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The Truth Makes A Difference!


January of 2013 Edition

A Message from J.J.,

\"gradoni-jan-13Another year has flown by, concluding our 24th year in business. I am happy to say it was a profitable year with a sizable increase in bill out, over 2011. I believe our success during 2012 was, of course, due to the continued support of our long term clients, their referrals, and the addition of new Investigators to the staff.

I can say with great confidence we have the most experienced, diverse and talented staff since our inception.

The majority of the newsletter will be devoted to letting everyone know about our competent group of Investigators, who provide the day to day effort to assist Cindy Klein and Edna Velez in supervising our Client’s matters.

We are also hard at work putting together our 2013 Harris County & Contiguous Counties Court Directories which we have been doing since 2002.


During the course of the year we had the opportunity to talk to a number of Defendants, Witnesses, By-standers and people with no relative information about a case. During the course of those conversations there are always those treasured moments when people say things that remain in your head.

On one occasion I was interviewing a Juvenile Complainant. Knowing the male was 17, I asked him if he was graduating this year. His response was “No, I’m just in the 9th grade.” In an effort to establish some common ground, I then asked him if he played sports. His response was “No, I just chill.” With a straight face, I asked him if they gave Letters for “chilling.” He responded without hesitation, “I don’t think so.”



Kayla Koenig our team as an Administrative Assistant in August, 2012. Kayla is in charge of setting up new case files, originating work product reports, invoicing and a host of other duties.

Kayla handles all of her assignments promptly and shows great initiative with the ability to recognize issues and handle them before problems arise.


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Brett worked as a Police Officer for eleven years in the State of Washington. Bret has experience in Patrol Functions, Accident Investigation, Field Training Officer and Relief Supervisor.

After Bret’s promotion to Detective, he investigated major felony cases, including Assaults, Theft, Burglaries and Sex Crimes. Bret was an Assistant Crime Scene Investigator and served for three years as a Narcotics Detective with a multi-jurisdictional task force covering two counties in the State of Washington, working cases involving the manufacture and distribution of Marijuana and Methamphetamines.

During Bret’s service with the task force, he coordinated aerial and ground logistics for surveillance, reconnaissance and eradication.

After moving to the Houston area, Bret worked for the 5th Judicial Circuit, Southern District of Texas, overseeing all security efforts provided at the Federal Courthouses in a three state area.

Bret interfaced with the Judges in the 5th Circuit and the U.S. Marshalls, maintaining special event and high profile trial security coordination as well as building security.


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Efrain was a Special Agent with the FBI in the Houston Office from June of 1987 to May of 2001. Efrain led investigations in drug, white collar and foreign counter intelligence cases, that resulted in the prosecution of numerous defendants and the seizure of millions of dollars for the U.S. government.

Efrain served as a squad investigative team leader, SWAT team member and was a certified undercover agent. Efrain also provided security during international events, such as the Atlanta Olympics, the Montana Freeman Standoff, The G8 Economic Conference and other major national events.

Efrain also supervised 20 Language Specialists and Translators and helped develop new procedures that helped improve the accuracy of translated material.

After his tenure with the FBI, Efrain was a regional director in Mexico and Central America for a security company that specialized in business operations, evacuation plans, security assessments and personal protection for management and employees for Inc. 500 companies doing business in Mexico and Central America.

Efrain is one of our three Spanish speaking Investigators.


Before moving to Houston, Binh served as a Police Officer with the Gar-den Grove California Police Department for 14 years. During his tenure Binh was a patrol officer, D.A.R.E. Instructor and Field Training Officer.

After his promotion to Detective he was involved in investigations dealing with Homicide, Assault, Computer Crimes, Fraud, Child Abuse, and Robberies.

Binh served as a supervisor over surveillance activities and also worked as a Hostage Negotiator for the department.

Binh holds an advanced certificate with the California Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Commission.

Binh is fluent in Vietnamese.


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Polly has been with Gradoni & Associates almost since our inception, 24 years ago. Before joining our team Polly worked in the banking industry for a number of years. Polly is our research analyst, who is in charge of conducting Back-ground Investigations, Asset Searches, and locating current addresses for witnesses.

