're watching it all, so you don't have to. Let's go ahead and mash it up.

Major changes tonight on the war on drugs. The Justice Department announces it's going to stop cracking down on medical marijuana.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: The Justice Department is advising U.S. attorneys not to prosecute patients and caregivers who are following state medical marijuana laws.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While the feds still plan to carry out raids on criminal operations, like these in San Diego last month, the Obama administration now is making it easier for medical marijuana users, 300,000 in California alone, to get the drug they say they need.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today's announcement said dispensaries will be left alone if they follow state law. Under California law, medical marijuana is supposed to be sold through a non-profit cooperative, but the number of dispensaries clearly indicates that a lot of people are in it for huge money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A former Bush administration counterdrug official says this is the wrong time to show federal tolerance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this sends a very mixed message. The marijuana situation in California right now is already confused and chaotic and I think that this could just make it worse.


SANCHEZ: Yes. And here's one of the big questions. Does today's move open the door to legalizing marijuana? Well, some serious support and some serious concerns on this one, I'm going to explore that for you in just a little bit.

Speaking of drugs, remember that movie "Black Hawk Down," where a Somali militia shot down a U.S. military helicopter, sending shockwaves all over the world? Well, we're going to take a look at what happened in Rio de Janeiro over the weekend in a battle between police and drug gangs.

This is the moment that everyone's talking about, though, three police officers shot out of the sky while in a helicopter. There it is, really an incredible scene. You can see that that chopper was on fire and then it just disappears. Now, this happened in the slums just outside of Rio de Janeiro. Here's what's daunting about this. Rio just got the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Over to Afghanistan now, and there are new signs the White House will not send more troops in there unless they get some serious help. Let's start there. Here's a part of the problem.

Today, a team of U.N. investigators announced that they have uncovered massive election fraud and they have tossed out more than a million votes. That means President Hamid Karzai could face a runoff, all of which gives the White House more room to stall. Their message? Look, no political stability, no more troops.


ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: All the troops in the world will not solve a problem without a partner, a credible partner, without credible partners. Now up to the Afghans to make this legitimate, truly legitimate, legitimate, legitimate, legitimate in the eyes of the Afghan people. Ultimately be seen as legitimate, seen as legitimate, legitimate by the Afghan people.


SANCHEZ: Man, did you get that, legitimate?

President Karzai stands by the election results, so far rejecting calls for a new vote. His challenger, by the way, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, tells CNN's Christiane Amanpour that he's ready for a runoff, but sounds like he's also willing to compromise.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Is the solution a power-sharing government? Is it a coalition unity government?

DR. ABDULLAH ABDULLAH, AFGHAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I am sure and certain about is that's my pursuit of the program of change. My task right from the beginning, my effort has not been to just get one or two votes in the cabinet and be part of a government, but it has rather been an effort to bring changes in this country.


SANCHEZ: Meanwhile, here at home, the Obama administration continues its blood feud with FOX News. The president's top politicos, David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel, explained their position on the morning talk shows. They say that FOX News is not a legitimate news organization, but rather part of the -- quote -- "opposition."


RAHM EMANUEL, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: It's not a news organization so much as it has a perspective.

DAVID AXELROD, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: It's really not news. It's pushing a point of view. EMANUEL: More importantly is to not have the CNNs and the others in the world basically be led and following FOX, as if what they're trying to do is a legitimate news organization.

AXELROD: Other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way, and we're not going to treat them that way. We're going to appear on their shows. We're going to participate, but understanding that they represent a point of view.


SANCHEZ: FOX News is wasting no time returning fire. As a matter of fact, I want you to see this. This is Glenn Beck. This is just a couple of hours ago.


GLENN BECK, HOST, "GLENN BECK": OK. So, I just want to make sure I understand this. The others don't have a perspective. MSNBC, they don't have a perspective on things. That is weird, isn't it? And then the other was, what did he say? The important thing is that the others don't follow the example of FOX?

Ooh, naughty boy. I see what you're doing here, Rahm. You're the architect behind this. Oh, we know. That's OK. The administration, I believe, just might be trying to take over the media.


SANCHEZ: Speaking of conspiracies in Colorado, no charges yet in the strange case of, well, the so-called balloon boy. Falcon Heene's parents claim that they really did think their 6-year-old son had flown away in that balloon contraption. Police officers say, no, it was all a massive hoax.

