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  ICP has published a (double) book about a variety of Bronx-relevant topics -- a review in Commonweal magazine of Dec. 5, 2003, opines  that "Predatory Bender... is as vivid an account of life in the Bronx as you are likely to read" -- click here for sample chapters, here for an interactive maphere for fast ordering and delivery, and here for other ordering information.  See also, "City Lit: Roman a Klepto [Review of ‘Predatory Bender’]," by Matt Pacenza, City Limits, Sept.-Oct. 2004. CBS MarketWatch of April 23, 2004, says the the novel has "some very funny moments," and that the non-fiction mixes "global statistics and first-person accounts." The Washington Post of March 15, 2004, calls Predatory Bender: America in the Aughts "the first novel about predatory lending;" the London Times of April 15, 2004, "A Novel Approach," said it "has a cast of colorful characters."   The Pittsburgh City Paper of Dec. 11, 2003, wrote that it "may, in fact, be the first great American lending malfeasance novel" including "low-level loan sharks, class-action lawyers, corporate bigwigs, hired muscle, corrupt politicians, Iraq War veterans, Wall Street analysts, reporters and one watchdog with a Web site."  And all in The Bronx!   Click here for that review; for more information, contact us.
2014: MRL on Beacon Reader

November 18, 2019

Murder of Shopkeeper from The Gambia and The Bronx Yields 7 Year Sentence For SDNY Cooperator

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
Honduras
BBC The Times (UK) The Source 

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 16 –   Bubacarr Camara came to The Bronx from The Gambia, hoping to bring his wife and son to join him. Every day he woke up and went to work in the BNC General Merchandise T-shirt Spot on Manhattan's Upper West Side, on Amsterdam Avenue near 104th Street.   

  Then in the middle of the day on June 18, 2015 he was shot and killed by robbers. Along with the $279 they stole from Bubacarr Camara, they also took the store's rudimentary video surveillance camera.  They threw the camera and storage device, but not the money, into the river.

    Four and a half years later on November 15, 2019 a man who pled guilty to the murder of Bubacarr Camara came up for sentencing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York before Judge Paul G. Gardephe.

    In the gallery where Inner City Press was the only media, there were a number of Assistant US Attorneys but no family member or friend of Bubacarr Camara while he had been alive.    AUSA Jessica Feinstein, signing for US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, had a week before written to Judge Gardephe that "we have been unsuccessful at contacting the family members of murder victim Bubacarr Camara."

    Of course, this can happen when sentencing takes place long after the murder and also long after the guilty plea. The government's letter gives no indication of any attempt to reach Bubacarr's friends or co-workers such as Dong Kun Cho, or his many family members in The Gambia.

    Why in the courtroom's gallery along with Inner City Press were there detectives and Assistant US Attorneys? Was it to avenge Bubacarr Camara or avenge his distant family and still-young son?

No. It's that this defendant had, after the murder, agreed to cooperate with the US Attorney's office.

    Now he was asking to be released for "time served," and the US Attorney's office in context supported the request in their 5K1 letter.     Despite having covered the trial in which this defendant testified, Inner City Press is choosing here not to publish his name.

  His lawyer, whom we will also leave unnamed, argued that he will be in danger (though not as much, it must be noted, as Bubacarr Camara was at midday on the Upper West Side of Manhattan).

   AUSA Feinstein requested, and Judge Gardephe granted, the sealing of the transcript of the sentencing and most documents connected to it.

    The court docket is left with an indictment, under then US Attorney Preet Bharara, that did not even name the victim and decedent, Bubacarr Camara, and got the address of his place of work and place of death wrong, listing it as 2251 Seventh Avenue, Manhattan.

   While the US Sentencing Guidelines in this case of murder called for a life sentence - plus 15 years - Judge Gardephe imposed a sentence of seven years, which minus the 52 months to defendant has already served while cooperating with the government comes to 32 additional months, or two years and eight months.

    Seven years for a human life should be subject to scrutiny and public debate; certainly the victim's family, friends and community have a right to know, denied to them by the sealing of these records. It could have been worse, or more lenient: recently a man who bribed the United Nations, Francis Lorenzo, got time served at the urging of SDNY prosecutors, here.

    Inner City Press will have more on this. It is also covering at least three recent trials in which cooperating witnesses were used in exchange for 5K1 letters and requests for time served, starting with Daniel Hernandex a/k/a Tekashi 6ix9ine (who the US Attorney's Office also called a model cooperator), to be sentenced by SDNY Judge Paul A. Engelmayer on December 18. Inner City Press will live-tweet the proceeding if it can.

