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Defendant Charged With Armed Robbery of Marijuana Supplier & Instagram Boasts Is Freed

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 19 –  Charged with the armed robbery of a marijuana supplier - in which the supplier got shot - a defendant was presented and had a bond hearing on March 19 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Gary Stein. Inner City Press was there, the only media in the SDNY Mag Court, thread:

Defendant is charged with armed robbery "of an NYC marijuana business' storage facility," using a gun, trafficking drugs.

Judge: Mr. Ali, how do you plead? Arian Ali: Not guilty. AUSA: We are seeking detention. Defense: We are requesting release. I have five suretors, and I propose a bond of $200,000.

AUSA: The defendant runs an illegal narcotics distribution business, with marijuana. They ambushed the supplier at the warehouse. They boxed his car in & smashed his window. They marched him back to the marijuana warehouse and assaulted him. They pistol-whipped him

AUSA: The supplier got shot. We do not think the defendant was the shooter, rather the organizer. We have his text messages. He texted, "It's going down today." They wrote, "Act cool. Don't sell it in New York." He had a co-defendant posted up by the warehouse Judge: Was he present during the robbery?

AUSA: Around the corner, directing the three gun men. We have cell phone location data. He is willing to use extreme violence against others. This is profitable. If he is released, he will continue to violate the law.

AUSA: He posted on Instagram that he intends to return to drug trafficking, "moving smarter and safer." He said he'll still, after jail, be the youngest and wittest- Judge: The what? AUSA: The wittest. Wit. The kids, your Honor.

 AUSA: There's clear aiding and abetting liability. He put the shooters in motion. In the last week, he turned his phone off to evade arrest. Now he wants credit for turning himself in.  Defense: He retained me but I was out of town for the weekend. So today

 Defense: I have six suretors - his mother in the second row, she can't pick her head up, she's crying. [Federal Defender moves so Judge can see those in the gallery] Judge: Any security for the bond? Defense: His mother makes $80,000 a year- Judge: That's later

 Defense: My client wasn't there, where the robbery was occurring. I'm not sure where these allegations are coming from. No drugs were stolen on June 22, 2023- Judge: They allege a conspiracy to steal.  Defense: Pre Trial Services recommends release

Judge: What about his continued involvement in drug trafficking, and the Instagram posts as recent as this past weekend.  Defense: How does that prove anything? Judge: If it says, I am continuing to deal drugs Defense: He said "I'm lit" or something like that

 Judge: Any rebuttal? AUSA: No, Your Honor. Judge: Let me speak with Pre Trial. AUSA: They don't have all the facts. Break taken - thread will continue

 The Judge is back. All rise! Judge: I've discussed this further with the Pre Trial Services supervisor who is here. I do not think this is a risk of flight case. I would not order the defendant detained on that ground. There would be a bond...

Judge: The real issue is danger. I view this as a close call. I find the government has not met its burden. Given that the drug trafficking involved marijuana - & that some of the conduct now alleged is not in the indictment - I will release you on $200,000 bond

 Judge: The 5 co-signers must be fulfilled before he is released. No contact with witnesses or victims mean no contact, even talking about the Yankees game, no. Home incarceration enforced by location monitoring Defendant: Yes Your Honor

 Judge: His mother will be a third party custodian. He can't go out. No additional crimes. If you become aware of any you must report them to Pre Trial Services, or risk being held in contempt of court.  Defense: He's lost his passport. Defendant: It's expired.

 AUSA: We cannot interview the co-signers today.

The case is US v. Ali, 24-cr-109 (Koeltl / Stein)


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