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For Bags of Coke In Newark Airport Woolaston Gets the 15 Year Minimum and $3000 Back

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 11 – Tyrone Woolaston was convicted of narcotics conspiracy and use of a firearm, for using his position as a baggage handler at Newark International Airport to help bring in kilos of cocaine on a flight for Trinidad and Tobago.

  On December 7 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Alison J. Nathan held or began his sentencing. Inner City Press covered it.  

 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sentencing was by CourtCall.

AUSA Nathan Rehn, arguing against the defense position of imperfect entrapment, found his computer connection breaking up and called back in.   

 Judge Nathan warned the participants that the proceeding, which began at 9 am, might be cut off at 11 am because the CourtCall "court room" was assigned to another judge and proceeding at that time.  

And in fact, just as Judge Nathan was ruling against the defense on imperfect entrapment noting that Woolaston had taken steps toward these crimes on his own, and after she had found that the guidlines on count 1 (narcotics conspiracy) were 121 to 151 months, based on an offense level of 32 and criminal history level of 1, combined with the sixty months mandatory consecutive minimum on the gun charge, the call was cut.   

After an attempt to get Woolaston back on, he appeared. But the courtroom was assigned at 11 am to Judge P. Kevin Castel (and Judge Nathan had another proceeding, a shooting in The Bronx, in the other CourtCall court room).

So this sentencing had to be continued - it resumed on December 11, and Inner City Press continued to cover it.

Judge Nathan noted that 180 months was the mandatory minimum: fifteen years. Woolaston's lawyer pointed out that the government was having to return a $3000 check to Woolaston's girlfriend. Judge Nathan said it is a serious crime, and imposed the 15 years. Later the US Attorney's Office issued a press release about the 15 years (the mandatory minimum); no mention of the $3000 dollars.

The case is USA v. Woolaston, 18-cr-212 (Nathan)


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