    Then there are those who took greater risk in testifying against the brother of Honduras' current president. One, Magdaleno, whose notebooks were introduced at trial before SDNY Judge P. Kevin Castel has since been assassinated in a supposedly maximum security prison in Honduras.

  It is unclear if the SDNY US Attorney's Office or DOJ have done anything about this crime which is presumptively traceable to the president of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernandez.

    Most recently Inner City Press has been covering the cooperation of OneCoin found Ruja Ignatova's brother Konstantin Ignatov, part of a $4 billion fraud. Inner City Press' coverage has been credited by the BBC, The Times (UK), Daily Mail, and in the crypto-currency media.   

   But who will cover this sentencing for the murder of Bronxite Bubacarr Camara originally from The Gambia? And not to write about it, even with this self-imposed restrictions, would be to become complicit in this very human life cut short right in Manhattan in the Southern District of New York, and to leave its judges and prosecutors without any oversight. Watch this site.

November 11, 2019

Before 6ix9ine Sentencing in SDNY Taxes Due Dec 4 As Inner City Press Carjack Video Hit With YouTube Complaint

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Scope Thread
The Source - XXL - The Root - Vibe, etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 7 – Video of the car-jacking of Tekashi 6ix9ine shown as evidence in the trial of Aljermiah "Nuke" Mack and Anthony "Harv" Ellison which Inner City Press put online on YouTube (here with 83,000 views) has been subject of a complaint, YouTube informed Inner City Press on October 19.

  And in further digging Inner City Press has learned that at least two weeks before the December 18 re-scheduled sentencing of 6ix9ine / Daniel Hernandez, he is required by his plea agreement to file amendment tax returns and to pay or agree to pay. (This while others' plea deals, like OneCoin's Konstantin Ignatov, are withheld). Inner City Press will stay on these cases.

  Many legal questions are raised here. If a song is playing when a crime is committed, on video - as here in the car of 69's drive Jorge Rivera, can the video be played? Or censored, even partially or temporally - as for now seems to be happening with sentencing that have followed the guilty verdicts on Harv Ellison and Nuke Mack, leading up to 6ix9ine's in December?

The jury on October 3 returned a mixed verdict, see below. Daniel Hernandez / Tekashi 6ix9ine who testified for three days against them is now set to be sentenced on December 18 at 10 am, with the government's submission including under Section 5K1 due on December 11 or before.  Inner City Press tweeted the order here, and the underlying submission rules here.

  On October 17 co-defendant Jamel Jones was set to be sentenced, initially at 2:30 pm, then 9:45 am. Inner City Press inquired into having a live feed into the SDNY Press Room, as was the case for the sentencing of Roland Martin. But it was not done.

  At 9:45 am Jamel Jones' family members were in Judge Engelmayer's courtroom, but not Jamel Jones himself. Later he was brought in by Marshals and the proceeding began. It turned out he and his lawyer had not been given an opportunity to in writing address what the US Attorney's letter said was shown at trial, that Jim Jones spoke of "violating" 6ix9ine and Jamel Jones said "super violate."

   Inner City Press tweeted, as it did during the trial and the Roland Martin sentencing, here. Then Judge Engelmayer said, Mr Smallman tells me someone is tweeting. Who is it?

  Inner City Press immediately said, Me, adding that it had asked for a live feed into the Press Room.

  Judge Engelmayer said that if request for live feed are made they are granted. But it wasn't in this case. Inner City Press immediately shut down its phone, power off. An Assistant US Attorney came in and started using her phone, as has always been the case. She was told to turn it off.

   Now will less detailed information we report that Judge Engelmayer told Jamel Jones that he, unlike Roland Martin, had not renounced Nine Trey. That it was too late in life to use lack of a father figure as an excuse. (In fairness, Judge Englemayer later called out the father in the gallery.) Ultimately Judge Engelmayer imposed a full 135 month sentence on Jamel Jones, more than 11 years.

  While some might not like it compared, many white collar criminals in the SDNY are given light or time served sentences. This is one of the many reasons that detailed, real time reporting of these sentencing should be encouraged, not stopped and penalized. As Inner City Press left the courtroom, it was asked for its name and business card and was told that an "incident report" will be made. We'll have more on this.

