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Victor Maisonet Pleads Guilty to Gun Running After Twice Denied Bail Despite COVID 19

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 21 -- Victor Maisonet has been imprisoned on charges of illegally possession and selling guns. His Federal Defenders filed a motion for release pending trial, citing Coronavirus COVID-19. 

 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff had, only half an hour before, released a defendant to home incarceration citing Coronavirus. But the issue in that case was risk of flight. For Maisonet, it was danger to the community. 

  Federal Defender Zawadi Baharanyi gamely argued that gun sales are generally not illegal, are even Constitutionally protected. (Maisonet is a felon, though). 

   Judge Rakoff took things in a different direction, stating that given the virus crisis, police are overtaxed and the standard for danger to community may be lower.  

 Federal Defender Baharanyi pointed to Rikers Island as a harbinger for the Federal prison system. Judge Rakoff said that Rikers has been a symbol of all that is wrong for 20 years, and that perhaps the Bureau of Prisons it doing a good job. He left open the possibility of a renewed application for release, but declined to grant this one.

 On July 17, Victor Maisonet was against denied release, as a danger to the community.

 On September 21, before Judge Rakoff, Victor Maisonet pleaded guilty to count 2 (but not count 1, firearms trafficking conspiracy).

The case is US v. Maisonet, 20-cr-118 (Rakoff).


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