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Guard In Private Prison For Federal Cooperators Is Sentenced to 6 Months Starting Sept 3

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Decrypt - LightRead - Honduras - Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Feb 16 -- Three former correction officers at the GEO private prison in Queens, New York in which Federal cooperators are detained were arrested on March 5 and at 9 pm presented in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrates Court.

  The charges involve taking bribes in order to smuggle in drugs and a cell phone. 

  Assistant US Attorney Maurene Comey began with the first of the three defendants, saying that a $50,000 bond had been agreed to by defense counsel from Sullivan & Cromwell.   

Now on February 16, defendant Jermaine Harmon came up for sentencing after pleading guilty to count 1, conspiracy to commit offenses against the US, to wit, bribery. Judge Edgardo Ramos told Harmon it was a serious crime, noting the gun that made its way into the MCC and that cell phones create dangers.

   Harmon said he had disappointed many people and will not do it again. Judge Ramos sentenced him to six months - Otisville was mentioned - followed by two years supervised release. Self surrender is on September 3 (Judge Ramos said it his his understanding the New Yorkers will have access to vaccination for COVID-19 by summer).

Back in March for defendant Khari Faison, defense lawyer Sabrina Shroff said he should be released without bond. She said Faison already lost his job at the GEO private prison, and that he was arrested that morning at his new job, at Target.   

AUSA Comey emphasized to the week's Magistrates Court Judge, Kevin N. Fox, that Faison has broken his trust as a corrections officer and so should sign the bond to be released.

   Shroff replied that a private prison is different that a court, and that the Bail Reform Act does not support this use of bond. 

 Judge Fox, who had denied Shroff's request to release another client earlier in the evening - Inner City Press was the only media at these proceedings - seems to have agreed.

He ordered Faison released on his own recognizance, without bail or bond. This was upheld despite AUSA Jessica Lonergan's appeal on March 6, see below.  By constrast both Jermaine Harmon and Compton Richmond were required to sign $50,000 bonds. 

  AUSA Comey asked Judge Fox to stay his decision as to Faison to permit an appeal to the Part I judge.   Judge Fox denied the request, telling AUSA Comey she could appeal in the morning.   

 In fact, the appeal was at 4 pm before SDNY Part I Judge Daniels, and it was argued by AUSA Jessica Lonergan who again emphasized that Faison had breached trust as a private prison guard.

  Shroff for her part asked why the prosecutors had insisted on arresting Faison at Target, putting his job there in jeopardy, rather than allowing him to surrender like most white (collar) defendants.

  Judge Daniels agreed, saying he would not change the bail conditions accepted by Judge Fox. With the reversals by Judges Nathan and Cote, it left Judge Fox 1 and 2, or 1 out of 3, for the day. And there will be more days.

The case is US v. Harmon, 20-cr-549 (Ramos) 


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