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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 usSee, in Nov 2021, Inner City Press' book "Belt and Roadkill," here

August 8, 2022

In Case By Rosario Imprisoned 20 Years Then Freed NYPD on Lineup as Facebook Post is Out

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
Honduras - CIA Trial Book - NY Mag - VLOG

SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 4 – Richard Rosario spend twenty years in prison for the murder of Jorge Collazo - and then had his conviction vacated and was not re-tried. He sued. 

 On July 19, 2022 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lorna G. Schofield held a final pre-trial conference, before the jury trial set to begin on July 25. Inner City Pres is covering the case. 

  Rosario is suing for the violation of his constitutional rights by Irwin Silverman, Gary Whitaker, Richard Martinez and Charles Cruger, who investigated the 1996 murder.

  In a pre-trial memo, Rosario says he will testify for four hours, and Whitaker and Martinez for four to six hours each. Three witnesses to the murder will be called, and alibi witnesses that Rosario was in Florida at the time of the murder.

One possible witness, Lyamari Leon, is described as testifying about an "alternative theory and motive for the murder of Jorge Collazo."

  The defense says it will call former ADA Jeanne Patrauskas, for an hour. There will be DD5s and crime scene photos, and Dateline interview transcripts. 

On July 26, with Inner City Press in the gallery, Rosario's lawyer and the NYC lawyer questioning witness Ms. Ruiz and Inner City Press live tweeted it here and below.

Later on July 26 the City filed a letter that is Dr. Parker should be allowed to testify about Rosario's allegedly "predatory" behavior including Facebook posts and videos regarding Defendant officers, and a 1994 rape charge. The City argues that Rosario's "lack of remorse, in general, is highly relevant as it is a 'hallmark' of an APSD diagnosis." Things are getting nasty. City letter on Patreon here.

On July 29, with Courtroom 110 still locked, things got nastier still. The City wrote to Judge Schofield emphasizing that Rosario's vacatur of conviction had nothing to do with negligence by the police officers, or innocence. They want to tell the jury it was the criminal defense lawyer who didn't investigate the alibis. But don't police and prosecutors, and judges, have duties to do justice? Supposedly it will resume on August 1.

From July 26 in court: Ok - now at Richard Rosario v NYC after he spent 20 years in prison for Bronx murder on 6/19/96 when 13 people swear he was in Florida

Rosario's lawyer, to 1 of 13, Ms Ruiz: Did the NYPD ever reach out to you?

NYPD's counsel: Objection!

Judge Scholfield : Overruled.

Cross. NYC lawyer: Good morning, Ms Ruiz. Did you ever call the police?

Ruiz: No. NYC lawyer: You never testified in the 1998 murder trial? Ruiz: I did not. NYC lawyer: People smoke pot in your building then, right? Ruiz: It was a social thing that people did.

 NYC lawyer: Why do you remember Richard Rosario being there? Ruiz: Because of the crime. NYC lawyer: But that's looking back. Did an investigator for Rosario contact you in 2002? Ruiz: Yes.

 NYC lawyer: Did Rosario's lawyers pay for your travel, hotel and room service? Ruiz: Yes. NYC lawyer: DId they prepare you for your 2019 deposition? Ruiz: Maybe. NYC lawyer: And you spoke with them last night? Ruiz: Yes.

NYPD lawyer: Isn't it true Rosario had a romantic relationship with Denise Hernandez? Rosario's lawyer: Objection! Ruiz: I don't know. NYPD lawyer: But you know his wife, right?

Seated NYC lawyer is passing Post It notes to colleague who's cross examining Ruiz. Now she shows Ruiz print outs of Rosario's text message to her, that she can't testify unless she talks to the lawyers 1st. And that the trial is "not for peanuts."

On August 1, investigating officer Whitaker was on the witness stand, and was asked among other things where he showed the "mug book" to hotdog vendor Jose Diaz. Inner City Press live tweeted here:

in resumed trial of Rosario v NYC, Police Officer Whitaker on witness stand is being asked why part of the homocide investigation file was withheld. 

Rosario's lawyer: Does this Polaroid of Richard Rosario have the same number as the one shown to Mr Davis in the mug book? Whitaker: Yes.

 Q: Wasn't that suggestive? Whitaker: That's hypothetical.