Today, the Heenes' lawyer made the morning rounds, asking for patience.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The presumption of innocence should be given to them. And the sheriff having a press conference saying that they're guilty does not make them so.

These folks are willing to turn themselves in the minute you give me a phone call. If law enforcement wants to stir the pot, they will slap the cuffs on when they do turn themselves in. Do not do the perp walk for media consumption. That's child abuse. The whole Heene family feels that they are in fact under siege at this point. There's no allegation that these kids are anything but very well loved and very dear to their parents' hearts.


SANCHEZ: Maybe so, but this morning the ladies of "The View" were showing absolutely no mercy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: God forbid something like that happens again. You are going to have a lot of people going, it's probably for a reality show. You have desensitized us just a little bit by your actions.

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": This is the biggest P.R. stunt since Liza Minnelli's wedding.


BEHAR: I mean, I could not take my eyes off of that flying Jiffy Pop thing that was going.



SANCHEZ: Several new angles including police's theories about the parents are going to be coming up. I'm going to have that for you. Stay tuned because I am going to have that in just a little bit.

Now, comedians have been, as you might imagine, having a field day with this balloon boy story. Isn't it almost a gimme?


SETH MEYERS, ACTOR: Get out of here, balloon.


MEYERS: Because you're not news.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: But I was on the news for a whole day.

MEYERS: That doesn't make you news, balloon.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What if I told you I had a boy inside of me?


MEYERS: Do you have a boy inside of you, balloon?



MEYERS: You need to get out of here, balloon.





UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: It's not my fault.

MEYERS: It's OK, balloon.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I'm just a balloon.

MEYERS: Nobody's blaming you, balloon.


MEYERS: Really.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: OK. I'm going to go.

MEYERS: All right. Bye, balloon.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Oh, and, Seth? It was a hoax.

MEYERS: Yes, we know.


MEYERS: The balloon from Colorado, everybody.



SANCHEZ: Everybody, Seth Meyers with the "Punchline." That is tonight's "Mash-Up."

All right, going back to balloon boy for just a moment, I want you to take a look at something, because this is new. You may not have seen it before. There's a crawlspace where a 6-year-old boy hid when he was supposed to have flown away in a balloon. Now, there it is right there. See that open flap at the bottom right there?

Of course, if the whole thing had not been a hoax, he would have would been able to fly away in that balloon, which is what police are now saying it was, that it was a hoax. Are they about to file serious charges against the parents? And is it not just for lying or for something else now? Possibly for the way that they have been raising their children?

We are going to be looking into that.

Also, you're not going to believe what Sheriff Joe Arpaio is saying tonight. He's in an immigration standoff as we speak with the feds that is getting more serious with each passing day. Arpaio right here tonight on why he's going, as some would say, so-called rogue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez, in for Campbell.

Tonight, there's an important national standoff that is going on between a so-called rogue sheriff and the U.S. federal government. Maricopa County's Joe Arpaio is not backing down, not. He's been told to stop his immigration raids because his methods for choosing who to arrest are flawed, according to the feds, but he's telling the feds that he will not stop. Now it seems neither side is willing to back down.


JOHN MORTON, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY, IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT: At the end of the day I feel that the sweeps that he conducts in Maricopa County aren't consistent with our priorities as an agency and that's, namely, to identify and remove serious criminal aliens from the streets of Arizona.


SANCHEZ: That's one of the officials from ICE, who says he doesn't have a problem with other sheriffs, just Arpaio.

And this is not stopping Arpaio from conducting sweeps. Some are now wondering, is it 2009 or is it 1963, when Bull Connor's aggressive police tactics against blacks in the South sparked civil rights legislation?

Listen to how Arpaio told me that he decides who to arrest.


SANCHEZ: Let me ask you a question. How do you know when you arrest someone that they're illegal?

ARPAIO: Well, first of all, Rick, we do it pursuant to our duties. When we come across someone on another crime and we find out that they are illegal, we take action. If those that have not committed a crime, we had the training -- we still do -- we turn them over to ICE. It's very simple.

SANCHEZ: But you just said you detain people who haven't committed a crime. How do you prove that they're not legal?

ARPAIO: It has to do with their conduct, what type of clothes they're wearing, their speech. They admit it. They may have phony I.D.s, a lot of variables involved.

SANCHEZ: You judge people and arrest them based on their speech and the clothes that they're wearing, sir?

