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In SDNY Murky Mag Court Secret Sidebar on MS-13 Defendant Consented To By AUSA

By Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 17 – 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 October 17 before Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron a defense lawyer asked to make an argument withheld from the public at sidebar - and the Assistant US Attorney, Michael D. Longyear, consented to the secrecy.

The defendant  Gustavo Llevano-Rivera was in the MS-13 indictment on which Inner City Press reported on October 16, here and below.

Judge Aaron after several minutes of whispering said on the record the general topic - "financially responsible person" - but not the content. The problem, into which Inner City Press is inquiring, is that unlike situations at sentencing where a District Judge might have a court reporter for such an initially-sealed sidebar, in the Magistrates Court for bond hearing there is no court reporter.    While an audio recording is made for subsequent transcription, it does not appear that SDNY Magistrates Court sidebars are recorded. So it's... gone.  This is also the case with Magistrate Judge's discussions in the robing room with Pre-Trial Services and, as happened in the penultimate case on the evening of October 17, with the AUSA and prospective defense attorney. 

On October 16 three MS-13 suspects were presented, each with a financial affidavit and CJA lawyer, and were quickly remanded to detention on consent. Alongside a prosecution before SDNY Judge Kevin Castel of narco-corruption to the very top of Honduras  - JOH - the US Attorney announced (that is, promoting the indictment but then the next day consenting to a secret sidebar concerning one of the defendants) "an Indictment charging AMILCAR ROMERO, a/k/a “Soldado,” JAIME SANTANA, a/k/a “Smiley,” JOSE GARCIA, a/k/a “Tricky,” and ALEXANDER RIVERA, a/k/a “Extrano,” with racketeering conspiracy and narcotics distribution conspiracy.  CRISTIAN GUERRERO-MELGARES, a/k/a “Enigma,” and GUSTAVO LLEVANO-RIVERA are charged in the narcotics conspiracy count.  Several defendants also face firearms  charges.

 GARCIA, GUERRERO-MELGARES, and RIVERA were arrested this morning and w[ere] be presented today before Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron.  SANTANA was arrested last night and will be presented today in the Middle District of Tennessee.  ROMERO is currently in state custody in California on other charges and will be transferred to federal custody in New York and presented at a later date.  LLEVANO-RIVERA remains at large.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III. "

This is the murky Mag Court -and murky SDNY and US Attorney, including on its partial prosecutions of UN corruption. 

Inner City Press will stay on these cases.



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