#Periscope outside #SDNY in #6ix9ine case Judge Engelmayer guves 135 months Jamel Jones, press freedom issues @SDNYLIVE https://t.co/Oya4nViHqg

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) October 17, 2019
 More here.

November 4, 2019

In SDNY All Reverse Sting Drug Cases Are Against Minorities For 10 Years Judge Rakoff Hears

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, Patreon
Honduras - The Source - The Root - etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 31 – Racism in federal law enforcement in the Southern District of New York was alleged and argued on October 31, with five defendants in shackles and Inner City Press the only media in the SDNY courtroom of Judge Jed S. Rakoff.

    Judge Rakoff asked lead attorney Christopher Flood whether the racial disparities he and his colleague are alleging are, in fact, statistically significant.

   Passed to Judge Rakoff via his deputy was the declaration of Profession Crystal S. Yang asserting "the racial composition of targeted individuals in DEA reverse-sting stash house cases brought in the SDNY" for the past ten years: "46 operations targeted 179 individuals of whom zero are White, two are Asian and 177 are Latino or Black." This is followed by regression analysis.

     Assistant US Attorney Domenic Gentile, alone at the prosecutor's table, doggedly returned to these particular defendants wearing face masks, and having been recruited through the lead defendant, Flood's client.

    Judge Rakoff said it was interesting, but how was it relevant? He committed to issuing an order on Flood et al's discovery motion by November 12, if only in bottom-line form, in advance of a March 2020 trial. The other defense attorneys on the discovery motion include Jennifer Luo, Michael Tremonte, John Diaz, Stephanie Carvlin, Xavier Donaldson, Dawn Cardi, and the omnipresent Calvin Scholar.

The case is USA v. Lopez et al., 19-cr-323 (Rakoff). Inner City Press will continue to report on this case, and on these issues.

October 28, 2019

After SDNY Courtroom Sealed To Press And AUSA Comey Silence Bronx Process of Elimination

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, Patreon
Honduras - The Source - The Root - etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 25 – There was a Federal criminal proceeding publicly listed on PACER at 2:30 pm on October 25 in the courtroom of Judge Denise L. Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Inner City Press went to cover it - and was immediately told to leave the courtroom. Then the door was locked.

     When US Assistant US Attorneys Maurene Comey and Christopher Clore exited some 20 minutes later, Inner City Press asked them if they knew the basis for excluding the Press. Ms. Comey shook her head.

   Now some seven hours later Inner City Press can report: Maurene Comey has only four cases before Judge Cote. On only one of the four is Christopher Clore her co-chair AUSA: the 20 defendant Bronx MacBallas case named from the initial and lead defendant, US v. Xavier Holman, 18-cr-41 (Cote).

  But Holman was already sentenced to 120 months. Keenan McFarland and Sean Jones also got 120 months. Navone Dozier got 84 month. Jafari Jones and Francisco Torres also got 84 months; Austin Morrishow got 60 months, described in a sentencing submission as "one of the gang's 'shooters.'"  So who's left?

  Not listed as "closed" are Bo Williams, 20 of 20, Deonte Morrison 15, Nathaniel Fludd 7 and Toshnelle Foster 2, who while not sentenced has a sentencing date in November.

 Of these, only Bo Williams does not have an appearance by defense lawyer, although Inner City Press on October 25 observed who his lawyer is.

Virtually every filing in 18-cr-41-DLC-20 from May through September 2019 is listed as "Sealed Document."

As Inner City Press has explained to judges, executive and prosecutors, it has full respect for any legitimate sealing and / or safety concern. But to simply order the Press out of a Federal courtroom without given a reason does not comply with the letter or spirit not only of case law but of the principles behind it. More on Patreon, here.

 And the US Attorney's Office, so solicitous to some, has not even responded to Press requests they put online their exhibits in US v. Michael Jones, for example, a case where they seek 20 years against an emo rapper with bad luck with heroin, while allowing another in suburban Rockland County off on 27 months for the same conduct. Watch this site.

    Inner City Press had, as it exited as ordered without asking any questions in order not to be disruptive (or have its other access for reporting disrupted), asked Judge Cote's courtroom deputy what the basis of asking it to leave, without the on the record finding that are required by applicable Second Circuit Court of Appeals case law, was.

   The Deputy said, I'll ask the Judge if she wants to say. But the Deputy did not re-emerge, even after AUSA Comey left. To their credit, staff of the Office of the District Executive when informed arrived on the scene and, using their key, went into the abruptly locked courtroom.  