ARPAIO: No, when they're in the vehicle with someone that has committed a crime, we have the right to talk to those people. When they admit they are here illegally, we take action.

SANCHEZ: But you just told me -- let's go back here. You just told me that you arrest a people and turn them over to the Feds even if they haven't committed a crime.

ARPAIO: No. They did commit a crime. They are here illegally.

SANCHEZ: But how did you know they were here illegally? And then you went on to tell me it's because of the clothes they wore.

ARPAIO: Well, you look at the federal law. The federal law specifies the speech, the clothes, the environment, the erratic behavior. It's right in the law.


SANCHEZ: All right. That was Friday.

Interestingly enough, when he said that, that was before he was told that he had to stop the raids. Well, today, I spoke with Sheriff Arpaio today. He told me that just his weekend his people picked up dozens more suspected illegal immigrants. And he doesn't care, he says, what anyone, especially Washington, thinks about it.

Standoff? You bet. Here's my conversation now. Listen to this.

This is with Sheriff Joe Arpaio just a couple of hours ago.


SANCHEZ: Sheriff, always good to see you, sir.

ARPAIO: Yes, you're on the same kick. Go ahead, Rick.

SANCHEZ: All right. It looks like John McCain, though, is coming to your defense. I mean, some people might see it that way. He's asking Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who's a fellow Arizonan as you know, worked with you for many years -- why she is specifically -- he wants to know why she's stripping you of your federal arrest privileges.

What do you make of McCain coming out and saying that or asking for that?

ARPAIO: Well, I don't know. I know the reason why, it's all politics. I can go back when the Obama administration took office, I'm not going to -- you don't have the time. But let me just say this -- you say I violate the law. We arrested 66 more over the weekend, 30 happened to be illegal. Human smuggling suspects going into the workplace -- we have state laws, Rick.


SANCHEZ: But you're specifically told not to do that. But you -- well, hold on. You know, you're coming right in here and giving us the information that, I suppose, we were looking for, and that is, you just heard an ICE representative go on the air and question several things about your sweeps. They don't want you to do them. They question what you use as probable cause. I mean, they got a lot of problems with the way you do your job and they don't want you to do it. That's what he told us on national television.

ARPAIO: Well, you know, he doesn't know what he's talking about. I have the right as sheriff to do crime suppression and lock up those that violate the law. He can't tell me, the federal government, to -- how I enforce the laws of the state of Arizona.

And number two, we turned over 19 over the weekend -- 19 illegal aliens to ICE and they weren't charged with anything. We came across them pursuant to our crime suppression.

SANCHEZ: But, you know what -- I mean, I'm just going to make the argument, sir, and you follow me here.

The way the U.S. Constitution is written is you can't do unlawful searches and seizures. In other words, yes, if you go out there today and take in 100 people, there's a good chance that 18 or 19 of them may be thieves who have stolen something or have fake I. D. s or you'll find something on them. But the other 20 or the other -- or pardon me -- the other 81 may be innocent and you've violated their constitutional rights. That's what the feds are saying that you're doing.

Do you buy it and what's your response?

ARPAIO: Well, if we violated, why did they accept them for being illegal over the weekend with no other charge other than being here illegally?

SANCHEZ: We come back to the same question, though, about how you know that they were illegal if you didn't use a method of probable cause that we are not supposed to use in this country? There are 25 years of laws and standards used by police departments where they're real careful about probable cause so we don't create a Gestapo environment in this country.

ARPAIO: We're using the same criteria as the U.S. Border Patrol does everybody, arresting thousands of people who come into this country and that's under homeland security.

SANCHEZ: But the U.S. Border Patrol is on the border. You are nowhere near the border.

ARPAIO: Well...

SANCHEZ: You're literally going into people's neighborhoods and into schools. This weekend, you went into a car wash to essentially decide for yourself who was here illegally and not illegally. And the feds are saying they don't want you doing that.

ARPAIO: No, no, the feds are not saying that. He has -- he has said all along that I have the right to do crime suppression operations. I just don't have the authority right now to utilize his credentials under that 287. But we don't need it. SANCHEZ: Let's listen, well, let -- OK, let's listen to it again.

Do me a favor, Dan, if you could, that sound bite we ran just a little while ago. Let's listen to it together. And this interview was very lengthy. We just cut out the part where we thought we were trying to get the essence of what he was saying. Michael, have we got that yet?

