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Man Who Pled To Importing Coke In Submarine Disputes Gun Enhancement So Pled Is Off

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 20 – Argemiro Zapata-Castro pleaded guilty in connection with importation by sea of cocaine - but then said he was not advised of a two-level enhancement for his role and for possession of a firearm.   

  On January 20, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul G. Gardephe held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.  

Judge Gardephe cited the defendant's letter to him, and said it would be difficult on this record to accept the plea. The defense lawyer explained how difficult it is to communicate with incarcerated clients during the COVID pandemic. 

AUSA Matthew Hellman describe the use of submarine-like vessels, and guns. It is the gun enhancement that is the sticking point.

Judge Gardephe said he cannot accept the plea and asked for a letter by February 19.

The case is US v. Zapata-Castro, 18-cr-601 (Gardephe)


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