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NYPD Detective Spell Had Sex with JPMC Witness in SDNY Trial But Suppression Denied

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 7 – Laurell Wells has been in prison awaiting trial on bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges, including a teller at JPMorgan Chase. 

 On July 6, 2023, Inner City Press was in the courtroom, the only media there, when Wells through two lawyers said that the teller had sex with NYPD Detective Clifford Spell and that therefore the search warrant for his phone(s) was invalid. 

  Judge Jed S. Rakoff asked if Detective Spell has been discipline, if he is still with the NYPD.    Assistant US Attorney Kathine Cheng replied that she didn't know, they "we are initiated the IAB process." 

 Judge Rakoff agreed to delay the impending trial to September 19, with a hearing set for September 5. He said more - see extra on Substack here.

On July 10, Judge Rakoff held a bail hearing and Inner City Press was there. Docketed: "ORDER as to Laurell Wells. On July 10, 2023, the Court held a hearing on defendant's application for release on bail. After full consideration of the written submissions and oral argument, the Court concludes that defendant must continue to be detained at this time."

On July 27, the SDNY prosecutors wrote to Judge Rakoff that "NYPD has removed Detective Spells's NYPD-issued firearm and badge." Spell is retiring, but "NYPD will not provide Detective Spell with a letter of good standing... it would be difficult, if not impossible, for Detective Spell to obtain future employment in law enforcement or in armed private security."

On September 5, Inner City Press attended and covered the suppression hearing about Detective Spell; Laurell Wells' supporters were in the gallery, nodding at every sharp question put to the US Attorney's Office embedded witness. On September 7, Judge Rakoff issued a bottom line order: "ORDER as to Laurell Wells. On September 5, 2023, the Court held a Franks hearing on defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained from three search warrants. After full consideration of the written submissions and evidence presented at the hearing, the Court hereby denies defendant's motion to suppress. An opinion explaining the reasons for this decision will issue in due course. So Ordered. (Signed by Judge Jed S. Rakoff on 9/7/23)."

The case is US v. Wells, 20-cr-633 (Rakoff)


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