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In Murky SDNY Piskacek Pled To Lesser Included Pot Then Letter Redacted AUSA Says Conference Closed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 18 – While many or even most cases in the Magistrates Court of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York are sealed or have case numbers given only later, on September 20 Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang accepted the guilty plea to the lesser included offense of marijuana distribution, not Oxy, from a man with a B.A. in international business. He did not seem happy. Judge Wang asked, are you feeling alright today?

  "As good as I can be," Dejan Piskacek answered. His lawyer Ezra Spilke asked SDNY Judge Valier E. Caproni to an extension of time for motions in limine, to work out a plea. And now it's done - or was. At the time on September 20 Inner City Press reported, "We will try to cover the sentencing on the less included offense."

But on October 3, in the docket, Ezra Spilke wrote that "I have cause to believe that Mr. Paskacek may wish to withdraw his plea of guilty on the basis that it was the result of ineffective assistance of counsel."

In an October 7 letter largely redacted, without explanation, Spilke asked for and got another court date: October 18. Inner City Press went to cover the so-called SOAR conference. But when it got there, AUSA Christopher Clore said that it was a closed conference that even he, the prosecutor, had been asked to leave. Strange indeed.

Afterward, the docket reflected that the plea was accepted, and a January 17 sentencing date was set. Again, we will try to follow this case. But why are the letters redacted, and the conferences called closed by the US Attorney's office?

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.


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