  Minutes later this explanation was given: the proceeding involved a cooperator. The AUSA had either not sought or had not obtained permission from "main Justice" in Washington to request the sealing of the courtroom.

    So the Judge, a former prosecutor as others have noted to Inner City Press - in fact, the first woman to serve as SDNY Criminal Division Chief, to her credit - had done it sua sponte. She called the lawyers to a sidebar moments after Inner City Press entered the courtroom, then emerged from the sidebar to order the courtroom sealed and the door locked.

   Inner City Press, in-house media in the SDNY working from front cubicle in the Press Room has suggested, to increase transparency, that such proceedings be sealed in advance, rather than on an ad hoc basis when the press walks into an open courtroom. That was an opporunity to be heard, in advance, would be possible. It is also advocating for more opportunities for real-time reporting from the SDNY, as recently on the #6ix9ine and Honduras trials and in 10 days on OneCoin / US v. Scott. The responses have largely been promising.

    The twist to the October 20 sealing of Judge Cote's courtroom was that it was partial:  it was not only the lawyers, court staff, and defendant and the two U.S. Marshals who remained inside. So it was a selective sealing. We hope to have more on this, reporting with all due respect, of course. No docket number. Watch this site.

October 21, 2019

Inner City Press Video of 6ix9ine Carjacking Hit With YouTube Complaint For Music on Radio Jorge

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Scope Thread
The Source - XXL - The Root - Vibe, etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 19 – Video of the car-jacking of Tekashi 6ix9ine shown as evidence in the trial of Aljermiah "Nuke" Mack and Anthony "Harv" Ellison which Inner City Press put online on YouTube (here with 83,000 views) has now been subject of a complaint, YouTube informed Inner City Press on October 19. Photo here.

  Many legal questions are raised here. If a song is playing when a crime is committed, on video - as here in the car of 69's drive Jorge Rivera, can the video be played? Or censored, even partially or temporally - as for now seems to be happening with sentencing that have followed the guilty verdicts on Harv Ellison and Nuke Mack, leading up to 6ix9ine's in December?

The jury on October 3 returned a mixed verdict, see below. Daniel Hernandez / Tekashi 6ix9ine who testified for three days against them is now set to be sentenced on December 18 at 10 am, with the government's submission including under Section 5K1 due on December 11 or before.  Inner City Press tweeted the order here, and the underlying submission rules here.

  On October 17 co-defendant Jamel Jones was set to be sentenced, initially at 2:30 pm, then 9:45 am. Inner City Press inquired into having a live feed into the SDNY Press Room, as was the case for the sentencing of Roland Martin. But it was not done.

  At 9:45 am Jamel Jones' family members were in Judge Engelmayer's courtroom, but not Jamel Jones himself. Later he was brought in by Marshals and the proceeding began. It turned out he and his lawyer had not been given an opportunity to in writing address what the US Attorney's letter said was shown at trial, that Jim Jones spoke of "violating" 6ix9ine and Jamel Jones said "super violate."

   Inner City Press tweeted, as it did during the trial and the Roland Martin sentencing, here. Then Judge Engelmayer said, Mr Smallman tells me someone is tweeting. Who is it?

  Inner City Press immediately said, Me, adding that it had asked for a live feed into the Press Room.

  Judge Engelmayer said that if request for live feed are made they are granted. But it wasn't in this case. Inner City Press immediately shut down its phone, power off. An Assistant US Attorney came in and started using her phone, as has always been the case. She was told to turn it off.

   Now will less detailed information we report that Judge Engelmayer told Jamel Jones that he, unlike Roland Martin, had not renounced Nine Trey. That it was too late in life to use lack of a father figure as an excuse. (In fairness, Judge Englemayer later called out the father in the gallery.) Ultimately Judge Engelmayer imposed a full 135 month sentence on Jamel Jones, more than 11 years.

  While some might not like it compared, many white collar criminals in the SDNY are given light or time served sentences. This is one of the many reasons that detailed, real time reporting of these sentencing should be encouraged, not stopped and penalized. As Inner City Press left the courtroom, it was asked for its name and business card and was told that an "incident report" will be made. We'll have more on this.

