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US Marshals Took Month To Fly Wire Fraudster Raji From Miami Not 10 Days In 12 USC 3161(h)(1)(F)

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, Feb 7 – Mustapha Raji was indicted for wire fraud in December 2019 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The indictment stated that Raji "received, and aided and abetted the receipt of, approximately $1.7 million in proceeds of a fraud scheme via a wire transfer from a bank in New York to a bank accounts in Florida controlled by a co-conspirator."  

Raji was arrested on December 20 in Miami. But it took 35 days from his to arrive in New York. This compares to anything more than 10 days being deemed unreasonable in 12 USC 3161(h)(1)(F), see below.

On January 22, Assistant US Attorney Dina McLeod wrote to assigned Judge Jesse M. Furman asking that time be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act. Judge Furman in a January 23 Order On Letter Motion that is not in PACER requested an explanation for the delay in transporting Raji to the SDNY.  

 On January 27 AUSA McLeod replied that back on January 7, the US Marshals Service entered a removal request into the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System, JPATS.   

She wrote, "In order to be cost effective, the USMS routes inmates through central hubs, rather than flying each inmate from his or her original location to his or her destination. JPATS indicated that the first flight available to the defendant from Miami to Oklahoma City (one of the USMS hubs) was on January 22, 2020. JPATS also indicated that the next flight available to the defendant from Oklahoma City to the SDNY was scheduled for February 4, 2020. According to the USMS, this route was chosen because it was the most direct route between the defendant's starting location and the SDNY."  

Inner City Press was present in the SDNY Magistrates Court when Mustapha Raji was finally presented before SDNY Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on February 5, @SDNYLIVE tweet here. He was detained on consent, set to finally appear before Judge Furman on February 7.

 Inner City Press went to Judge Furman's courtroom on February 7. Raji had a new lawyer; Judge Furman began by asking about the delay, specifically as it related to the Speedy Trial Act.

  AUSA McLeod said that the Speedy Trial Act clock only starts at indictment; Judge Furman cited 12 USC 3161(h)(1)(F): "delay resulting from transportation of any defendant from another district, or to and from places of examination or hospitalization, except that any time consumed in excess of ten days from the date an order of removal or an order directing such transportation, and the defendant’s arrival at the destination shall be presumed to be unreasonable." This was far more than ten days.

  We will stay on this case. It is US v. Raji, 19-cr-870 (Furman / Netburn). 


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