 Q: The photo you showed of Mr Rosario was from 3 years earlier, when he was 17, right?

Whitaker: I didn't do the math. But if you say so.

[Rosario walks out of courtroom. Lawyer follows and asks, You OK? ]

Now on screen, DD-5 after interview of the hotdog seller, Jose Diaz.

 Q: The shooter and his accomplice bought coffee from him, right?

Whitaker: That's what we heard.

On August 2 with witness Torres testifying (again) about Rosario being in his residence in Florida at the time of the Bronx murder, the cross examination again got into money for testimony, this time zeroing in on his brother with whom Torres says he does get along, here

in resumed trial of Rosario v NYC, Torres on witness stand is being asked by City why his brother said he should get paid for his testimony.

City: In 2016 you said Richard Rosario slept in a car on June 19 [1996], right? Torres: I was trying to piece it together.

City's lawyer: You said you worked at a toll booth. But your wife said you were unemployed.

Torres: I had a lot of odd jobs.

  He'd said he said he was working at the toll both to not seem like a loser.

On August 3, the second / "sweeper" witness of the murder was on the stand; Inner City Press live tweeted here

now in Rosario v NYC, then-sweeper shooting witness on stand, says repeatedly, I don't remember. Except he heard, You won't do it again.

 Redirect.

Rosario's lawyer: Mr Davis, the man who interviewed you in your house, was he with Rosario's team?

NYC lawyer: Objection!

Davis: You don't to hear my answer!

Several jurors laugh.

Davis: May I say something? What he filmed in my house shouldn't even have been in the show!

On August 4, where was action in the courtroom and outside of it. Thread here:

Ok- now in Rosario v NYC, former NYPD detective is being questioned by Rosario's lawyer about photo array / line up. 

Q: all other 5 in his line up on July 9 [1996] were more than 10 years older than Mr. Rosario, correct?

Ex detective; Yes. But I don't go by age. Now Ms Leon - by deposition transcript.

Earlier on August 4, Judge Schofield excludes from trial Rosario's social media "postings about his damages being comparable to a Holocaust survivor," ruling that "any probative value is outweighed by the potential for prejudice under Federal Rule of Evidence 403"

  Vlog here; coverage will continue.

The case is Rosario v. City of New York, et al., 18-cv-4023 (Schofield)

August 1, 2022

Child Sex Trafficking Trial Has Jurors Asking If Can Rely on Passport That Camila Was 16

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC - Honduras - CIA Trial Book - NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 29 – Martin Conception is on trial for child sex trafficking.   

  On July 27, 2022 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge J. Paul Oetken was presiding over the trial. Inner City Press went and covered it. 

 On the stand was a Ms. Rodriguez, who testified she was 16 years old when she was prostituted out by a trio including Concepcion a/k/a Tito.

Judge Oekten admonished some of those in the courtroom gallery for gesticulating during the testimony and said if it continued, they would be removed.   

The events described took place in The Bronx around 184th Street and Creston Avenue, and Valentine Avenue. Tito got shot, but did not go to the hospital, at least not immediately. 

  Concepcion's defense counsel repeatedly asked Rodriguez about her previous prostitution, and how many months she had been missing.

A long sidebar in the robing room ensued.

On July 28, things had already reached the charging conference. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here:

now the jury charge conference. In the same 40 Foley Square #GhislaineMaxwell was convicted in, for this graphic trafficking trial there are only 7 people in the gallery: 4 supporters of defendant, 2 Court Security Officers watching over them, and Inner City Press. Judge cites strict liability

 Judge: Jury must find if defendant rectuited for or benefited from trafficking

Defendant, in a re-used prison suit though jury's not here for charging conference, is reading the draft charge over his appointed lawyer's shoulder. Charge is agreed.

 On July 29, the closing arguments, including this rebuttal summation, here:

AUSA David Robles says all defense did was blame the victim, Camila. Thread below AUSA: Bigga texted the defendant and told him to lie low after the FBI raid on his apartment. He put Camila's photos in an ad online, then was in the apartment with a gun.

AUSA: He was a pimp. Rico, the cooperator, shuts the door. Yes he committed terrible crimes agsinst Camila. He gets 20 years if he lies.

AUSA: Camila was 16. You have her passport. Defendant trafficked her. Find him guilty. Thank you.