All right. Let's play it. Here it is.


MORTON: At the end of the day, I feel that the sweeps that he conducts in Maricopa County aren't consistent with our priorities as an agency and that's namely to identify and remove serious criminal aliens from the streets of Arizona.


SANCHEZ: What's he doing wrong?

MORTON: His sweeps are overbroad. They don't have a particular focus or priority on criminal offenders. And he does it in a way that isn't marked by cooperation and coordination within the communities that he serves.


SANCHEZ: You're going to sit there and tell the feds, you don't care what they say, you're going to do it your way and you're going to do it when you want to do it?

ARPAIO: No, they don't tell me how to do my job enforcing state laws. I worked 25 years as a top Justice Department drug enforcement official. I think I know the federal law and how to operate under the federal blanket. So...

SANCHEZ: All right. Well, for the record, they're saying you don't and they're saying you're violating it.

ARPAIO: Then come on after me, if he thinks I'm violating any of -- federal laws.


SANCHEZ: And the showdown continues. And we will continue to follow it for you.

Meanwhile, up next, our special series, what we are about to reveal, it's the FBI's most wanted. These are the newest members of this notorious list and what you need to know about them.


CHAVARRIA: He's smiling, giving the thumbs-up. He looks like he really enjoys what he does. He enjoys killing people.


SANCHEZ: And then later, have you heard the latest about the parents of the little boy who may have screwed up their plan on CNN, on national television? The latest on what the parents are saying about the little boy and what officials are now saying about them as parents. We have got it for you. Stay right there.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez.

Did I tell you at the beginning of this show that we have reported that there's a brand-now federal policy on pot and you are going to find out who the feds plan to bust and who they're not going to bother with anymore when it comes to this?


SANCHEZ: Stay with us because the FBI is here tonight. They're going to be joining us. And they're about to announce the newest member of the most-wanted list. And they need your help to track down at least one of the guys who we're going to be telling you about tonight. You're not going believe what he did. Here's a little bit of that lowdown.


CHAVARRIA: Just gruesome, gruesome, just cold-blooded, just walks up to these guys, shoots them, and then just walks over, stands over them, and shoots them each in the head, and then casually walks away.



SANCHEZ: Welcome back.

Let me tell you about something we're doing tonight. Tonight, we're starting a new, exclusive series as we reveal the FBI's most wanted.

This week only right here on CNN, the FBI will add three hardened criminals to the list of names that includes Osama bin Laden.

Now, we begin with the story of a man who's believed to have murdered four people, including the mother of his own child, Joe Saenz. Who is he?

Here's CNN's Kara Finnstrom.


KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigators want you to look closely at this man. He had eluded them for so long, they thought he might be dead.

DET. RON CHAVARRIA, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: And it was just so clear that, you know, you knew automatically it was Joe Saenz.

FINNSTROM: Joe Saenz, AKA Jose Louie Luis and more than two dozen other aliases, now wanted in connection with four murders and a kidnapping and rape.

CHAVARRIA: Not only the citizens were afraid of him, but his own gang members were afraid of him.

FINNSTROM: Police first started looking for signs back in 1998. He was charged in two gang-related murders that took place at this housing complex.

CHAVARRIA: Just gruesome, gruesome. Just cold-blooded. He just walks out of these guys, shoots them and then just walks over, stands over them and shoots them each in the head and then casually walks away.

FINNSTROM: Los Angeles police detective Ron Chavarria says Saenz was then a fresh-faced 22-year-old. Those four fingers reveal his dark side. The gang sign for the Cuatro Flats gang.

CHAVARRIA: We had a picture of him constantly on our dashboard so that there was no question that we saw this guy. We knew who he was.

FINNSTROM: Within days, he was wanted for a third murder. Investigators say Saenz suspected his girlfriend and the mother of his child, Sigreta (ph) Hernandez, would turn him in, so he kidnapped her, took her to his grandmother's house and raped and murdered her.

Tracy Gonzales is an L.A. County sheriff's detective.

TRACY GONZALES, L.A. CO. SHERIFF'S DEPT.: He leaves a note indicating that his grandmother didn't have anything to do with the murder and that, you know, he left the scene. And from that point on, he became a fugitive for the next ten years.

FINNSTROM: FBI special agent Scott Garriola believes Saenz graduated from local gangs to international drug trafficking, crossing the border with falsified documents.

