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Defendant Charged in Hobbs Act Robbery Misses Arraignment Of 2 Others on Jan 11

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book

SDNY COURTROOM EXCLUSIVE, Jan 9 -  In the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on December 7, a detention or bond proceeding was held by Magistrate Judge Valerie Figueredo on 19 year old charged with being the get-away driver for the armed robbery of a clothing store.

Inner City Press was present, the only media in the Mag Court. Related Mag Court live-tweeted thread (more on Patreon here) vlog here

  This defendant was Alex Stroman; his father and mother and older sister were in the gallery. While the US Attorney's Office asked for detention, determinative seems to have been that he was not the one with the gun, and that he would move in with his father in Jamaica, Queens.

  He can return, then, to New Dawn Charter School. Notably, the complaint did not allege the interstate element necessary a Hobbs Act robbery charge, though the AUSA said the clothing was "imported from California." Expect an amendment - or indictment.

A second defendant in the case who deferred on December 7 was ordered free by Magistrate Judge James L. Cott on December 15.

On December 16, not because it was in the docket - it wasn't - but after covering another case in 40 Foley Square, Inner City Press in checking the 11th floor found District Judge Jesse M. Furman hearing the US' appeal of Judge Cott's decision. There were a dozen supports in the gallery.

While the AUSA emphasized that it had not appealed on Stroman because he was the get away driver, and that a gun was found near this defendant's shoes, Judge Furman found the condition of moving to New Jersey with the father, among others, enough to uphold release.

He stayed his decision until Monday, December 19 at noon to allow the US to appeal. Will they? At least on that, there would be notice on PACER, as there was not of this appeal to Part 1. There are improvements in transparency possible, such as by a single SDNY Part 1 web page of appeals and their timing. 

Jump cut to December 23, when this defendant, just about to be released, as again in Magistrates Court. The US Attorney's Office said he threatened his landlord in Brooklyn, saying you can't throw me out of the apartment, and, You'll see.

  What emerged is that his mother lived there, Section 8, until her death. He was unable to get it put into his name and the landlord wants him out by December 31, especially after the FBI raise with flashbang grenades.

But the AUSA did not have the jail call on audio; Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein continued the release, adding a condition that only the defendant's father should deal with the landlord.

On January 9, his two co-defendants both in custody were arraigned in the case, and pushed the next conference to March 28. The theft of $50,000 of clothes was alleged, as a young girl in the gallery played quietly with a purple dinosaur toy. A separate arraignment will be held on January 11. Watch this site.

The case is US v. Wells, et al., 23-cr-7 (Woods)



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