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Edwin Alamo With Asthma Got 60 Month Sentence After Property Taken Now Still In

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 12 – Edwin Alamo, a 25-year old Bronxite with asthma incarcerated in lower Manhattan in the Metropolitan Correctional Center amid the Coronavirus pandemic, had an hour-long bail hearing on April 7 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Richard M. Berman.

  Then he had a sentencing on August 24, after a COVID-19 quarantine in which all of his belongings were taken and, it seems, destroyed.

   Alamo could not easily have been before a more sympathetic judge. After one of his relatives described Alamo trying to get treatment for asthma at Einstein Hospital in The Bronx in February 2019, Judge Berman called the whole situation heartbreaking and tragic. 

  But unlike for example cooperator Daniel Hernandez a/k/a Tekashi #6ix9ine, also with asthma, and unlike convicted OneCoin money launderer Mark Scott, Edwin Alamo was not released.

  On June 3, Alamo appeared by phone before Judge Berman to plead guilty. His lawyer Bennett Epstein said he would prefer video, but would leave it up to his client.

  Judge Berman said that video is better, and said the MCC and MDC should have rooms for this, going forward, and for attorney client meetings.

  After a possible new date of June 15 was offered, Alamo said he wanted to do it immediately, to get the ball rolling and get out of the COVID-filled jail.

   He recounted that he went to high school on Jennings Street. He pled guilty and the earliest he could be sentenced was July 22.

 That didn't happen. It was moved to August 4, then delayed again due to COVID-19 quarantine. When Alamo was allowed to return to his unit, all of his property was gone, his lawyer said.

  Judge Berman eschewed consecutive sentencing on the VOSR and imposed the mandatory minimum, sixty months. He wished Alamo well.

  Now on May 12, this: "This Decision & Order resolves Defendant Edwin Alamo, Jr.'s motion for compassionate release, dated April 14, 2021 and filed by defense counsel Mitchell Elman ("Compassionate Release Motion" or "Motion"). For the reasons stated below, Mr. Alamos Motion is respectfully denied.(See Footnote 1 on this Decision & Order).... VI. Conclusion & Order: The Government's request to file Exhibits A-B (BOP medical records) under seal is granted. The Defendant's Compassionate Release Motion [Dck. # 39] is respectfully denied."

   Back on April 7, 2020 after Assistant US Attorney Daniel Wolf questioned the relative about the walk-up apartment building in which Alamo would be staying, and his failure to fill his prescription for an asthma pump (the relative said he has not health insurance), the legal standard was not met. 

 Judge Berman found both that Alamo if released would present a danger to the community, and a risk of flight given the amount of time he faces on drug courier and other charges.  Recidivism also, in fairness, was an issue, perhaps the dispostive one.

 The case is US v. Alamo, 19-cr-640 (Berman).  


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