SCOTT GARRIOLA, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: He is believed to be linked with the cartels in Mexico, bringing large amounts of narcotics into the Los Angeles area. And I think the reason for the last crime, obviously, was a direct relationship to his employment with the cartels.

FINNSTROM: That brings us to October 2008 when investigators saw this home surveillance tape.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you look at the video, you know he's rubbing his hands before he goes in the house and he's smiling. It looks like he really enjoys what he does. He enjoys killing people. FINNSTROM: Saenz latest alleged victim killed over drug money.

(on camera): This state gives new momentum to a case that's frustrated local and federal authorities for a decade.

Kara Finnstrom for CNN, Los Angeles.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: By the way in just a moment, we're going to be joined right here by an FBI assistant director who's going to tell us why it's been so difficult to catch this guy. For ten years now, he's been out there. Where could he possibly be?

And then later, why is the Obama administration saying that they're not going to go after some marijuana growers in this country? What could possibly be after that? It's an argument. We'll have it. Stay there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SANCHEZ: I want you to listen to something again. I want you to listen to what police say about this newest member of the FBI's most wanted. Reminder, this guy is suspected of four cold-blooded murders. Here it is.


KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigators want you to look closely at this man. He had eluded them for so long they thought he might be dead.

DET. RON CHAVARRIA, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPT: And it was just so clear that, you know, you knew automatically it was Joe Saenz.

FINNSTROM: Joe Saenz, aka, Jose, Louie Louie, and more than two dozen other aliases now wanted in connection with four murders and a kidnapping and rape.

CHAVARRIA: Not only the citizens were afraid of him, but his own gang members were afraid of him.


SANCHEZ: You know what this is, this is in many ways a call to action for many of you who are watching us right now. That's why we're doing this.

Kevin Perkins is the assistant director of the criminal investigation division of the FBI, and he's good enough to join me here tonight to take us through this.

Thank you, Agent Perkins. What makes this guy a top tenner, by the way? I used to be a cop beat report for many years and I always wondered, because I know there are a lot of bad guys out there. What makes this guy a top tenner? KEVIN PERKINS, FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Well, we have a selection process that we use whenever we have a vacancy on our top ten list whenever we apprehended somebody. And in this case, we look for people who are a danger to the community, who are lifelong criminals and who are people that we believe the public could assist us in apprehending.

SANCHEZ: So if somebody sees this guy out there, look at his face, somebody who sees him out there right now who's watching the newscast, what do they do?

PERKINS: There are a couple of things. One, if they have information on where this guy is, if they know him, they should contact the local FBI office. They can get that contact number at our Web site, If it's an emergency, obviously, they should contact 911 right away.

SANCHEZ: Right. Yes, if the guy's holding a gun to your head.


SANCHEZ: Let me ask you a question.


SANCHEZ: You know, I'm curious, ten years is a long time. I mean, when the FBI's on your tail, I couldn't probably last ten hours or maybe ten minutes, right? This guy's been out there ten years? How was he been able -- how do you hide for ten years?

PERKINS: He has a very intricate network of people that can protect him. He travels back and forth across the border using aliases. He lives sometimes in Mexico, sometimes in Southern California. And he fits in and amongst his neighborhood and he is able to be protected by the gang members around him.

SANCHEZ: That seems amazing, doesn't it? That somebody in this country, in this day and age with the technology and everything else that he would be able to be out there. When was the last time you had a good beat on him, the Saenz guy?

PERKINS: We've been working this pretty solidly for a number of years, as you mentioned. We think we have some leads. We think, you know, he's not completely in the wind, but we're at a point where we believe that the public can really step up and help us in this case.

SANCHEZ: That's why you're doing this, right? We're going to be taking our viewers through this this week, not just today.

Top ten.


SANCHEZ: I remember J. Edgar Hoover began this, right?

PERKINS: That's correct. SANCHEZ: And, is it still necessary? Does it still work? Bring us up-to-date.

PERKINS: I believe it is. The top ten list has been around about 60 years. Reporters came to J. Edgar, Director Hoover in 1949 and asked him to identify some of the worst criminals we were trying to apprehend at that time.

SANCHEZ: Really?

PERKINS: He gave -- the bureau gave some names and those people were apprehended by tips coming from the public. They were so successful that the director at that time decided to create a top ten list and it's been around for 60 years.