#Periscope outside #SDNY in #6ix9ine case Judge Engelmayer guves 135 months Jamel Jones, press freedom issues @SDNYLIVE https://t.co/Oya4nViHqg

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) October 17, 2019


October 14, 2019

With 6ix9ine Sentencing Now December 18 Co Defendant Ro Murda Gets 66 Months After Being Stabbed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Audio Thread
The Source - XXL - The Root - Vibe, etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 10 – In the case of US against Aljermiah Mack and Anthony Ellison, the jury on October 3 returned a mixed verdict, see below. Daniel Hernandez / Tekashi 6ix9ine who testified for three days against them is now set to be sentenced on December 18 at 10 am, with the government's submission including under Section 5K1 due on December 11 or before.  Inner City Press tweeted the order here, and the underlying submission rules here.

  On October 10 co-defendant Roland Martin a/k/a Ro Murda was sentenced by Judge Paul Engelmayer. The sentencing guideline specified in his plea agreement was 77 to 96 months; the government recommended 60 months.

  After back and forth which Inner City Press live tweeted, below, Judge Engelmayer said he would have sentenced Ro Murda to 90 months, but because he was stabbed in the MDC after renouncing the gang, he gave him 66 months.

 Since he has already served 10 months, it will be 56 more months; his request is in Fort Dix.

October 7, 2019

After SDNY Jury Finds 6ix9ine Was Kidnapped But NOT Robbed At Gunpoint Questions Arise

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Audio Thread
The Source - XXL - The Root - Vibe, etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 3 – In the case of US against Aljermiah Mack and Anthony Ellison, the jury on October 3 returned a mixed verdict, see below. Daniel Hernandez / Tekashi 6ix9ine who testified for three days against them said he was robbed of his jewelry. But while the jury found Ellison guilty of kidnapping 69, in Count 2, it found Ellison not guilty of gunpoint robbery, Count 3.  Text tweeted by Inner City Press here.

  In the video the government put into evidence and Inner City Press put online here, driver Jorge Rivera said it had been "two guys with guns." Video at 7:40.

 So did the jury disbelieve Rivera, cooperating to get out of an immigration charge and hoping for a 5K1 letter like 6ix9ine? Or more fundamentally did they disbelieve the robbery, after 6ix9ine on Instagram invited the robbery of his jewelry to promote his then-upcoming music release? Inner City Press will have more on this.

6ixNine is set to be sentenced on January 24, 2020, hoping to get "time served" for his cooperation. Inner City Press tweeted the schedule here and will continue to report on this in detail.

  Along with guilty findings on racketeer, Count 1, and Counts 2, 5, 6 and 7, it issued "Not Guilty" rulings on Ellison Counts 3 and 4 and with regard to Nuke Mack and guns, Count 7. After more than an hour, got and published it:

Count 1 Racketeering - Guilty
Count 2 Kidnapping - GUILTY
Counts 3 & 4 Ellison gun - Not guilty
Count 5 (maiming) - Guilty
Count 6 narcotics - Guilty
Court 7 Mack firearm - Not Guilty

  What the verdict may mean for 6ix9ine's bid for both a 5K1 cooperator's letter and "time served" instead of the 47 year mandatory minimum he would otherwise face is not yet known.

On October 2 the jury while deliberating on a verdict asked for information including the testimony of Ellison's then girlfriend Ms. Ramirez and a laptop full of phone records. They will resume deliberating on Thursday October 3 but if they do not reach a verdict that day will return only on Monday. Meanwhile there were thirty in the courtroom and thirty in the hall.

Ellison's defense lawyer Deveraux Cannick told the jury to closely review #6ix9ine's testimony, says he was prepared for hours and hours by the government and still there are holes in his story.

 Cannick emphasizes that #6ix9ine said he only made one call, a Facetime to his daughter. Turns to Cruz claiming he's worthy of your belief. "Ladies and gentlemen, I don't buy it."  Cannick is saying sometimes the government should tear up the 5K1 letter, but doesn't. Here's Inner City Press on a cooperator who after the deal smuggled drugs into private prison and sold them. Judge Gardephe was outraged, gave 4 years

 Government objects to Cannick saying a Kristian Cruz call was in the last six weeks. Judge Engelmayer doesn't rule, tells jury that their recollection will control. Cannick going back and forth between references to #6ix9ine and Cruz

 Cannick: Cruz has no familiarity with Harv. He said, "Harv is not a thief" only in order to prime the pump and get Mel Murda to talk. But where did Mel Murda get his info from? Shotti. But #6ix9ine said "Shotti is a liar. Shotti is a fraud."

