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Bronxite Gamoneda Lost Bail Hearing Then Pled Guilty in SDNY Now Gets 156 Months

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 3– Marvin Gamoneda was arrested on February 12, 2020 as part of a Bronx drug gang case and has been detained since in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan.

    On April 10, 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic his lawyer argued for his release, saying among other things that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is underperforming and that the MCC is a "Petri dish" for the virus.

  His lawyer told U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge John G. Koeltl that the MCC says they have capacity for 40 legal calls a day, for all inmates. That is not enough.  Just because we're all overwhelmed doesn't mean we can rip up the Constitution, he said.

Now on October 14, Garmoneda appeared before Judge Koeltl for sentencing. Inner City Press covered it. The US Attorney's Office asked for the guideline, 195 to 228 months. Garmoneda's lawyer noted how guns end up in the hands of people who look like his client. Judge Koeltl acknowledged some mitigating factors and imposed a sentence of 156 months (the last 60 of which are a mandatory minimum), to be followed by three years of supervised release.

   Back on April 10, US Attorney Andrew Andrew Chan said that Gamoneda is a member of the "Woodycrime" gang in The Bronx; he is responsible for a shooting in a playground [the Nelson Playground] full of men, women and children. 

 Judge Koeltl asked, He got 1 to 3 years in 2013? And the others were all related to marijuana?    AUSA Chan replied, Yes. But while in jail he planned what to do once he got out.

   Then AUSA Chan lost connection to the call. AUSA Portlock said, I just texted him  While AUSA Chan dialed back in, a lawyer asked Judge Koeltl how it's going, remotely.

    Judge Koeltl replied, I'd prefer all of you to be in the courtroom. I'm not doing pre-trial conferences in civil cases. But to the extent I have a matter that requires lawyers, a TRO or a decisional matter in a criminal case. I teach a seminar at NYU by Zoom.

    AUSA Chan said, I'm back on. Gamoneda kept planning how to continue with Woodycrime. A series of marijuana arrests...

  Judge Koeltl ultimately ruled that the government has shown there are no combination of condition that could reasonably assure the presence of the defendant. The charges are serious and the evidence seems strong, of a substantial narcotics conspiracy and guns, and a shooting. 

  Garmoneda's lawyer asked to be able to speak with him, for 30 minutes. Pre-Trial Services said his unit is under quarantine. Judge Koeltl said the transcript should be prepared on an expedited basis and Garmoneda's lawyers get it under the CJA act. But, one of them said, there is a delay.

  Judge Koeltl asked that the US Attorney's Office order it and share it with the defendant's lawyers. AUSA Chan said the court reporters might have a view on the sharing of transcripts.  This was not directly answered.

On October 23, Judge Koeltl held another proceeding, in which Gamoneda switched lawyers, from Gregory Morvillo to the CJA on duty, Mr. Montgomery. Judge Koeltl OK-ed it but said he might not approve another change.

On December 15, in advance of a December 23 conference, Montgomery asked to push the March 21 trial back, saying he "was advised by BOP via an email that I had come into contact with an individual diagnoses with Covid during my November 15 visit with Mr. Gamoneda; no other information was provided."

Jump cut to 2021: Garmoneda pleaded guilty on March 15; on co-defendant Luilly Fernandez, Judge Koeltl held a proceeding on May 3 and Inner City Press covered it. The upshot? "To assure the effective assurance of counsel," the matter was pushed to July 9 and Speedy Trial Act time excluded until then.

Now this case is US v. Fernandez, 20-cr-109 (Koeltl).


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