SANCHEZ: Still going strong.

PERKINS: Still going strong.

SANCHEZ: Listen, I'm glad we're able to help in any way that we possibly can. Thank you, Agent Perkins for coming in. I appreciate that.

PERKINS: Thanks a lot.

SANCHEZ: For more information, by the way, on the FBI's top ten most wanted and to contact the bureau with any tips, you can go to us. We'll link you in at

Tomorrow night, by the way, we're going to reveal the next addition to the list. A suspected drug hitman who is considered armed and extremely dangerous. We'll be taking you through that.

The Obama administration says it's not going to bust suppliers or users of medical marijuana. And some critics say look, that's a big step toward legalization. Are they right? Because there are others who are saying great. Because it probably will save the economy. We're going to drill down on that.

Stay with us. We'll be right back for that argument.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez. The Obama administration is out today with a brand new policy on pot. Where the Bush White House wanted to crack down, the Obama officials are going to let them line up in the 14 states that have legalized medical marijuana.

Now the Justice Department today issued some new guidelines. Pot smoking patients and their sanctioned suppliers will no longer be targeted for federal prosecution. So tonight's big question is this, is medical marijuana a step toward legalization?

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has -- was a U.S. attorney under President Bush, by the way, and he's good enough to join us now. Thank you, sir, for being with us.


SANCHEZ: More Americans than ever before seem to be saying look, I wouldn't really be too opposed to legalization. Not that the majority are, but more Americans today than perhaps if you'd taken the same poll ten years ago. And there's a Harvard economist who I interviewed who says it would boost our economy by $10 billion to $14 billion. So for Americans out there who are asking themselves why not? As an A.G., what would you tell them?

SUTHERS: Well, the voters in Colorado had a chance in 2006 statewide to address whether they wanted to legalize marijuana. They turned it down 60-40. But I have to tell you, with the proliferation of dispensaries now and the large grow operations because of the incredible ambiguities we've got in our medical marijuana constitutional provision, it may be interesting to revisit it.

I , frankly, think what's going to happen is that now with the federal hands-off approach that the state legislature is going to have to decide, do we want to give some definition? You know, do we want to address whether we can have this large-scale operations dispensaries. Do we want to limit the number of patients per caretaker?

SANCHEZ: Well, you know -- you know --

SUTHERS: It's going to be interesting, I think.

SANCHEZ: You know what's interesting and pardon me for interrupting you, but just prior to what I talked to with you, I was talking to this FBI man who was right here a little while ago, Agent Perkins. I asked him about it. And he said, you know, I got to tell you, Rick, we have our hands so full with so many other things it almost seems, doesn't it like really what the Obama administration and what a lot of other respectable law enforcement officials who maybe don't like smoking marijuana, but they're saying we're spending so many resources to arrest people who have, in many cases, you know, a small handful of marijuana, is it worth it?

SUTHERS: You know, I reject that notion. I don't think we've spent a lot of resources for small pot users and possessors, but what this does is blur the lines. If we've got large grow operations in Colorado, the feds aren't going to step in if anybody's, you know, flashing medical marijuana cards. The fact of the matter is, you watch.

We're going to see a proliferation of the large grow operations. It's going to be hard to tell where the Mexican cartels are involved. Marijuana is still their largest source of income to the Mexican cartels. I think there's going to be a lot of blurring of the lines.

I personally think the legislatures are going to get a lot of pressure from the public to step in. People in Colorado, you see my e-mail. They don't want a marijuana dispensary on every corner. SANCHEZ: But what --

SUTHERS: I think there's going to be some level of regulation.

SANCHEZ: But let's go back to what you just said a little while ago.

If you did, and I'm just thinking out loud here. Let's think this through like a lot of other Americans are probably doing at home with this. If you were to create some kind of order and legalize this, wouldn't that be able to differentiate the bad guys, the cartel growers in Mexico and other parts of the world from the guys who are legitimately growing a crop in the United States? Wouldn't it do just the opposite of what you just said it would do?

SUTHERS: If there was full legislation, if the legislature stepped in and gave clarification to these very broad provisions, I could see that happening. You know, taxation schemes, regulatory schemes, somebody actually cares about how much THC is in the "brownie" that you're buying, things like that. That's pretty possible.

SANCHEZ: Did you just say the "brownie" you're buying? Marijuana?

