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Two Men In Car With $250000 in Trap Were Freed Now Victor Castro Pleads Guilty

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 26 – It was five pm on August 24, 2020 with two co-defendants appeared by video before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman. Inner City Press covered it.  

The two men, Victor Castro and Eduardo Fernandez, were arrested with $250,000 in the trap of a car they had driven from Massachusetts.  

Castro's Federal Defender said he owns a home worth $400,000. The address was given, and the salary and workplace of his wife.

Co-defendant Fernandez has a girlfriend who works for a bank making $100,000 a year. Both men were ordered released on $175,000 bond, but were detained overnight in the MCC. 

  On January 5, 2021, the case resurfaced, but only with Castro, not Fernandez. Castro, still represented by the same Federal Defender, has a trial date of May 3 before SDNY Judge Sidney H. Stein.

  Meanwhile, Fernandez has dropped from the case and has gotten a series of "Orders to Continue in the Interest of Justice," from Magistrate Judges.

Then this, docketed on January 21, from Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron: "ORDER TO CONTINUE IN THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE as to Eduardo Fernandez. Time excluded from 1/20/21 until 2/19/21. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron on 1/20/21)."

On May 26, Castro and his counsel appeared before Judge Stein in order to plead guilty. When asked by Judge Stein when he had done, Castro said he had traveled to New York with money to exchange for drugs. Judge Stein asked for more detail; the Federal Defender asked for a side phone conversation.

Finally, the plea was accepted. Sentencing, initially set for August, was pushed back to September 14.

The case is US v. Castro, 20-cr-637 (Stein).


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