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In SDNY Chinese Michiganer Who Sold Contraband Cigs Gets 8 Months Home Confinement

By Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 12 – A rare contraband cigarette sentencing cropped on on September 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. A woman who lives in Michigan and speaks Chinese was sentenced to eight months home confinement.

  Two of her three children are at the University of Michigan -- one came to the sentencing in New York, the other had a test. The youngest is in high school and still lives at home. SDNY Judge Jesse M. Furman acknowledged he has seen few to no such prosecutions; he asked Assistant US Attorney Elizabeth Espinosa about one such case before now Circuit Judge Richard J. Sullivan and other before Judge Alison Nathan. Apparently there is a growing body of case law, or at least sentencing precedents, for these contraband cigarette cases. And e-cigarettes and vaping? Inner City Press is on the case.

A broken nose in a parking lot in Manhattan became a Federal case on September 4 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jesse M. Furman. A beat-down in a private lot at 85 East 10th Street was described differently by the lawyers for plaintiff David Kahn and defendant Richard Kulaszewski. Had the latter's son been attacked first?

  Judge Furman said is there is no video, the case may not be appropriate for summary judgment. He urged them to take it to a magistrate, in this case Gabriel W. Gorenstein, by the end of next week. Into that green carpeted courtroom with low ceiling, Inner City Press will endeavor to follow - watch this site.

In the proceeding just before, not listed in PACER, Judge Furman was asked if he himself hold settlement conferences. Not really, he said, it takes too much time and it is not his strength. He would be willing to try to avoid a trial, but there are "sensitivities" as he would preside over a trial.

  As Inner City Press has reported, Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman goes further, declining to do a settlement conference if it is going to be a bench trial. We'll have more on this.

On August 28 when Marcos Camue appeared for sentencing for his role in planning to rob drug dealers, he was the only defendant in the case before Judge Furman. The docket number was 19-cr-222, US v. Camue.

 Judge Furman pointed out that it was a group crime, and that by breaking it into separate cases the U.S. Attorney's Office was promoting disparities in sentencing for the same conduct. He inquired into another related case before fellow SDNY Judge Valerie A. Caproni, US v. Peralta, 19-cr-135. Then hesentenced Camue to 30 months.

  As it happens Camue may also be deported after that. Judge Furman told him, I don't know where you'll be when you get out, here or "abroad," but I hope you turn it around. Camue ascribed his crime to the death of his mother.

  In the nearly empty gallery, where Inner City Press was the only media, another woman wept. Three photographs of Camue with his daughter, who may have been out in the hallway by the library, were viewed by not entered into the docket. And so it goes in the SDNY.

Previously before Judge Furman, Christopher Bullock was indicted in 2018 for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors by force, fraud or coercion in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1594(c).

 On August 14 he pled guilty to a the lesser charge of conspiracy to violate the "Travel Act," with reference to a sentence of 60 months, before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jesse M. Furman.

 Inner City Press, the only media in Judge Furman's courtroom, couldn't help wonder how this pleading down related to criticism of the abruptly ended or change Jeffrey Epstein child sex trafficking case. A review of Bullock's motion to suppress, which Judge Furman denied, makes it appear that Bullock housed the minors who were being prostituted, was accused of making them sell drugs for him.

 Even the venue was dubious, or at least interesting. Bullock answered that none of the acts took place in the Southern District, including the Bronx, Westchester and Manhattan.

  Then the Assistant US Attorney said since he used the phone and Internet, THAT goes through the Southern District. He added that one of the sex acts took place in Manhattan.  That apparently was enough - though at the end of the proceeding he added that minors had been recruited in Westchester. Judge Furman indicated, or seemed to, that the Manhattan sex act was enough. Inner City Press will continue to follow this and other SDNY cases. Watch this site.


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