SUTHERS: Hey, that's what they're selling. That's what they're selling and there's a lot of THC in them.

SANCHEZ: I guess so. And probably, that would be the last thing anybody would want at this point.

Interesting conversation, though. I mean, look, if nothing else, I mean, I think both you and I are serious minded about this. There's a lot of serious-minded people out there who are looking at this and saying it may be easier to control than it is to just go after all the time. So we'll stay on top of it.


SANCHEZ: I want to thank you for taking time to take us through this conversation.

SUTHERS: Well, once again, thanks for having me.

SANCHEZ: I appreciate it. John Suthers, thanks, attorney general, Colorado.

I just want to alert you now to a great story tomorrow. We've got another report that you probably won't want to miss. Brooke Baldwin is going to be here to show us how dogfighting is still thriving in the United States.

Heartbreaking video, by the way, of some of these dogfighting raids as it happens. You ask yourself why, still in the United States in 2009 is something like this happening? I've been having a lot of conversations with Brooke about this. Part of her story appeared today at 3:00 on our show. We're not able to show it tonight, but it's going to be on tomorrow in "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer.

Also new questions tonight about the so-called balloon boy and his family tonight. Maybe the whole alleged hoax wasn't the worst of it. We'll be all over it.


SANCHEZ: Now to the story Larry King is going to be talking about in just a little bit. It seems all of America is talking about the question of not really when, but if the Heenes of Colorado, better known as balloon boy parents are going to be facing serious charges. It seems almost inevitable at this point. In fact, they may include felony counts after what the sheriff now says was a flat-out hoax, a publicity stunt to try and land a reality television show. The case has moved almost as quickly as that homemade balloon soared across the sky late last week.

Here is how the air has been let out of the Heenes' story, complete with that -- uh-oh, the uh-oh, moment from a little boy named Falcon who did not fly.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): A 6-year-old boy, we are being told, is actually inside what is being called an experimental aircraft.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: National Guard rescue helicopter has been launched to head in the direction of this balloon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to police, there is no one inside that balloon.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR, "THE SITUATION ROOM: He has been found and he is OK. Great, great news to report.

RICHARD HEENE, FALCON'S FATHER: He says he was hiding in the attic and -- because I yelled at him. I'm really sorry I yelled at him.

R. HEENE: Did you hear us calling your name at any time?

You did?


R. HEENE: Why didn't you come out?

FALCON HEENE, BOY THOUGHT TO BE INSIDE THE BALLOON: Um -- you guys said that we did this for the show.

R. HEENE: One of the guys told me it was for some TV show, so that what he was referring to. Oh. That's what he was referring to when he made that statement.

F. HEENE: Mom, I feel like I'm going to vomit.


SHERIFF JIM ALDERDEN, LARIMER COUNTY: It has been determined that this is a hoax. That it was a publicity stunt.


SANCHEZ: The story really in many ways tells itself, doesn't it? Tonight, there are new and growing concerns over the welfare of the children, even the mom. CNN's Dan Simon is outside the home in Fort Collins, Colorado, and here in New York I've got CNN's legal analyst Lisa Bloom watching this controversy unfold as well.

Dan, let me start with you. First tell us the latest and I'm really curious to know what the neighbors are saying about this out there. I understand you've got some sound. Go ahead and lead us into that if you've got it.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, this sort of runs contrary to Richard Heene's persona, Rick. He is sort of keeping a low profile today.

I saw him in the backyard. I yelled to him. He didn't say anything. He emerged with his whole family, got in a pickup truck, apparently went to the grocery store but he's at home tonight.

In terms of what's happening out here in the neighborhood, you know, when our crews got out here, there was pretty much universal support for this family, but the tide beginning to turn a little bit. And I want you to hear from one neighbor who sounds a bit angry.


KIMBERLY FRANK, HEENE'S NEIGHBOR: I hugged this woman. I was there after the press conference, you know? Like, she seemed like a -- like genuinely frightened, you know? And relieved that her son had been found and then watching the news today and hearing it's a hoax? Like, I -- everyone is angry over that. Everyone is angry.


SANCHEZ: Wow. Dan, to hear those people say that, you know, I've got to tell you, what they're echoing is the same thing that we're hearing from people all over the country.

