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In SDNY Murky Mag Court Bail Denied To Homeless Man Who Sought Haircut With A Gun

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 17 – While many even most cases in the Magistrates Court of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York are sealed or have no case number given, on July 17 before Magistrate Judge Kevin N. Fox, proceedings when late as well as dark. In a case which hours later remained "sealed," Solomon Peterson was accused of returning drunk to a barber shop with a gun after being convicted of a felon, with eight bench warrants.

 His Federal Defender lawyer said the fact that the New York State system released each time showed they did not take it seriously. Judge Fox did, however. He cited that the government said there was video of the armed return to the barber shop, for a hair cut. This defendant, who was described as living in a homeless shelter, was not allow out on bond. He will be detained, and faces 63 to 78 months. And so it goes in the SDNY. 

Before that, things got more dramatic. In a case that, hours after the defendants were ordered released on bail remained listed as "sealed," Munif Ahmed stands accused of conspiracy to distribute large quantities of drugs from China and with telling the now cooperating witness, "Don't f*ck with me."

The government argued that Ahmed is a risk to flee to Yemen; his Criminal Justice Act lawyer said no, blood clots in his legs prevent him from flying. Then there was the matter of where Mr. Ahmed lives - on Anderson Avenue in the Bronx with his uncle or in the store on West 168th Street which he lists on his ID. This was ascribed to not having an interpreter during the interview with pre trial services.

Ahmed was ordered released on a $250,000 bond with $30,000 in cash or property. His co-defendant who called "Mr Lazzaro" before turning himself in must put up $40,000 cash. He drive Uber; Inner City Press predicts he or Mr. Lazzaro or his associate will move to relax the conditions of release to extend beyond the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Watch this site.  

On July 15 there was a more visceral mystery. Between two presentments and bond hearings no fewer than 10 NYC Emergency Medical Services paramedics rushed into the Mag Court cell block. Then emerged with a man on a gurney, followed by a US Marshal with shackles, on their way to "Downtown," the NY Downtown Hospital at 100 William Street. Better there than the MCC, someone said. Judge Fox then resumed processing defendants. There was Andre Muller in a white T-shirt presented for Hobbs Act Robbery, apparently in Maine. They said his case number was 19-MAG-6576 but when an hour later Inner City Press looked for it on PACER, it said "Cannot find case 19-mj-6576." He got $100,000 bond with two co-signed (he had four people in the Mag court gallery where Inner City Press was the only media). He has to appear in court in Maine on July 24. Judge Fox set a July 29 control date to make sure that he made it there.

There was Claudia Juarez Bernard, charged with narcotics conspiracy. In the Mag Court the case number 19-MAG-6580 was read out. But an hour later, after the gurney to the hospital from the cell block, this case number was still listed in PACER as "This case is under seal." She was released on $100,000 bond, on her signature, to the Central District of Florida. Federal Defenders said they would get her on the plane; she had been in detention since 2:30 am betwen Saturday and Sunday.

Back on July 11 a defendant with the last name Jones, no case number, was brought in charged with murder. He was detained, all the way until September 5 for his next appearance.

  Who is he? Whom did he allegedly kill? This was not said in Mag Court, and Inner City Press has been told to not ask questions. But we will. After Jones there was an interminable wait for a presentee for whom at least two names were given - Colin Williams - but for whom the various players wandered away seriatim. There was yet another, with report delayed. We hope to have more on this.



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