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In SDNY Relapsing 69 Year Old Addict Vizzaro Was Mishandled By Probation Judge Pauley Implies

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 15 – While many even most cases in the Magistrates Court of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York are sealed or have no case number given, back in July before Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman things hit a new level of murkiness.  As Inner City Press reported, a 69 year old man was brought in in shackles, shivering and as it turned out in heroin withdrawal. But it was unclear on what authority he had been arrested. Judge Pitman asked as was told that Probation had conducted a home visit and found 35.9 grams of heroin and had hauled him in.

But it also turned out this his roommate, certainly an equally plausible owner of the heroin, was a convicted felon. Why Probation hadn't realized that in the one year the supervisee has lived there was unclear, as was the pronunciation of his name. Inner City Press had to guess: Bizari? Nisari? Pasari? There was no case numbers given, no New Presentments that day, nothing. We said, We'll have more on this.

And now we do. On August 15 before District Judge William H. Pauley, the individual appeared again, with the proposal he be released to a halfway house or a foster sister; referenced was made - sua sponte by Judge Pauley - to his also felon roommate. Later through the wonders of PACER in the SDNY Press Room we learned the defendant's name: Gino Vizzari. In a variation on Circuit Judge Richard S. Sullivan's criticism of the US Attorney's Office in the run up to the US v. Ernest Murphy trial Inner City Press is covering, Judge Pauley on August 15 questioned Probation.

When Gino Vizzari tested positive in May, why didn't they test him in June? There was no clear answer. Judge Pauley asked Vizzaro's lawyer Deborah A. Colson if she was arguing that the 36 grams of heroin were for personal use. She did not say no, leaving Judge Pauley exasperated, saying sometimes lawyers have to know when to just sit down.

 Judge Pauley said that when Vizzaro appeared before him days after Inner City Press saw him twitching in the Magistrates Court, Vizzero had locked like a "train wreck."

After a break, the Assistant US Attorney stopped pushing for the halfway house. Judge Pauley asked about real drug treatment then set a September 18 hearing. Come ready with your witnesses, he said. Outside, the courhouse was nearly empty.

Footnote: at 4 pm on August 15 before Judge Pauley, there was supposed to be a status conference with Uriah Brown in the US v. Felton case - but it seemed to not happen. Inner City Press will stay on these cases.



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