Cannick asked why the government didn't take at face value their witness #6ix9ine's view that Shotti was a liar.   Says of course Mel Murda told Cruz whatever he wanted- he needed Cruz' drugs and money. More here.

For now, more on Patreon here.

September 30, 2019

In SDNY Tekashi 6ix9ine Trial Closes With Accusation Of Faked Car Jacking 5 Day Break

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon, Audio
The Source - XXL - The Root - Vibe, etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 26 – In the case of US against Aljermiah Mack and Anthony Ellison, after having for three days used the testimony of Daniel Hernandez / Tekashi 6ix9ine, the government told the jury to believe him because he would be insane to lie: it could get him the mandatory minimum of 47 years.

  Ellison's lawyer Deveraux Cannick, in his closing argument, repeated that 6ix9ine was trying to promote his song with Nicki Minaj when he faked the car jack and robbery. Why didn't he call Sara, Cannick asked, and say that he'd been robbed?

 In rebuttal, AUSA Longyear did not address this argument. The jury will wait five days to return and be charge and begin deliberating. More on Patreon here.

Here's the beginning of who it went on September 26:  "AUSA Warren starts with Gov Exhibit of Harv Ellison saying "they don't want war with Billy, we big behind the wall. They just NYC. Billy, we worldwide." US Attorney's point: Nine Trey is a conspiracy

 AUSA Warren quotes Harv Ellison telling #6ix9ine "not to be a poseur" (Warren's words), not to choose when the f*ck to show up Inner City Press @innercitypress · 6h AUSA Warren tells jury, "Look at what Ellison does not say. He does not say, 'What do you mean? I am not a gangster. What do you mean, "Blood"?'"   Yeah, he didn't say that.

 AUSA Warren quotes Ellison that "you can't pick and choose when to be a gangster," says he's guilty of Count 1. Turns to October slashing of the witness who had a compulsion order to testify yesterday but in the end wasn't called  Note: there is a photo of the slashed face in evidence; Inner City Press has not published it out of respect. (Also, would non-responsive Twitter call it impermissible content even though it's evidence in a Federal trial? Questions, questions)

 AUSA Warren: Harv was going to see Ms. Ramirez on at the Ludlow Street hotel the night of the slashing, but that all hell broke loose in and around Smurf Village. Harv drove from the West Side to Brooklyn, sending video from Battery Tunnel...

 Now yesterday's cell site records are coming in - showing Harv on the move to Brooklyn. "Remember Ms. Ramirez testified that on Fulton and Utica she met Mr. Ellison and his friends" - and that he left her with them. AUSA: "That is frantic behavior."

 Now AUSA Warren turns to "robbery and kidnapping of Daniel Hernandez," Tekashi #6ix9ine. He says it was NOT staged.

 Now US Attorney is playing audio that driver Jorge Rivera, cooperating with government after picked up on immigration charges, recorded of Shotti telling #6ix9ine, we got to kill somebody, I drive around with a semi-automatic rifle

 In the recording (by Jorge Rivera), Shotti says he shot five people in one night for Mel Murda. Shotti: "I earned my stripes."

AUSA Warren asks jury if they think #6ix9ine's career would be helped by being seen beaten up and chain stolen. Shows photo of his swollen face. AUSA Warren tells jury, Remember that the driver Jorge Rivera was also robbed. He had a gun pointed at his head and they took his cell phone.

AUSA Warren quotes Mr. Ramirez that Harv bragged to her that he still had some of #6ix9ine's chains, months after the robbery.

Warren quotes Nuke Mack that you gotta either be the shooting or the grinder, selling drugs, you can't be both at once. Division of labor.

 Government shows video Nuke Mack uploaded to Instagram of robbing and yelling "Trey Way for real." Notes he was wearing the same green polo and cap as in the exhibit photo.  It had to happen: AUSA Warren brings up #6ix9ine's selfie with Mister Met, when they got the call that Ro had been robbed

  And what about Yankee Stadium?

September 23, 2019

In SDNY Tekashi 6ix9ine Carjacking Video Is Shown But Questioned As Trippie Redd Linked To Bloods

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon, Thread III
The Source - XXL - The Root - etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 19 – When Daniel Hernandez, better known as rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, finished three days of cooperating testimony for the government against his former partners in the Nine Trey Bloods gang, conviction seemed likely for defendants Aljermiah "Nuke" Mack and Anthony "Harv" Elisson.   Harv was caught on video apparently car-jacking Hernandez and his driver Jorge Rivera. Video here.   

