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Of Men Indicted for Robbing Trains of Beer Lead Defendant Beat Appeal But NJ Retainer

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 2 – Eight men have been indicted for robbing Modelo and Corona beer from trains and warehouses in the New York area.

  On April 3, six of them were presented in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrates court, covered by Inner City Press - and one remained detained, reportedly on an ICE warrant / detainer. 

 The indictment describes U-haul box trucks driven from the Bronx into the suburbs, and robbery of beer in Suffern, for example. 

  It estimates the value of the stolen beer in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

On April 11 another co-defendant was brought into the Magistrates Court, where Inner City Press was the only media: Kemar Bonitto. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn had a sidebar then agreed to the bond package, adding instead of seek employment mental health evaluation and treatment if necessary, to which the defendant agreed.

In the back of the courtroom was a man with a badge, Rail Road Police, CTX Transportation.

Jump cut to June 13 - Inner City Press was in the Mag court when lead defendant Jose Cesari was brought in by Marshals. He had apparently been in Puerto Rico when he was made aware of the warrant, and turned himself in. Two months later here he was. Magistrate Judge Moses ordered his released on $40,000 bond when he produces co-signers. The AUSA asked for time to appeal; Judge Moses said the delay in co-signers made a stay unnecessary.

But on June 15, the US Attorney's Office requested and obtained a stay from District Judge Ramos. Then they filed a letter motion requesting that Cesari be detained pending trial. Cesari's CJA lawyer on June 18 filed opposition.

And on June 18 it was not the District Judge assigned to the case, Edgardo Ramos, but rather the Part I judge who heard the appeal - and ordered Cesari released on $100,000 bond with two co-signers - release only when conditions are met.

But on July 2 when Inner City Press went to his first appearance before Judge Ramos, Cesari was still in custody, on Ricker Island, based on an Essex County NJ extradition request. Thread:

OK -now in case of the "ringleader" of beer stealing crew, transported in from Puerto Rico, previously ordered released on $40,000 unsecured bond. Counsel said he would work at a bodega in The Bronx. Defendant was brought in from hallway in handcuffs. Also here, CSX railroad officers we've previously seen in the Magistrates Court, and defendant's grandmother and sister. 

AUSA: He was ordered free on appeal to Part 1 judge- but Essex County wants him extradited

Defense lawyer: Marshals had to turn him over to NYPD, to be held on Rikers Island awaiting transport to NJ. Essex County prosecutors won't speak to defense counsel- Judge: As a matter of policy? Defense: It's Essex County.

Judge: See you Sept 12

The case is US v. Cesari, et al., 24-cr-154 (Ramos / Moses)


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