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In SDNY Pakistani Extradited From Nigeria Pled to Heroin Got 64 Months, Mail Returned

By Matthew Russell Lee, @SDNYLIVE

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 9 – A Pakistani man accused of trying to import heroin into the US and just extradited from Nigeria was arraigned on April 29, 2019 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate's courtroom, presided over for the week by Magistrate Judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox. Inner City Press was present in person and reported on the presentment, which was not otherwise announced.

In the courtroom that day, along with Inner City Press as the only media, were several heavily bearded US agents. This shacked defendant Muhammad Khalid Khan, with the same genial Pashto interpreter as in the a recent SDNY Taliban case covered by Inner City Press, pled not guilty. His Federal Defenders lawyer did not in this proceeding seek bail, and later conferred with the also FD lawyer in the Taliban case.

  Now more than a year later, this on September 7: "Dear Judge Broderick: I represent Muhammad Khalid Khan in the above referenced matter. Mr. Khan’s case is currently on the Court’s calendar for September 15, 2020. With the consent of the government, it is respectfully requested that the case be put over for a two-week period. It is anticipated that Mr. Khan will enter a plea of guilty at the next appearance, however, counsel needs additional time to make certain that he understands the plea offer extended by the government. I am advised by chambers that September 29, 2020, is a convenient date for the Court.

  On September 24, Khan's lawyer wrote in to ask for another four weeks, citing an eye infection and COVID quarantine requirements.

  On November 10, Judge Broderick held a lengthy change of plea proceeding, with consecutive interpretation. Khan pled guilty to importing heroin to the U and to money laundering. He asked a number of question, for example on what papers Judge Broderick was asking if he'd read. Judge Broderick patiently answered, and accepted the plea.

On February 8, two weeks before the February 23 sentencing, Khan's counsel has written in for another four to six week delay, citing COVID and the Pre-Sentencing Report.

 Beyond forfeiture of $39,900, Judge Broderick on April 23, 2021 signed an order of removal, adding in a handwritten line: "Defendant Khan is eligible and qualifies for relief from the mandatory minimum sentence."

He also noted that while the pre-sentencing report said Khan has only one wife remaining alive, in fact there are two.

On June 11, 2021, this: "JUDGMENT IN A CRIMINAL CASE as to Muhammad Khan (1). THE DEFENDANT: pleaded guilty to counts One and Two. All open Counts are dismissed on the motion of the United States. IMPRISONMENT: 64 months on each count to run concurrently. SUPERVISED RELEASE: 3 years on each count to run concurrently. See SPECIAL CONDITIONS OF SUPERVISION. ASSESSMENT: $200.00 due immediately. (Signed by Judge Vernon S. Broderick on 6/11/2021)."

   Now in April 2023, Judge Broderick has ordered for the defendant compassionate release: "OPINION & ORDER as to Muhammad Khan. Before me is the motion of Muhammad Khalid Khan ("Defendant" or "Khan") seeking compassionate release pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) for a sentence reduction ("Motion").(See Footnote 1 on this Opinion & Order). Because Defendant has demonstrated extraordinary and compelling circumstances warranting a sentencing reduction and is not a danger to the community, the motion is GRANTED....[*** See this Opinion & Order ***]... IV. Conclusion. For these reasons, Defendant's motion for Compassionate Release is GRANTED. The Federal Bureau of Prisons is further directed to notify the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement that Defendant's sentence is complete. The Clerk of Court is respectfully requested to mail a copy of this order to pro se Plaintiff. SO ORDERED."

Then docketed on May 9, 2023: "Received returned mail as to Muhammad Khan re: [77] OPINION & ORDER. Mail was addressed to Muhammad Khan, Reg. No. 86861-054, FCI Allenwood Low, Federal Correctional Institution, P.O. Box 1000, White Deer, PA 17887; and was returned for the following reason(s): RETURN TO SENDER / NO SUCH STREET / UNABLE TO FORWARD."

 The case is US v. Khan, 18-cr-830 (Broderick).


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