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Bronx Defendant Without Taste Is Denied Release From MCC By SDNY Judge Failla As Danger

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, April 15 –   Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, Peter Gonzalez on April 15 asked U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Patherine Polk Failla for release from the MCC jail.  

  His lawyers complained they can't reach him; Judge Failla says she might tell SDNY Chief Judge Colleen McMahon and others.     Gonzelez' lawyers argued, "His unit is supposed to receive one clean mop head and one shower curtain every two weeks but this is only provided when available... inmates do not receive disinfectant wipes or cleaning supplies... As corrections officers from other facilities were conducted searches, inmates were moved. Mr. Gonzalez still has not received his property from his prior bunk, including clothing, food and a radio."    

Peter Gonzalez' lawyer said his client has since Saturday lost his sense of taste and smell, said this indicates a positive test coming. He offered to have his father pick him up from MCC in a car, with gloves, and do all grocery shopping for him.

  The defense lawyer complained that for all the MCC inmates who want to speak with their lawyers there are only four slots a day "under his new procedure" [that Inner City Press first reported on, from SDNY Attorneys Lounge, here.] 

   Judge Failla asked, Does the statement that the defendant has lost his sense of smell and taste change your position on releasing him?

    AUSA Jason Swergold replied, No it doesn't, your Honor. We ask BOP to look into allegations like this. And we are not recommending time served. 

 Judge Failla concluded: the Pre-Sentencing Report gives me concern about safety of the community. He kept up with the Taylor Crew despite earlier interactions with law enforcement. In Paragraph 51, another shooting incident. I am denying the request for bail. That said, later this morning I'll write to Nicole McFarland at the MCC, about medical care and access to counsel. 

   Gonzalez' lawyer asked, If further loss of taste and smell, can I come back to you?

    Judge Failla said sure. But me speak with prison officials. With that, this conference is adjourned. I wish you safety and good health. The case is US v. Gonzalez, US cr-608 (Failla)/


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