But it wasn't that simple. At 4 pm on July 29, there was note. Inner City Press live tweeted here

All rise! Judge Oetken: The jury has asked for Camila's testimony, and if they can rely on Camila's passport for her age.

 Jury entering! Judge Oetken: We'll answer your questions Monday. Don't read about the case over the weekend. A juror: Can we take the instructions home? Judge: Please leave your notes and the instructions here. [Jurors leave]

 Judge: On the passport, write me or we'll talk Monday morning.

Defense lawyer: I have an EDNY video arraignment Monday 9 am.

But answers will be given to the jurors, and deliberations will proceed...

Meanwhile we have heard from a family member but are waiting to hear more.

The case is US v. Concepcion, 19-cr-883 (Oetken) 

July 25, 2022

Trial for Richard Rosario Imprisoned 20 Years Then Freed For Murder of Collazo in The Bronx Kicks Off July 25 in SDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC - Honduras - CIA Trial Book - NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 22 – Richard Rosario spend twenty years in prison for the murder of Jorge Collazo - and then had his conviction vacated and was not re-tried. He sued. 

 On July 19, 2022 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lorna G. Schofield held a final pre-trial conference, before the jury trial set to begin on July 25. Inner City Pres is covering the case. 

  Rosario is suing for the violation of his constitutional rights by Irwin Silverman, Gary Whitaker, Richard Martinez and Charles Cruger, who investigated the 1996 murder.

  In a pre-trial memo, Rosario says he will testify for four hours, and Whitaker and Martinez for four to six hours each. Three witnesses to the murder will be called, and alibi witnesses that Rosario was in Florida at the time of the murder.

One possible witness, Lyamari Leon, is described as testifying about an "alternative theory and motive for the murder of Jorge Collazo."

  The defense says it will call former ADA Jeanne Patrauskas, for an hour. There will be DD5s and crime scene photos, and Dateline interview transcripts. 

The case is Rosario v. City of New York, et al., 18-cr-4023 (Schofield)

July 18, 2022

On Charge of Trafficking 20 Guns, Bronxite Released on Unsecured Bond Amid Late Proffered Info

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY MAG COURT EXCLUSIVE, July 15 -  In the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on July 15, a detention or release proceeding was held by Magistrate Judge James L. Cott on a defendant charged with trafficking 20 guns into New York City. Inner City Press was there.

  The US Attorney's Office had announced: "BRANDY ARIAS was charged with firearms trafficking and traveling interstate with intent to engage in firearms trafficking, in connection with her illegally selling firearms in the Bronx, New York.  ARIAS was arrested yesterday and will be presented today before Magistrate Judge James L. Cott in Manhattan federal court."

 During the proceeding, with Inner City Press the only media present, the Assistant US Attorney emphasized Arias' trips to Florida and the Dominican Republic. Judge Cott was not convinced, and took the AUSA to task for interrupting or seeking to interrupt his ruling. Whatever was late proffered was not considered, and it does not appear that any appeal has been taken.

The US Attorney's Office says, " From about March 2022 to July 2022, BRANDY ARIAS illegally sold twenty firearms, as well as ammunition and magazines, to an undercover law enforcement officer in the Bronx, New York.  These sales occurred on eight different occasions, including in the middle of the day near a residential building and outside of a fast-food restaurant.      As part of the scheme, in or about June 2022 and July 2022, ARIAS traveled between New York and Florida for the purpose of obtaining firearms to illegally resell in New York.  On at least two occasions shortly after traveling to Florida, ARIAS sold firearms to the UC in the Bronx.     On July 14, 2022, ARIAS met the UC outside of a fast-food restaurant in the Bronx with the intent to sell the UC an additional firearm.  At that time, ARIAS was arrested."

There followed in the Mag Court after Ms. Arias another defendant for whom the AUSA requested, and got, the entire proceeding and docket sealed, "to leave things open." We'll have more on this.

The docketed case is US v. Arias , 22-mj-5818 (Cott)

July 11, 2022

For George Floyd Protest Arrest in Bronx' Mott Haven Margolies Sues NYC So MTD July 19

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 4 – Rebecca Margolies while doing jail support at a George Floyd protest in Mott Haven in The Bronx on June 4, 2020 was arrested. Now she has sued.

