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After Fentanyl Death in Bronx Daycare New Defendant Amparo Indicted and Detained

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, April 11 – Following the death of a one-year old baby by fentanyl, on September 19, 2023 the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York charged Grei Mendez and Carlisto Acevedo Brito.

On September 25, with no notice and Inner City Press initially the only person in the courtroom gallery, the third man was brought in: Renny Antonio Parra Paredes. Inner City Press live tweeted, thread:

 Judge Wang: You are charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics. AUSA: We seek detention, and they consent. Defense lawyer: Most of his family is out of town. We consent.

On January 23, Paredes' lawyer argued, and lost, before the assigned District Judge Jed S. Rakoff: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jed S. Rakoff: Oral Argument as to Felix Herrera Garcia, Grei Mendez, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, Renny Antonio Parra Paredes held on 1/23/2024. The trial date is adjourned to 6/10/2024 and time is excluded in the interest of justice, pursuant to Section 3161 of Title 18. Deft Paredes bail application is denied as a risk of flight and danger to the community. All deft's continued remanded."

On February 12, Inner City Press went to a possible change of counsel hearing on lead defendant Felix Herrera Garcia - but soon Judge Rakoff asked everyone but Herrera Garcia and his still counsel to leave the courtroom, "even my favorite reporter."

Once back in, Judge Rakoff said the problem had been fixed, for now, with a letter possible in two weeks. On fingerprints he noted decisions by Judge Pollack in his native Philadelphia, and the Spain bombing fingerprint snafu. A Daubert hearing on prints is possible.

On March 21, Grei Mendez was brought into the Magistrates Court to be arraigned on a superseding indictment. Inner City Press was there, thread:

Federal Defender: Ms. Grei Mendez' mother and daughters are here in the gallery. Judge: This is an arraignment on a superseding indictment? AUSA: Yes. This adds a count and changes the time frame of the conspiracy.

 Judge: You are charged with conspiracy to distribute fenanyl and an analog, and heroin, to September 2023, deadly. In Sept 2023 you and others possessed with intent to distribute, resulting in death. Count 3 charges serious bodily injury to another individual

Judge: How do you plead?

Grei Mendez:  No culpable [Not guilty] AUSA: We to exclude time under the Speedy Trial Act. Judge: Any objection? Federal Defender: No. Judge: Granted.

Afterward Ms Mendez barely looked at the courtroom gallery as she was led back to the holding cell.

More on Substack here

On April 11 another defendant was added in an S2 indictment: Jean Carlo Amparo Herrera. He was brought into the SDNY Magistrates Court, where Inner City Press was the only media. His lawyer argued that he wasn't charged as the others were, and that she hadn't seen a video the prosecutor mentioned. But he had driven a co-defendant to Pennsylvania after the death, and more. He was detained.

The case is US v. Herrera Garcia et al., 23-cr-504 (Rakoff)

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