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After SDNY Bronx Gang Mass Presentment Edgardo Baranco Freed Over US Objection

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 24 -- Even amid the Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis, on March 17 Inner City Press reported that for a large Bronx gang "take-down" the Magistrates Court was being moved in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, to a large courtroom on the 24th floor. 

  The move came after complaints about group arraignments by defense lawyers, and calls for social distancing. Inner City Press covered seven proceedings in Courtroom 24B on March 17, on narcotics, immigration and "hoaxes."  

  On March 24, co-defendant Edgardo Baranco through counsel applied for and received release, albeit on conditions including no use of social media or the Internet. AUSA Andrew K. Chan opposed the release, but without success. The case is headed to SDNY District Judge Jesse Furman on May 4. It is US v. Arguedas, et al., 20-cr-135 (Furman).

  Back on the afternoon of March 18, from the US Attorney's Office Press Office, the other shoe dropped, see below. And on March 20 another defendant was brought in, on drugs and gun charges: Davonte Brown.

  Assistant US Attorney Andrew K. Chan said, "The government seeks detention." He attributed a gun in a car Brown was stopped in to Brown, and emphasized that Brown had posted on social media the names of co-defendants in the case.

  Defense lawyer Sabrina Shroff, representing Brown in the proceeding, said that while she doubt if Brown was reading the US Attorney's Office press release, he might  have been reading "Inner City Press reporting who was detained an who was released."

   SDNY Chief Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein, citing as he had throughout the day the Coronavirus crisis and new Pre Trial Services directive, offered Brown conditions of release. These included $75,000 bond, GPS location monitoring, and informing pre trial services of any elevated temperatures, fevers or sickness in the home. This is a new era and Inner City Press will continue to cover it. This case is US v. Brown, 20-cr-135 (Furman / Gorenstein).

  Back on March 18 US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman came in to watch, conferring briefly with his Assistant US Attorney Danielle Sassoon. (Downstairs in 5A, which US Attorney Berman also visited, his Office's request for a stay of a Dominican extraditee was denied by the presiding Magistrate Judge and appealed to Part 1).

  The legal issues in 24B were not confined to group presentments. For defendant Matthew Nieves, Berman's AUSA proposed release on the condition he not move back into 3063 Hull Avenue.

  But, his lawyer said, Nieves' wife and their two kids live there. Judge Aaron declined to impose that condition, and the prosecutors said they would appeal, presumably to the March 19 Part 1 judge, Chief Judge Colleen McMahon, whose deputy remained waiting until the end on March 20. Neither ruling was appealed.

The filing: "Indictment charging ALEXANDER ARGUEDAS, a/k/a “Reckless,” MICHAEL DELAGUILA, a/k/a “Grizz,” STEVEN JUSTO, a/k/a “Riko,” DAVONTE BROWN, a/k/a “Tae,” JACOBB PADIN, a/k/a “Chino,” EDGARDO BARANCO, a/k/a “Slime,” ABBAS OZKURT, a/k/a “AB,” JAHVONNE CHAMBERS, a/k/a “JV,” DENISE BULLOCK, a/k/a “Mocha,” SIMONE CORDERO, a/k/a “Mixy,” MATTHEW NIEVES, a/k/a “WB,” TYERANCE MICKEY, a/k/a “Hoodlum,” and MARK BROCK, a/k/a “Rover,” with racketeering, firearms, and narcotics offenses, in connection with their membership and association with the Black Stone Gorilla Gang (“BSGG”).  ARGUEDAS is also charged with the December 9, 2012, murder of Gary Rodriguez.  ANDRE CURRY, a/k/a “Flex,” is charged with narcotics and firearms offenses.                

  "Seven defendants were arrested today and will be presented this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron."  Watch this site. The case is US v. Arguedas, et al., 20-cr-135 (Furman).


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