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Speedy Trial Right Asserted For Extortion of Fire Victims Trial As Threats Called Hyperbole

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell book
BBC - Honduras - CIA Trial book - NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 11 –  The lead defendant in a criminal case alleging gang extortion in the field of clean-up services to properties damaged by fire is asserting his Speedy Trial Act rights. 

 On September 9, 2022, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff held an in-person arraignment and detention or bond proceeding, with the defendant's family and supporters filling half of the courtroom gallery. Inner City Press was there.

  On the request to move up the scheduled May 2023 trial to October, Judge Rakoff said he will speak with Judge Analisa Torres about changing the schedule of her US v. Tim Shea (We Build the Wall) trial. We'll see.

  On detention or release, the Assistant US Attorney - who may have to choose between this trial and Shea's - recited from audio recordings of threatens, saying "N-word, I'm gonna kill you."  

 The defense lawyer, retained from Staten Island, pointed to those in the gallery and called the threats hyperbole. Judge Rakoff said the defendant clearly had supporters, but was a danger to the community. He was ordered detained.  

Afterward by the elevators, supporters said of the prosecutors after they left in a separate elevator, "They lie."

  The case is US v. Smith, et al., 22-cr-352 (Rakoff)


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