FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: How the ‘Acid King’ Won a Lawsuit Against the US Government

FOIA News (2015-16)Kevin SchmidtComment

How the ‘Acid King’ Won a Lawsuit Against the US Government

By CJ Ciaramella, Vice, May 9, 2016

William Leonard Pickard was sentenced to life without parole in 2003 for manufacturing massive amounts of acid at a decommissioned nuclear missile silo. But last week, Pickard—one of the biggest LSD manufacturers in American history—won a decade-long lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for records on the confidential informant that helped put him behind bars.

Pickard, now 70, filed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in 2006. The suit plodded along for ten years in an epic case of government foot-dragging and stonewalling, according to his current lawyer, Mark Rumold, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Rumold is representing Pickard pro bono—and not as part of his day job—and the way he sees it, Pickard's case represents "absolute government and DEA obstinance."

"I've done a lot of FOIA litigation, and I've never encountered something like this," Rumold tells me.

Read more here.