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In Case of Man Charged With Leaving Friend to Die Sentence of 65 Months Now Another Arrest

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 16 – Alex Melendez has been detained, charged in a narcotic conspiracy.

The government says that when his co-conspirator Cabrera was dying from gunshots he drove away. He has applied for release on bail.   

    On March 2, 2021 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge P. Kevin Castel held a bail (or jail) proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 

Melendez' lawyer emphasized that even after Cabrera died, Melendez was calling his phone - so clearly he didn't know of the death.

But Cabrera's widow spoke, moving, about having to tell their three children that their father died from COVID; she called Melendez a coward.

 Judge Castel ran through the Bail Reform Act factors then denied release, on danger to the community.

 On February 16, 2022, Judge Castel sentenced Melendez to 65 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.

Back on January 20, 2022 for two co-defendants, this: "ORDER as to Andres Bello, Jason Tavarez: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that 1. Mr. Bello and Mr. Tavarez may each have access to an "air-gapped" laptop computer (the "Laptops") that is disabled from accessing the internet, local area networks, or other electronic devices; 2. Upon receipt of an acceptable laptop computer from counsel for Mr. Bello and Mr. Tavarez, the Government shall (a) ensure that the laptops are appropriately "air gapped" and compatible with the MDC Brooklyn's security requirements; (b) load the laptops with the non-sensitive discovery in this case; and (c) deliver the laptops to the proper authorities at the MDC Brooklyn at a reasonable time deemed appropriate. (Signed by Judge P. Kevin Castel on 1/20/2022)."

In March 2022, another arrest: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger: Initial Appearance as to Mario Rodriguez (7) held on 3/16/2022. Detention Hearing as to Mario Rodriguez held on 3/16/2022. Date of Arrest: 3/15/2022. AUSA Nicholas Chiuchiolo. Defense Counsel David Esseks (CJA). Spanish Interpreter needed. Proceeding: Presentment/Arraignment. BAIL DISPOSITION: Detention: Risk of Flight/Danger. See Transcript. ADDITIONAL PROCEEDINGS: Defendant arraigned; pleads Not Guilty. Conference before District Judge on 3/22/2022 noon."

Back on November 17, 2021 on another co-defendant, this: "proceedings held before Judge P. Kevin Castel: Change of Plea Hearing as to Sharrone Lewis held on 11/17/2021. Defendant Sharonne Lewis present with attorney, Daniel McGuinness. AUSA, Nicholas Chiuchiolo, present. Court Reporter: Raquel Robles. Change of Plea. Defendant (sworn) changes his not guilty plea and pleads guilty to lesser included offense of Count One of the S2 Indictment. Defendant admits forfeiture allegations in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the S2 Indictment. Sentencing is set for March 1, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. Defendant bail continues. (Sentencing set for 3/1/2022 at 02:00 PM before Judge P. Kevin Castel.)"

The case is US v. Rodriguez, et al., 20-cr-301 (Castel)


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