But then Harv's lawyer Deveraux Cannick began the question the timing and specifics of the carjacking and kidnapping. It coincided with the release of one of 6ixNine's songs; Cannick asked again and again if the rapper had specified the dozens of punches he now claimed while in proffer sessions with the prosecution.   

Hernandez wants the all important 5K1 cooperation letter. Without it he faces a minimum of 47 years and maximum of life. But what will not only insulting the Bloods but also linking other rappers like Trippie Redd to the gang, things may be difficult in or out of jail.   On the third day of the trial it emerged that audio had been recorded of the begining of Hernandez' direct examination, apparently from inside the courtroom.

Judge Engelmayer prohibited any further entry of phones or other electronics.   The government's initial estimate of a two to three week trial now seemed too long. Prosecutor Michael Longyear told Judge Engelmayer the government might complete its case by Wednesday, September 25.

Inner City Press will continue to cover this and other SDNY and 2nd Circuit cases - watch this site, and there is more on Patreon, here.

September 16, 2019

For Drive By Shooting In The Bronx US Attorney Pled Jackson To 60 Months Given By SDNY Judge Castel

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 12 – Jerome Jackson conducted a drive-by shooting on Freeman Street and Prospect Avenue in the South Bronx on September 26, 2018. On September 12, 2019 he was sentenced to 60 months in prison, have been allowed to plead down to possession of ammunition. The drive-by, with three bullets, actually hit the target. Life is cheap, it seems, in The Bronx.

 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge P. Kevin Castel, who when he has discretion is creative in sentencing, here had none. He recited the facts of the shooting, and of the plea.

  One wonders what for example Circuit Judge Richard M. Sullivan, who recently criticized a U.S. Attorney's Office pled deal and warned that he will sentence higher, would have said. Who decided which crimes can be pled down like this, whose life is cheap? Inner City Press will have more on this.

September 9, 2019

In SDNY A Prison Strip Search To Find A Hidden Blade Results In Civil Rights Trial

By Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 4 – Chance McCurdy was in prison on Riker's Island on February 19, 2015 when someone was slashed by the commissary, with a surgical blade. McCurdy ended up beaten and his lawsuit against the City of New York finally reached trial on September 4 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Gregory H. Woods.

  The courtroom was almost empty. In fact plaintiff McCurdy wasn't there, not produced from the MCC. Instead on the stand was Captain Cheryl Bell, being questioned by McCurdy's lawyer Fred Lichtmacher about the three prior disciplinary actions against her for excessive force and failure to supervise the use of force.

 In response she called the plaintiff a member of the Bloods street gang, who had to be housed in a special Bloods unit on Riker's Island in the Anna M. Kross Center or AMKC. The City's lawyer described McCurdy, when facing a strip search to find the missing blade, as yelling "I'm not stripping... F.U... It's lit."

  Inner City Press has asked to be informed when the six-member jury comes back with a verdict. Watch this site.


Earlier this year in the SDNY Johnny Morgan was suing the United States for a rectal search he endured in the Metropolitan Correctional Center at 150 Park Row, right next to the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. On April 4 before SDNY Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman, the government presented an expert Roy Lubit who said that Morgan is a "malingerer" and blamed his pain on abuse suffered earlier at the hand of his own mother. But even government expert Lubit said that the rectal entry should not have happened.

  It is, in fact, an outrage. While some might question taxpayer money going to pay damages for what happened to Mr. Morgan, what about public money for an expert witness to insult the torturee? We'll have more on this.

  The Federal Defenders scored a big win in a misdemeanor proceeding that only Inner City Press attended and covered on April 2. They defeated the U.S. Attorney's Office which argued that the simple assault they agreed to on a dispute on a cruise ship required allocution to actual physical conflict. There was case law on the Federal Defenders' side, and a plea to making a threat on the cruise ship - in "international waters" -- was found sufficient. The case was United States v. Batista, 18 Cr. 730 (NRB). The Federal Defenders lawyer was Sabrina P. Shroff, whom Inner City Press has previously covered in the UN bribery cases of Patrick Ho (new Hong Kong documentary here), getting bail for Cheikh Gadio, and of Ng Lap Seng, representing hapless Jeff Yin. The issue in Batista was whether simple assault requires the defendant to "strike or choke." Ms. Shroff cited the US v Denis and US v Chestaro cases, and the matter was quickly disposed by Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in her relatively small courtroom on the 21st floor of 500 Pearl Street. The question is why the U.S. Attorney's Office in this case had not researched basic case law - and whether the defendant Carlos Batista, Junior, from the Dominican Republic, must now be deported. We hope to have more on this.