SIMON: Yes. I mean, so many folks are angry about this. We saw this all on live television on Thursday, you know? There was -- traffic was held for a period of time at the Denver International Airport. But in terms of really what's happening, in terms of one of the investigations moving forward, we can tell you that Child Protective Services is going to be looking closely at this family to see if those children are in any particular danger. Rick, you also eluded to there was an incident back in February where there was a 911 call and the crews came out here and talked to the couple. Mrs. Heene appeared to have a little bit of a bruised cheek. At the end of day, she didn't say there was any sort of domestic violence. As a matter of fact, she said that there was a problem with one of her contacts.


SIMON: At the end of day, authorities said they didn't have any evidence to pursue any charges.

SANCHEZ: Dan, thanks so much. Stay on top of this for us. I know Larry King is going to be doing more in just a little bit.

And, Lisa, I watched you yesterday reporting on this on several shows. It's starting to look like it's bigger than what we even thought it was. It looks like police are now seeing signs that there may have been something wrong that's wrong with this family even before, right?

LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, you're right. There are two sets of charges that I think could be filed. One has to do with the hoax and the filing of a false report, and the other has to do with the domestic situation. Making your kids lie to law enforcement and lie to the media, I mean, think about that, Rick. That's a bizarre story and by the way, that's the point at which Falcon throws up on both of those shows is when his dad lies and says, you know, it was the real thing. It wasn't a hoax.

SANCHEZ: That moment, though --

BLOOM: So that's even worse here, in fact.

SANCHEZ: That moment when Wolf asked him the question and the kid blurts out that response...

BLOOM: Right.

SANCHEZ: It's not so much what the kid blurted out, it was the parents' reaction, wasn't it?

BLOOM: Right.

SANCHEZ: Because my kids say stupid things all the time, so does dad, by the way, from time to time.

BLOOM: Right.

SANCHEZ: But when they do that, you say no, Remy, no Savanna, that's not true.

BLOOM: Right. And what we know about Richard Heene is he has an anger problem a serious anger problem. We saw it play out on "Wife Swap" when he just lost his temper entirely. You can see in some of the YouTube videos. This family has their own YouTube station. So the child's story initially was I was so afraid of my father's anger that I was hiding for five hours silently in the rafters. That should be a red flag to Child Protective Services.

SANCHEZ: Let me ask you a question. The sheriffs who are looking into this, they're saying now that they kind of knew it all along but they didn't want to lead them on so they had to lead us on instead.


SANCHEZ: Why is it taking so long for these charges? Are you curious?

BLOOM: Yes. And I think it's a little strange that the sheriff apparently lied publicly on Friday and then on Sunday says no, I did that intentionally to get the family's cooperation.

SANCHEZ: It's a little weird.

BLOOM: It looks like the Heenes lied, the sheriff lied. The only one who hasn't lied is the media and yet we're taking a certain amount of hits for covering the story accurately and truthfully based on what we know day to day, right?

SANCHEZ: I was one of the reporters who was actually doing the play-by-play on this as I watching.


SANCHEZ: And I couldn't help but think of my own kids. You were, too.

BLOOM: I was on HLN.


BLOOM: And look, it's a legitimate story. It has a bizarre video. Everybody hopes the kid is OK. And then we have this real blurring of the line between reality shows and news. These people want to be on a reality show.


BLOOM: We've got to follow-up information. There are issues about the family, about lying to law enforcement. I mean, look at the story with legs.

SANCHEZ: Nobody likes to be taken for a ride and that's probably what's going on here.

BLOOM: Right.

SANCHEZ: A lot of people want -- it's almost like vengeance for this.

Lisa, always great to have you.

BLOOM: Thanks, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Thanks, appreciate it. Warm up, will you?

BLOOM: I'll try.

SANCHEZ: All right. Here we go. In just a couple of minutes, "LARRY KING LIVE" is going to have the Heene family's new lawyer who sounds like a man ready for a fight, and he may get one. Stay with us. That's in two.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. Tomorrow, Campbell is going to be back with another exclusive that we've been doing as the FBI comes here to reveal another brand-new name for their ten most wanted list. This guy's a ruthless killer as we understand, and he may not be far from our border.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Are you surprised that he's been able to elude you guys for so long?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. He's well protected over in Mexico. He's got a lot of contacts with the cartel. He's got a lot of contacts with the Mexican people over there, and they basically protect him.


SANCHEZ: A CNN exclusive right here tomorrow.

"LARRY KING LIVE" now with the lawyer of the balloon boy family. Here's Larry.