  On July 1, 2022 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge P. Kevin Castel held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 

Judge Castel reminded the parties he has ruled on several of these 2020 policing cases.

He offered the plaintiff the chance to amend the complaint but the offer was declined.

He said the defendants have until July 19 to move to dismiss, and does a conference for November 4 at 10:30 am.

The case is Margolies v. The City Of New York , et al., 21-cv-10839 (Castel)

July 4, 2022

Bronx Defendant Is Denied Bail With Rap Lyrics Quoted By Prosecutors in SDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 28  – A young man detained as part of a Bronx gang case asked lastweek to be released on bail. But the US Attorney's Office opposed it, citing among other things rap lyrics.

On June 24, 2022 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff held an in-person bond hearing. Inner City Press went and covered it. 

The Assistant US Attorney, beyond describing bullets in a backpack said the defendant has appeared in videos on YouTube with lyrics such as "they call me war" and "I'll empty my ten round clip... hunt you down because you rat us out." 

 Judge Rakoff found a danger to the community (and did mention songs and videos, and much else). The defendant remains detained.

The overall case is US v. Done, 22-cr-192 (Rakoff)

June 27, 2022

For Fake Loans At Bronx Auto Dealership Eduar Vidal Found Guilty After Plea Rejected

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 21 –  Eduar Vidal is facing trial on bank fraud charges, for a scheme in which the auto dealership he ran processed faked auto loans.  

 On May 27, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Denise L. Cote held an in-person final pre-trial conference. Inner City Press went and covered it.  

 Judge Cote put on the record that the US Attorney's Office offered Vidal a plea deal for 18 to 24 months, which he rejected.

   The Assistant US Attorney took to the podium, took off his mask and said if Vidal pleads guilty before trial without a deal the guidelines would be 41 to 51 months. If he goes to trial and is found guilty, the AUSA said, it would be 51 to 63 months - to some, a form of penalty.

  Judge Cote turned to motions in limine, whether statements by those whose names were on the auto loan applications will be admissible as statements of conspirators.

Vidal sought to keep them out, as well as his immigration status and Dominican citizenship. The statements are in, but immigration out.

Jump cut to June 21: Judge Cote summoned the parties, including the defendant, to appear at 9 am with the charging conference. Then the closing arguments - Vidal's able lawyer said only an honest man would have consulted his lawyer, Nelson Rosado - and then, at 4 pm, the verdict.

Inner City Press was there, as were some 15 other people, seemingly supporters of the defendant. The verdict? Count 1: Guilty. Count 2: guilty. Judge Cote thanked the jurors for their service. And it was cover, at least the trial phase.

The trial is set to being June 14. The case is US v. Vidal, 21-cr-726 (Cote)

June 20, 2022

Workers At Bronx Parking Lot Are Denied Minimum Wage and Overtime As No Records Kept

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 17 – Dionisio Castillo and others sued 169th Street Parking Corporation, Bishop Joseph Alexander and Raymond Lopez for not paying minimum wage or overtime.

 On June 17, 2022 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.

  The defense's lawyer disputed if the named plaintiff ever worked for the Parking Corporation.

 He said they might have been brought up by Ray Lopez. He was asked, don't you keep records? Apparently not enough.

Judge Parker told the defense to conduct a reasonable seach for responsive records; there will be a settlement conference on August 24 at 10 am.

The case is Castillo et al v. ELG Parking Inc et al., 21-cv-2550 (Torres / Parker)

June 13, 2022

NYCHA Says Moving a Tenant Can Take a Year even in Cases of Domestic Violence

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 10 – An NYC public housing tenant who says she cannot sleep in her apartment in the Linden Houses sued for the right to move elsewhere. But the City says such moves can take up to one year, even in cases of domestic violence.    

  On June 10, 2022 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lewis J. Liman held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.

Judge Liman inquired into the various types of vouchers, and into an apartment in Sheepsheads Bay which doesn't have an oven. The Bronx was in the air.

Also in the air was whether this Jane Doe is "jumping the line" of some more urgently needing to transfer within NYCHA.

The case is Doe v. New York City Housing Authority et al., 22-cv-4460 (Liman)

June 6, 2022

Fair Housing Case Against 25 Brucker Blvd in The Bronx Needs New Expert by June 24

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book