September 2, 2019

Bronx Drug Dealer Is Sentenced To 18 Years After Rockland County Seller Got 27 Months

By Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 26 – Miguel Ramirez was sentenced to 218 months or more than 18 years in prison on August 26, for his leadership role in an armed drug conspiracy in Hunts Point, The Bronx. US District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Gregory H. Woods during his sentencing recounted Ramirez as a child living with 12 others with a "managerie of animals," then in jail on Rikers Island as a child, Woods said.

  The government asked for 262 to 327 months, emphasizing that Ramirez stored ammunition in the apartment he shared with his partner and their baby, who now a toddler toddled around the courtroom on August 26. Ramirez' lawyer emphasized society's racism - then turned 180 degrees and implied that Ramirez' co-defendant Hector Palermo, who steered clear of the guns, was not also a victim.

  A comparison not made by Judge Woods on August 26 but needing to be made was to his sentencing the word day before on August 23. The same US Attorney's office asked for only 27 months for a Rockland County man who give deadly heroin to a 28 year old woman. Inner City Press story here. We'll have more on this.

August 26, 2019

As Bronx Deli Is Sued Under FLSA By Madison Ave Firm Judge Caproni Tells Press It Must Be A Slow News Day

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 23 – Two grocery stores on Ogden Avenue in the Bronx are being sued for overtime violations by the law firm of Katz Malinger PLLC on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. On August 23 facing default on the lawsuit a lawyer for one defendant showed up before U.S. District Court for the Southern District Court of New York Judge Valerie Caproni.

  But he was not admitted to the SDNY.

  Judge Caproni advised the attorney, Adeyinka A. Ojo of 87 East 116th Street, to get himself admitted pro hac vice. Then she asked Inner City Press, the only media in her courtroom, What are you covering here?

  Inner City Press replied, I came for the OneCoin, but stayed for the deli.

  Judge Caproni joked, If you are covering the deli it must be a slow news day. (Inner City Press did cover the Trump subpoena argument, which didn't begin until 11 am, here). But there are no small stories, only small journalists. In this case, Ojo asserts that at least one of the plaintiffs only worked at the deli for one day...

   With OneCoin the subject of criminal prosecution a civil case against it was ordered stayed on August 23 by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Valerie Caproni.

  While Konstantin Ignatov's lawyer Jeffrey Einhorn's basis for the stay was "corresponding criminal prosecution," Judge Caproni also chided plaintiffs' lawyers at Levi & Kosinsky for failing to serve or show service on some of the defendants.

  Later in the day the firm wrote that "OneCoin Ltd. and Ruja Ignatova are domiciled in Bulgaria and are believed to be evading service. Sebastian Greenwood, similarly, is domiciled in Sweden, and is believed to be evading service." They are proposing service by Facebook, citing FTC v. Pecon Software Ltd, 2013 WL 4016272, at *5 (SDNY Aug. 7, 2013). Whether Judge Caproni will accept this is not yet clear. Inner City Press will continue to follow these cases.

August 19, 2019

In The Bronx Feliz Killed Victor Chafla From Ecuador Then in SDNY Got 32 Years in Otisville

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 16 – In sentencing a Kenyan drug lord to 25 years on the morning of August 16, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Victor Marrero said that later in the day he had on his docket a Bronx gang member facing 27 years for murder.

 Before 5 pm, Judge Marrero sentenced the man, Richard Feliz, to 32 years.

  While Feliz' guilty plea was to narcotics conspiracy and firearms, the government's sentencing submission recites that on March 25, 2015 Feliz was pursuing an opposing gang member. When this "opp" exited the 50 50 Deli at 1278 Morrison Avenue in The Bronx, "Feliz pointed the .40 gun down a crowded street and fired multiple times. His bullets missed... Instead, one of Feliz' bullets hit an innocent bystander, Victor Chafla, in the head."

   On August 16, one of Chafla's daughter gave a victim's impact statement in court. She spoke of her six other siblings, how their father came to the US from Ecuador to work to support them, how their father came to the US from Ecuador to support them, their pain, and that they wanted justice.