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Bronx Drug Dealer Is Sentenced To 18 Years After Rockland County Seller Got 27 Months

By Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 26 – Miguel Ramirez was sentenced to 218 months or more than 18 years in prison on August 26, for his leadership role in an armed drug conspiracy in Hunts Point, The Bronx. US District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Gregory H. Woods during his sentencing recounted Ramirez as a child living with 12 others with a "managerie of animals," then in jail on Rikers Island as a child, Woods said.

  The government asked for 262 to 327 months, emphasizing that Ramirez stored ammunition in the apartment he shared with his partner and their baby, who now a toddler toddled around the courtroom on August 26. Ramirez' lawyer emphasized society's racism - then turned 180 degrees and implied that Ramirez' co-defendant Hector Palermo, who steered clear of the guns, was not also a victim.

  A comparison not made by Judge Woods on August 26 but needing to be made was to his sentencing the word day before on August 23. The same US Attorney's office asked for only 27 months for a Rockland County man who give deadly heroin to a 28 year old woman. Inner City Press story here. We'll have more on this.

On June 5, the lead defendant Hector Palermo, was sentenced to 188 months in prison on June 5 by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Gregory Woods.

 It stood in contrast to Palermo's co defendant Frederick Lee Burgos who despite facing a guideline of 100 to 125 months before Judge Woods back on May 20 received a sentence of time served, for cooperation, and a sealed transcript.

  Burgos was charged with firing an unlicensed gun in the air; the prosecution did not charge Palermo with any violence beyond telling a co-defendant in a March 2017 wiretapped conversation, "It's time to get this N-word already."

  While Palermo's defense lawyer Scott B. Tulman shook his head when Judge Woods recounted a state conviction for shooting a man in the knee, the only legal drama during the more than one hour sentencing proceeding involved the applicability of the Sentencing Guidelines to a previous trespassing conviction.

  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Krissoff said that Palermo should have one fewer criminal history points under the Guidelines, that a trespassing conviction in 2010 didn't count. Judge Woods read the rule, that any trespass punished by more than 30 days detention does in fact count. The trespass at issue was punished by 45 days. AUSA Krissoff conceded the point - which was mooted by Palermo's status as a Career Offender.

  Before Judge Woods imposed sentence, at the lower end of the 188 to 235 month guideline, Hector Palermo spoke for himself. Referring to the term of art in the Sentencing Guidelines he said he became a Career Offender before he even knew he had a career.

  Palermo described a childhood of poverty, of wearing his "sister's sneakers, two sizes too small." His written submission, in a docket replete with sealed documents, described a step father beating his brother to death for crying.

  Judge Woods alluded to these things in explaining the sentence, noting Palermo's jobs at Jamba Juice (on 32nd Street and 5th Avenue) and at Baldor's Specialty Foods in the Hunts Point Market. He said he hoped Palermo would use this prison time - more than 15 years - to further his education. When he adjourned that proceeding, one of Palermo's children said "Bye, Daddy."

  The case is USA v. Hector Palermo, et al., 17-cr-290 (Woods). The next and last sentencing was that of Miguel Ramirez, whose lawyer Anthony Cecutti got it postponed to July 23 (then August 26), initially citing his involvment in May in the US v. Duncan fake slip and fall accident conspiracy trial which Inner City Press also covered, here...


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