Polly is an expert at obtaining records of documentation from local Police Agencies via subpoena and Public Information Requests. Over the years Polly has learned how to identify and obtain records on a timely basis from almost every jurisdiction in the United States, including the Federal System.

Polly is our go-to person when we are trying to locate and interview a crucial witness and also to obtain background information that can be used to dispute a witnesses’ credibility.

Polly also assists Cindy Klein in obtaining Mitigation records for our Death Penalty cases.


Since our inception in 1989 Gradoni & Associates has been involved in the Criminal Defense of over 4,500 individuals charged with Felony offenses.

We have also been involved in over 300 Capital Murder cases, both Death and Non-Death Penalty. Our efforts have led to case dismissals, reduction of charges to more favorable results along with No-Bills by Grand Juries. The ten members of our team have 155 years of experience in Law Enforcement. We understand the system, have the ability to work with cultural diversity, and are experts in the art of interviewing.

Felony Criminal Defense Successes

Listed below are a number of Houston area criminal defense lawyers who employed our investigatory services on their cases.

John Petruzzi

  • Aggravated Robbery/Dismissal
  • Felony Criminal Mischief/Dismissal
  • Criminal Mischief/Dismissal
  • Injury to Elderly/Jury Acquittal

Paul St.John

  • Aggravated Robbery/Misdemeanor Plea for Time Served
  • Three Aggravated Robberies/Plea for Time Served
  • Burglary of Habitation/Dismissal

Michael Palmer

  • Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child/Dismissal
  • Assault/Dismissal

Gary Polland

  • Aggravated Assault/Dismissal
  • Injury to Child Under 15/Dismissal

James Rivera

  • Aggravated Assault/Reduction to Misdemeanor

Ken McCoy

  • Aggravated Sexual Assault of Child/Jury Acquittal

Brian Burns

  • Aggravated Sexual Assault/Jury Acquittal

Stanley Schneider

  • Assault/Dismissal

Wendy Aikins

  • Murder (Juvenile Defendant)/Jury Acquittal

Brad Loper

  • Assault/Dismissal

Greg Glass

  • Aggravated Assault/Dismissal

Bret Podolsky

  • Aggravated Sexual Assault/Reduced to Misdemeanor

Cases Reviewed In This Edition of The Newsletter

  • Licensed Houston Private InvestigatorsThe “Good Samaritan” Murder Investigation
    Houston, TX based Attorney Gerald Bourque represented one of three Co-Defendants who were accused of busting in the door to the Defendant’s girlfriend’s apartment and subsequently stabbing to death one of the three armed good Samaritans who responded. Gradoni & Associates Investigate The Defendant was in jail for three years awaiting a disposition. Our canvass
  • Licensed Houston Private InvestigatorsDeath Penalty Pursuit Dissuaded
    Attorney Thomas A. Martin represented an individual charged with Capital Murder. Tom asked Investigator Cindy Klein to prepare a Mitigation package that could be presented to the District Attorney in an effort to dissuade them from seeking the Death Penalty. The District Attorney’s Office was obviously moved by our efforts and did not seek the
  • Licensed Houston Private Investigators30 Years on Death Row, Finally Over
    Attorney Robert Loper and Attorney Gerald Bourque represented a Death Row inmate whose case had been sent back for a retrial of the punishment phase. The inmate, convicted of capital murder, had been given the Death Penalty 30 years prior and had been on Death Row since his conviction. Gradoni & Associates Investigates As a
  • Licensed Houston Private InvestigatorsThe Dope Rip-Off Murder
    Attorney Skip Cornelius and Attorney Kristen C. Asaad represented a Defendant charged, along with two other Co-Defendants, with murdering an individual during a dope rip-off. Our Defendant, from the beginning, admitted his participation in the dope deal, but denied being the shooter, as charged by the State. Gradoni & Associates Investigate Investigator Cindy Klein
  • Private Investigators of TexasThe Case of the Home Invasion Killings
    Attorney Skip Cornelius and Attorney Kristen C. Asaad represented Carl Goines, charged with the death of an individual in a home invasion and the death of an alleged accomplish who was allegedly shot by Goines during the home invasion, later dying at a local hospital in northeast Houston. The State contended that two individuals forced



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Houston, TX 77068
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