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For Drive By Shooting In The Bronx US Attorney Pled Jackson To 60 Months Given By SDNY Judge Castel

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 12 – Jerome Jackson conducted a drive-by shooting on Freeman Street and Prospect Avenue in the South Bronx on September 26, 2018. On September 12, 2019 he was sentenced to 60 months in prison, have been allowed to plead down to possession of ammunition. The drive-by, with three bullets, actually hit the target. Life is cheap, it seems, in The Bronx.

 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge P. Kevin Castel, who when he has discretion is creative in sentencing, here had none. He recited the facts of the shooting, and of the plea.

  One wonders what for example Circuit Judge Richard M. Sullivan, who recently criticized a U.S. Attorney's Office pled deal and warned that he will sentence higher, would have said. Who decided which crimes can be pled down like this, whose life is cheap? Inner City Press will have more on this.

Previously before Judge Castel: while many even most cases in the Magistrates Court of the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York are sealed, on June 13 SDNY US Attorney Geoffrey L. Berman announced the arrest and presentment of two middle aged men for murder for hire, and said they had already been presented in the Magistrates Court.

But even an hour later, the case file or docket for 19-cr-395 said "This case is under seal." Inner City Press asked, as to this and other murky Mag Court cases, Why? Now on July 26 Ramon Ramirez has been denied bail by District Judge P. Kevin Castel.

 Ramirez' lawyer Matthew J. Kluger argued that most of the case against his client is a cooperating witness with, he said, two gun charges against him in the SDNY and a VOSR. But Assistant US Attorney Celia V. Cohen said Ramirez gave a Mirandized statement in which he admitted to discussing putting the man his wife was having an affair with into a wheelchair, and to paying $2000.

  Judge Castel said that with Ramirez facing up to ten years in prison and possible deportation as a non-citizen, he is a risk to flee, and also a danger not only to the man who had the affair with his wife but also any possible witnesses against him. Judge Castel said he could not come up with any conditions to assure return to court and the safety of the community. The case is US v. Ramirez, 19-cr-395 (Castel).

 On June 19 Inner City Press went to cover the arraignment of the two men, who each with a CJA lawyer. Judge Castel asked, Is this death eligible?

 There was a silence.

 Finally Judge Castel was told, the murder didn't happen. He nodded, adding that there was no "learned counsel" requirement triggered.

 Back on June 13 Inner City Press asked, Why did a second man help the husband, Ramon Ramirez, to try to hire another man to kill the man they though was sleeping with the first man's wife?

  On July 22 Ramon Ramirez' lawyer Matthew J. Kluger of 888 Grand Concourse in The Bronx petitioned Judge Castel to let him client out on $250,000 bond. Ramirez came from Nicaragua in 1996 and does not have a passport now - but has an HVAC business, E and R Refrigeration Services.

  The witness against him, unnamed, is said by Kluger to have a "well documented history of committing violent and dishonest acts." How will Judge Castel deal with this? It starts at 11:30 am on July 26. Inner City Press hopes to have the beginning of the proceeding, and will catch up with the end. Watch this site.

   The announcement said, "Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the unsealing of a federal indictment charging VANCE COLLINS, a/k/a “Big AK,” 50, and RAMON RAMIREZ, a/k/a “Obendy,” 48, with hiring a hitman to murder an individual believed to be having an affair with RAMIREZ’s wife."

 In the courtroom gallery on June 19, other than Inner City Press, there was only a couple who stood up when the arraignment was over. Assistant US Attorney Allison Nichols asked to exclude time under the Speedy Trial Act and Judge Castel agreed. He told Vance Collins that he had known his CJA lawyer Gerald J. DiChiara for years and asked, Do you have any questions for me?

  No, Your Honor, Vance Collins said. The two men were led back into custody, but not before Ramirez' lawyer Matt Kluger said he might make an application for bail. Judge Castel said to make the application to him, not the Magistrates Court.

Inner City Press will follow this.


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