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After Bronx Drug Takedown Related Cases In Inwood and Midtown Deli Presented in SDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
Honduras - The Source - The Root - etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 20 – Following up on a November 13 indictment and presentments for a narcotics conspiracy centered around Elliot Place and the Grand Concourse in The Bronx, on November 20 another slew of defendants were presented before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.

  While they were put into a US Attorney's Office press release, many had separate cases. Even within a single case distinctions were made. Dan Cuevas an employee of Salumeria deli in Manhattan was ordered released on bail; his co-worker Edward Rodriguez was ordered remanded. Both are in US v. Delgado, et al., 19 Cr. 817 (Kaplan / Netburn), summarized as: "between October 2018 and November 2019, MARIO DELGADO, 32, DANIEL CUEVAS, 27, and EDWARD RODRIGUEZ, 30, conspired to sell 100 grams and more of Acetyl Fentanyl (which is an analogue of Fentanyl), Fentanyl, and Oxycodone.  Members of the conspiracy distributed narcotics in and around the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan."

  Meanwhile both Javier Janiel and Juan Peralta consented to detention without prejudice to a later application, in the case called US v. Melo, et al., 19 Cr. 818 (Gardephe / Netburn).

    Back on November 13 Assistant US Attorney Frank J. Balsamello argued at length for the detention of defendant Jonathan Rodriguez, emphasizing a charge of felony hit and run in Miami and disputes whether his claimed employment in a grocery store is true.   

Pre-Trial Services had called Rodriguez' girlfriend who had not, they said, confirmed any such employment. (Distrust of law enforcement might explain that.) Judge Parker said Pre-Trial Service had been unable to find the grocery store at all, perhaps a difference between the name on the awning and the legal name.

    Judge Parker asked Balsamello if he was saying that Rodriguez and his proposed co-signers were judgment proof. He agreed.

     Minutes later in denying bond among the numerous factors cited by Judge Parker including the opioid and gun crises was that Rodriguez and his proposed co-signers were of limited means and so the bond might provide insufficient incentive. This amid a trend, at least at the state level, away from cash bail.

    There remain in the case four sealed defendants. But it has been assigned to Judge Sidney H. Stein. The case is US v. Marte, et al., 19-cr-795 (Stein / Parker).

   The previous day two defendants who allegedly defrauded Park Avenue Bank were presented and pled not guilty in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate court on November 12, and were both quickly released on $500,000 bond each.

     Inner City Press was there, as were a number of the defendants' supporters and at least three privately retained lawyers including Benjamin Brafman.

    The US Attorney's Office announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging attorney Mendel Zilberberg, a former director of Park Avenue Bank and Aron Fried with bank fraud and related charges for perpetrating a fraudulent scheme to obtain a $1.4 million loan to a straw borrower on the basis of false statements and misrepresentations. Zilberberg was also separately charged with embezzlement and misappropriation of Bank funds while he was a director and insider of the Bank.

      Magistrate Judge Katharine A. Parker asked what time the defendants had been arrested. Assistant US Attorney Sagar K. Ravi said at 6 am; he has already summarized the terms of release to a pre-trial services offer.  

Judge Parker asked each man who he pled - not guilty - and then jotted down the terms of their release. For Zilberberg it was a $500,000 bond secured by his home in Moncey, New York, with mental health treatment as needed and travel to New Jersey and Florida.

     Fried didn't secure his $500,000 bond with property but rather three co-signers; he can travel also to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. His lawyer, who had before Judge Parker began said with apparent sarcasm, Wait until you see the notorious violent criminals coming out, asked that the Marshals take his ankle irons off. This occured as the next presentment, of a defendant whose supporters down from The Bronx included a baby, was prepared.

   The case is US v. Zilberberg and Fried, 19-cr-802 (Daniels / Parker). The next appearance is set for December 3 at 10 am. Inner City Press will continue to follow this case


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