A pair of Massachusetts youths accused of violating federal law when recording a call between former Bills G.M. Buddy Nix and Buccaneers G.M. Mark Dominik have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the Associated Press, Joshua Barber and Nicholas Kaiser declined comment to reporters after entering their pleas and being released without bail.
The criminal complaint alleged that the duo had been hoping to finagle a tryout for Barber, a part-time deli worker, when they decided to call Nix and pretend to be Dominik.
“Mr. Barber is of the belief he has the skills to play in the NFL, and was endeavoring to get the attention of Mr. Nix to get a tryout,” Kasier’s lawyer, Rodney Personius, told the AP.
According to the criminal complaint, the men also had called the NHL’s New York Islanders and Montreal Canadians and the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks, all in an effort to secure tryouts.
It’s unclear why the men believed pretending to be Dominik would work; then again, it’s unclear why they think they could secure tryouts in three different pro sports. Regardless, one thing led to another, and the two men got Nix and Dominik on the phone together. When they decided to record the call, they unwittingly crossed the line.
Per the report, Deadspin allegedly paid $200 for the audio, an amount the two men split. They had shopped the recording to various news outlets. (We weren’t approached.)
Personious believes that 1968 federal statute they allegedly violated doesn’t contemplate modern technology, which makes it much easier to record conversations. Still, for decades technologies have existed that allow the secret recording of discussions between two or more people who don’t know their discussions are being recorded, from surveillance cameras the specifically don’t have microphones because of the 1968 statute to digital recording devices that comes in many shapes and sizes.
The lawyer also claims that the conduct wasn’t “intentional or premediated,” but he’s wrong on both counts. The men intentionally recorded the call. It doesn’t matter if they didn’t know it was illegal to do so.
Also, premeditation can come in an instant. They didn’t record the call spontaneously or in a fit of rage. They decided to record the call. And they did.
The behavior violates the letter of the law. The only question is whether and to what extent the prosecutor will opt for lenience.
He should. They’re 20. Primarily, they’re guilty of being stupid, and delusional. If that’s a crime, the prisons would be even more crowded than they already are.