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As US DOJ Drops Case Against Cienfuegos of Mexico Echo On Cases On Honduras to FARC

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon, Thread Video
Honduras - The Source - The Root - etc

FEDERAL COURT, Nov 18 – The US Department of Justice has dropped a Mexico drug case; some now wonder about its commitment on other such cases, from FARC to Honduras, below. On November 18, Inner City Press live tweeted, here:

Now in court is Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, former Mexican Defense Secretary, charged with narcotics conspiracy & money laundering, before EDNY Judge Carol B. Amon.

US Attorney: The Attorney General has made a decision, in coordination with the government of Mexico. Judge Amon: It was not clear to me from the gov's letter that it was the Attorney General himself. But that has been clarified today, in court

Defense lawyer: We have received a copy of the government's application and we consent to that application. Judge: But the application is contingent on the defendant signing this removal agreement. There is no reason that is under seal.

 Judge: It was only to be under seal until this status conference. There's nothing in here suggesting any part of it should be sealed. We should resolve that now.

[Background: Mexico expresses 'profound discontent' to US over Cienfuegos case Mexico has objected to being left in the dark about the plan to arrest former defense minister Salvador Cienfuegos, here

After Mexico's "profound discontent," this

[Side note: Inner City Press, having covered the SDNY prosecution on Honduras Prez JOH's brother Tony, can only imagine how Hondurans outraged by his narco-business, feel about this. Wonder if the UN of complicit  @AntonioGuterres  will have any comment - we'll ask]

Judge: You've agreed to help the Marshals by providing all documents they need. And to waive all rights you have -- Defendant: Si, estoy de acuerdo. Judge Amon: Let me go over the rights, under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Oops, let me swear you in

Judge Amon: The responses you previously gave before being sworn, were they true and correct? Defendant: Si, senora. Judge Amon: Do you agree that have not been persecuted, and have no fear of that in Mexico? Defendant: Si, estoy de acuerdo.

Judge Amon: I am granting the application.  Anything further? No, thank you your honor. It's done.

During the SDNY trial that convicted Tony Hernandez, the brother of Honduras' president Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH), on all four counts of guns and narcotics trafficking and false statements, the Honduran National Police came up again and again in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

  On June 29 SDNY Judge P. Kevin Castel held a bond hearing on Otto Rene Salguero Morales. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here.

 On September 10, Judge Castel granted the request for another adjournment of Tony Hernandez' sentencing, this time from Septmeber 16 to November 10 at 11 a.m..

On October 29-30, Tony Hernandez' taxpayer-funded lawyer asked for yet another postponement. And it was granted on November 2 - all the way to January 27: "as to Juan Antonio Hernandez Alvarado re: [205] LETTER Request to Continue Sentencing ENDORSEMENT: Sentencing is adjourned from November 10, 2020 to January 27, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. in Courtroom 11D. SO ORDERED. (Sentencing set for 1/27/2021 at 02:00 PM before Judge P. Kevin Castel.) (Signed by Judge P. Kevin Castel on 11/2/2020)(jbo)."

On October 6, more delay for a co-defendant, again on the ground of allegedly not able able to afford a lawyer after all the "alleged" drug trafficking: "ORDER as to Ronald Enrique Salguero Portillo. The conference previously scheduled for October 8, 2020 is adjourned to November 4, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 11D at 500 Pearl Street. Michael Gilbert, a member of the CJA panel, shall appear at the conference. I find that the ends of justice will be served by granting a continuance and that taking such action outweighs the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial. The reasons for this finding are that the grant of the continuance is needed to facilitate substitution of new counsel for Ronald Salguero Portillo and to accommodate the restricted schedule due to COVID. Accordingly, the time between today and November 4, 2020 is excluded. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge P. Kevin Castel on 10/6/2020)."

  On September 16 at 11 am, then, Judge Castel turned to Tony Hernandez' co-defendant Geovanny Fuentes Ramirez. Inner City Press live tweeted it here:

Assistant US Attorney: We may need a separate trial date for Geovanny Fuentes Ramirez. There may be other defendants who may make sense to include in this trial, others may seek to sever. 

Judge Castel: Is the US seeking a severance?

AUSA: Not at this time.

Fuentes Ramirez' lawyer Moskowitz: This is the first I'm hearing there is another defendant out there. My indictment only names Mr. Fuentes Ramirez. I'm aware there are other out there...

Judge Castel: I too am in the dark. I'm extracting this from the US now

AUSA: There is also Mauricio Hernandez Pineda...

Judge Castel: Alright. OK. What's the status of the case against him? AUSA: He was arraigned. Since then everything has been adjourned.

Judge Castel: If Fuentes Ramirez wants a separate trial, he doesn't have to do anything - his indictment does not name anyone else. AUSA: If we need to make a motion, we will do so. Moscowitz: We are working with the Balde case [about virtual grand juries]

Fuentes Ramirez' lawyer: I have a three month trial in 2021 before Judge Furman, then onc in front of Judge Ramos, then Judge Cote.

Judge Castel: trial dates in 1st quarter of 2021 have not yet been set by the Court. That's the fact.

Judge Castel: Let's meet again in this case in early November - there's a Nov 15 deadline to ask for a jury in the first quarter of 2021.

Fuentes Ramirez' lawyer: We cannot consent to exclude Time under the Speedy Trial Act. AUSA: We ask to exclude time.

Judge Castel: I exclude time until November. There is uncertainty, there may be a motion about the grand jury materials. Two, because of COVID-19 there is a limitation on the number of trials.

 Judge Castel: OK, the next proceeding will be November 13 at 11 a.m. Fuentes Ramirez: May God bless you. Judge Castel: Thank you. We are adjourned

 Inner City Press will stay on the case. Justice delayed can be justice denied.

At 9 am on October 28 Geneva time Inner City Press in writing asked UN "High Commissioner for Human Rights" Michelle Bachelet and her spokesman Rupert Colville this: "Hello, this is a Press request for OHCHR / Bachelet comment on the murder, on video, in Honduras of 'Magdeleno' whose drug trafficking notebook were used in recent SDNY conviction of Presidential brother Tony Hernandez, a trial Inner City Press covered every day. See video of killing here.

   More on Patreon here.

 On October 26 after the murder and release of the video, Inner City Press went to (try to) pose the question to Guterres. The response? Video here. Three UN security vehicles, and even a publicly funded NYPD detective, "protecting" Guterres who already wastes untold public funds on security. Disgusting. A protest has been called for, and is needed - @InnerCityPress response here.  More on Patreon here.

Inner City Press on October 18 asked the defendant's lawyer Omar Malone about this client's post arrest statement, the admitted murders by the cooperating witnesses, and upcoming sentencing submission. Video and answers here.

    Here was the post arrest statement as initially put in to the jury, as uploaded to YouTube by Inner City Press, here. The case is US v. Diaz Morales, 15-cr-00379 (Castel).


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