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Venezuela Private Jetter Mones Pled Guilty Gets Orsini Quintero Gets Church & Test for PTSD

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE,  Feb 26 – Victor Mones Coro was charged with brokering private passenger air travel for Tareck Zaidan El Aissami Maddah - and like co-defendant Michols Orsini Quintero was given his discovery late by the US, mixed with other DHS info, see report on November 11 filing, below.

  On January 4, Mones Coro appeared before
U.S. District Court for the Southern District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein to plead guilty. His lawyer said there were contacts with intelligence service(s) but that the issue would come up as mitigation at sentencing, which Inner City Press also intends to cover.

  On February 19, with Michols Orsini Quintero's release to home confinement in Florida to review the extensive discovery running out mid March, Judge Hellerstein held another proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.

  AUSA Sam Adelsberg pushed for Orsini Quintero to return to jail on March 15. Judge Hellerstein seemed to agree, but told defense lawyer Sabrina Shroff to "make a record" for his decision or for appeal. So expect some affidavits and legal arguments. Shroff emphasized that there is not even a trial date, and that her client was only a pilot.

On February 25, Shroff wrote to Judge Hellerstein requesting modifications of conditions of bail, specifically to receiving mental health evaluation a treatment, and to attend a house of worship "as religion and God are a source of comfort for Mr. Orsini."

And on February 26, Judge Hellerstein granted it: "MEMO ENDORSEMENT as to Michols Orsini Quintero on re: [183] LETTER by Michols Orsini Quintero addressed to Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein from Sabrina P. Shroff dated February 25, 2021 re: Modification of conditions of release. ENDORSEMENT: So Ordered. (Signed by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein on 2/26/2021)."

 This case is US v. Coro, 19-cr-144 (Hellerstein)

 Some background: on November 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Magistrates Court Alejandro Marin, described as having access to Venezuelan private planes, El Aissami and Venezuela's minister of crypto-currency, was ordered detained. It was not announced, but Inner City Press found it, and tweeted: with no announcement in advance, there is a defendant in SDNY Magistrates Court that DOJ is seeking to detain as a flight risk, he flies private plane and, AUSA says, knows Venezuela's minister of crypto-currency.

 They kept calling him Marin - quickly seemed it was  Alejandro Marin, witness against Venezuelans Vice President El Aissami and his alleged frontman, businessman Samark Lopez - now accused of lying. Inner City Press can report: he is being ordered detained .

  We said, We'll have more on this. And now we do. In Orsini Quintero's counsel Sabrina Shroff's letter dated December 10, she recounts that "On December 8, 2020, the Court ordered the government “to produce by Thursday, December 10, 2020 at noon, at to both defendants, its estimate of probable applications of the sentencing guidelines.” ECF No. 153. Knowing full well the difficulties the parties, the Bureau of Prisons, and the Court have scheduling remote court appearances, and while also cognizant of legal calls can only be arranged 4 days in advance, the government waited until just 24 hours before the bail argument to file its substantive opposition to Mr. Orsini Quintero’s bail motion. Sadly, this type of gamesmanship is typical of the government’s conduct in this case."

 And at a December 11 proceeding, there was more gamesmanship. After Judge Hellerstein said he was going to grant Shroff's request to free her client to Florida to assist in his defense, AUSA Sam Adelsberg suddenly announced there is an immigration detainer against him.

Judge Hellerstein said that could be address in an order, since he would retain jurisdiction. He asked Shroff and Adelsberg to finalize an order for him by December 16.

  On December 15, Adelsberg filed a proposed order, including that "the defendant is temporarily released for the preparation of his defense, pursuant to 18 USC 3142(i) to the custody of the Court's Pretrial Services supervision arm, and shall not be subject to the custody of ICE for the duration of his temporary release." It also says he he must "refrain from accessing the website of any consulate or embassy."

 Inner City Press will continue to cover this case -- Mones will now have his (re-) pleading proceeding by December 29. Watch this site.

It is said that Marin, a Confidential Source, "repeatedly approached Mr. Orsini Quintero's wife and question her about her husband's trial...The Government merely had the same agents who were handling the CS ask the CS about these concerns." Both then denied them.

  Marin told his handlers, "Why is so difficult to help to expedite something that is eminient [sic] like my citizenship?" He arguably committed immigration fraud. His adulterous relationship are referred to, followed by a redacted sentence.

Now on November 24 from Judge Hellerstein, this: "ORDER denying [140] LETTER MOTION Sanctions for late delivery of production, and bail as to Michols Orsini Quintero (4). The governments late productions of Rule 16 and Brady and Giglio evidence is not responsible for the approximately 20 months of defendants detention. Defendant has not shown an inability to process the governments production while remaining in detention, but the court remains open to applications for temporary release under conditions pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3142 (i). Defendants motion for bail is denied. The government has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that defendants capabilities as a pilot of chartered aircraft make him a flight risk. I8 U.S.C. 3142(e); U.S. v. English, 629 F.3D 311, 319 (2d Cir. 2011).. (Signed by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein on November 24, 2020)."

   In October, Judge Hellerstein held a publicly-noticed proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 

 It emerged that AUSA Amanda Houle has made ex parte sealed filings with Judge Hellerstein, with not a wisp of them in the docket.

There was a discussion of showing some but not all of the information to Orsini's lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, on an "attorney's eyes only" basis. Shroff, to her credit, pushed back.

 On October 28, Judge Hellerstein held another proceeding after the US Attorney's Office late-produced some eight terabytes of information, more than double the volume it produced before one of the co-defendant pleaded guilty. This is post the US v. Nejad case Inner City Press has reported on and in which it anticipates making a filing - watch this site.

  While Shroff is still digging through the terabytes, attorney Christine Chung was  mulling withdrawing Victor Mones Coro's plea.

Mones moved to withdraw the plea; the Court accepted the withdrawal of plea.

  Now on November 11, Mones has requested sanctions, stating that on October 25 the US Attorney's Office turned over a hard drive containing, erroneously, "confidential material regarding another investigation that DHS had mistakenly copied onto the drive." We'll have more on this.

In the interest of increased transparency, here is the October 28 transcript, on Inner City Press' DocumentCloud, here.

And Inner City Press' filing to further unseal in Nejad has been docketed.

This case is US v. Orsini Quintero, 19-cr-144 (Hellerstein)


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