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In SDNY Mercado Charged With Pistol Shot in the Bronx Claims It Was Only BBs But Denied Bail

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 10 – Orlando Mercado, charged with providing a pistol to another man named Gonzalez who shot at the owner of a parking lot in the Bronx where the duo allegedly sold drugs, argued for bail on January 10 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Barbra Freeman. 

  It was a presumption case, given the charge of weapons in connection with drugs. But Mercado's assigned Criminal Justice Act panel lawyer Sabrina Shroff argued that Mercado is a drug addict and should be bailed to a residential drug program.  

 Shroff also contested the strength of the evidence, stating that one of the witnesses is a cooperator and that the pistol at issue was a b.b. gun. 

   When Assistant US Attorney Domenic Gentile replied that Mercado had been breaking into cars in his Bronx neighborhood to steal things to sell to feed his drug habit, Judge Freeman asked it might not be that he broken into cars to sleep in them. 

 For a moment it looked like Mercado might be bailed out. But ultimately Judge Freeman said she had no idea where Mercado would live, if he would return to court and that he was not, in fact, a danger to the community.   

It was a remand to prison without prejudice to a renewed bail application, perhaps to Judge Freeman if she is available, or to the judge covering the Magistrates Court when the application is made. She approved funding for the transcript in that event. The case is US v. Gonzalez, et al., 19-cr-906 (Furman / Freeman).


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