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Oxy Doc Cubangbang Pled Guilty Now Wants And Gets Seal Plea Transcript for Appeal

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 9 – Three years ago Doctor Dante A. Cubangang and three others including his receptionist Loren Piquant a/k/a Loren Luna and John Gargan were indicted for illegally selling some six million Oxycodone pills, or 180 kilos of Oxy.

    On October 9, 2019, a week before receptionist Loren Piquant / Luna went on trial before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul G. Gardephe, her boss Dante Cubangbang pled guilty.

Jump cut to March 7, 2023 - Cubangbang, whose plea transcript was sealed, now wants a copy for appeal, and will get one: "MEMO ENDORSEMENT granting [317] LETTER MOTION filed by Dante A. Cubangbang (1), addressed to Judge Paul G. Gardephe from Attorney Lucas Anderson dated 2/27/23 re: Release of plea transcript to appellate counsel.... I am CJA substitute appellate counsel for Dante Cubangbang. I am writing to request authorization for my office to obtain a copy of the transcript of Cubangbang's sealed plea proceeding, which took place in Magistrate's Court on October 9, 2019. An Order reflecting my appointment to Cubangbang's appeal is attached. Because I did not represent Cubangbang in connection with his prior proceedings before this Court, the Southern District Court Reporters Office has advised me that it cannot provide a copy of the sealed plea transcript absent an Order from this Court. Therefore, I am respectfully requesting that Your Honor endorse this letter as an Order authorizing the Court Reporters Office to provide me a copy of Cubangbang's plea transcript. ENDORSEMENT: The Application is granted. SO ORDERED: (Signed by Judge Paul G. Gardephe on 3/7/2023)."

  But why is it still sealed?

 On August 26, 2020  initial co-defendant and fast cooperator Porfilio Lugo was sentenced. The US Attorney's Office gave him a 5K1.1 letter and emphasized how fast he flipped, after re-selling oxy pills. Judge Gardephe agreed on the time served, but added three years of supervised release.

Now on April 9, 2020, another cooperator in the case got a time served sentencing - and a seal transcript, after a public but virtual proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.

 Robert Sanchez, who took video of his co-defendants after he was arrested, got his own docket number, too: 19-cr-469. He has a retained (paid) and not CJA lawyer.

Judge Gardephe to his credit put on the record what Sanchez did. After he announced time served and three years of supervised release, the Assistant US Attorney asked that the transcript be sealed, even though Sanchez had testified in open court. (He said the proceeding had revealed more, perhaps the video taping.)

    After the short and murky 2019 plea proceeding, Inner City Press asked Cubangbang's lawyer if the plea deal specified a sentencing guideline that the government will recommend. No, he answered.

    Inner City Press asked him, "Does the letter mention Section 5K1?"

     "No comment," he said and got on the elevator.

   5K1 is the section of the sentencing guidelines which can erase "mandatory" minimum sentences for cooperates like, in the last month, Daniel Hernandez a/k/a Tekashi 6ix9ine and, in the trial against Honduras' president's brother Juan Antonio Hernandez, former mayor Alex Ardon who confessed to killing 56 people.

   How many people did Cubangbang's six million Oxy pills kill? And who is more responsible, this doctor or his receptionist?

 It ends not with a Cubangbang but with a whimper: "JURY VERDICT as to John F. Gargan (2) Guilty on Count 1 and Loren Piquant (4) Guilty on Count 1. (lnl)." Then on October 25, two days after the verdict, this: "Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JOHN F. GARGAN and LOREN PIQUANT were convicted Wednesday after a two-week jury trial for conspiring together and with others to unlawfully distribute oxycodone from a medical clinic in Queens, New York."

Jump cut to September 1, 2022: Loran Piquant surrendered to FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas on July 29, 2022. But she has received no medical treatment. Her medication was thrown out. She has "requested the court's intervention."

The overall case is US v. Cubangbang, 18-cr-00723 (Gardephe).





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