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Amid Covid In Person Sentencing of Gun Seller Fermin Is One Year From SDNY Judge Rakoff

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, Feb 17 – Juan Fermin was released on bail on charges of firearms trafficking in January 2020, before the declared Coronavirus pandemic.  

But on March 24 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff was informed of Fermin's alleged violations of conditions of release, including "overnight departures from his residence and non-responsiveness to Pretrial Services." 

  Now on February 17, in a rare in-person proceeding, Fermin came up for sentencing on the underlying gun selling charge. Judge Rakoff wore a mask and Fermin's family and supporters, a half a dozen, sat in arm chairs where the gallery benches used to be.

  Inner City Press went to cover it, and sat in an arm chair in the back. Judge Rakoff listened to the arguments and then imposed a sentence of 12 months imprisonment, then three years of supervised release. There was a brief colloquy about juvenile or youthful offenses, and then it was over. 

  The case is US v. Ferman, 20-cr-148 (Rakoff)

  Back on April 2 Fermin and his Federal Defender belatedly appeared for a bail hearing before SDNY Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave. Inner City Press was the only media covering it that day - and on April 23, and again on June 23, see below.

The Federal Defender said Fermin will remain in his house in Patterson, New Jersey but asked that he be allowed to go to a paved backyard behind it. 

  Judge Cave agreed that Fermin can go out to his yard between 12-1 pm and 4-5 pm, and nowhere else without authorized by Pretrial Services.

   Jump cut three weeks forward, a hearing was held by Judge Cave on a report by Pre-Trial Services "Intensive Supervision Specialist" Bernisa M. Mejia that Juan Fermin on April 17 left the house, not just the backyard, at 10:22 am and did not return until 3 am.

  His Federal Defender said Fermin was distraught at the death of a friend and went to a music studio. (Echoes of #6ix9ine, who on April 23 after for two hours a week in his backyard, to make music videos as Inner City Press first reported here).

  Judge Cave offered condolences but said many are facing death of friend these days of pandemic. She told Fermin if he violates his conditions of release again she will sign an arrest warrant. He said he understood.

  In May Probation again requested direction. Judge Cave said a hearing was not needed, but in writing reminded Fermin "that he is only permitted to visit his backyard during two one-hour periods previously set by the Court."

  On June 23, another hearing. Fermin's Federal Defender said it wasn't like he went out on the town in New York. Judge Cave said this was a final warning.

  Now on January 12, another VOSR hearing, before Judge Rakoff. He ordered Fermin detained starting January 13 at 11 am, and noted that whatever time he serves, he'll get credit for.

  The case is US v. Fermin, 20-cr-148 (Rakoff / Cave).


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