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Crime Rival Shot By James Felton in 2016 Edwin Romero Gets 35 Years From SDNY Judge Preska

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC The Times (UK) Honduras - The Source 

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 26 –     In December 2016 in The Bronx Edwin Romero robbed a drug dealer who worked for a rival gang. The leader of that gang, James Felton, came to 175th Street and Weeks Avenue and shot Romero four times, causing Romero to lose his right eye.

   This injury, and the US Attorney's sentencing memorandum in Felton's case which described Romero "turn[ing] to walk away" before Felton shot him, were raised by Romero's defense lawyer Michael K. Bachrach at Romero's sentencing on November 26 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Loretta A. Preska.

    The problem was, Romero in pleading guilty a year ago to conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine also stipulated to having shot and killed Jose Montalvo on May 13, 2004, also on 175th Street, this at the corner of Monroe Avenue, and to a series of crime since.

    At the sentencing Assistant US Attorney Frank J. Balsamello describe Romero has having thrown a loaded gun into a taxi with his then-pregnant girlfriend, and having recruited a generation of young men on Weeks Avenue to sell crack.

     Bachbach, in a stretch, asked Judge Preska for the 10 year minimum sentence, closing with the concept that mitigation is not making an excuse.    Judge Preska, after reciting Romero's crimes which led to quiet groaning and even some tears in the courtroom gallery where Inner City Press was the only media, imposed a sentence of 420 months or 35 years, to be followed by five years of supervised release. (Romero would be 72 years old by then).

  She said the sentence should be publicized as a matter of general deterrence. The SDNY and Federal court system generally, while often moving in that direction, could better facilitate reporting, particularly in real-time. But here is this report. The case is US v. Romero, 17-cr-123 (Preska).


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