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For Corruption on Rikers Island Contractor With Hawaii Felonies & Shelter Job Pleads Guilty

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, April 10 – Shanequa Washington and five others were arrested and presented on April 9 on charges of corruption at their place of employment, the Rikers Island jail.  Another was presented on April 10 and detained.

 The complaint says of the co-defendants "met with WASHINGTON, who was employed by the DOC, and provided WASHINGTON with prison contraband, so that WASHINGTON would, and did, bring said contraband into a DOC facility located in the Bronx, New York, and provide said contraband to an inmate. c. In exchange for WASHINGTON agreeing to introduce contraband into the DOC facility, WASHINGTON received, after each of the above-described contraband deliveries, bribes, including payments from subsequent sales of contraband within the DOC made to a Cash App account that she managed and controlled, collectively totaling more than $5,000."

   Washington was presented last before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn. Inner City Press was there, the only media in the SDNY Mag Court. 

  Washington was released on $100,000 bond; the prosecutors said he understand she is married to one of the co-defendants and so can speak with him, but not about the case.

On April 10, co-defendant Kenneth Webster was brought into the SDNY Magistrates Court near 6 pm. Inner City Press was there. Thread:

Defendant is charged with "honest services wire fraud."  US Attorney's Office is seeking detention as risk of flight

AUSA: This defendant has felony convictions in 4 different states, for using false or fraudulent identities and fraud involving credit cards and debit cards. As reflected in the Pre-Trial Report [not in writing - orally, in the robing room] he's been a fugitive

 AUSA: "In 2016 in connection with his cases in Hawaii, based on a publicly available media report" --AUSA: He traveled to Texas and applied for a driver's license under the false pretense he lived there and had turned in his New York driver's license. In fact, he is a resident of NY and has an NY license. He is mobile, he travels to the Dominican Republic

AUSA: He began to smuggle contraband into Rikers Island jail - he applied to become a Department of Corrections service provider while he was on probation... The Texas license was to get a better insurance rate on his car, we call it insurance fraud

 AUSA: He recently started a job at a homeless shelter, he's applied to protect people in need - but he has a history of credit card fraud and forgery. There are economic dangers. CJA defense lawyer: He is the only defendant in this case they are seeking to detain

 Defense: Let me talk about his rap sheet. There are NY arrests, yes, but no warrants. Dangerous? His application for a job, he had 12 credit cards. He did not forge documents - he only gave a fake name. His record has thefts, yes, drugs and forgery

Defense: His geographic range is notable - I've never had a client with a Hawaii rap sheet. Going to Texas, OK, the reason was not great. But there are a set of conditions that can assure his return, and the safety of the community. Pre Trial says cash. I say GPS

Defense: This wanderlust is shown by his rap sheet. He works for [voluntarily not reported] Staffing, a contract with a Department of Homeless Services shelter.  Judge: But what he did while on probation...

Defense: He was early discharge. There's a disconnect Judge: What is your proposal? Defense: Two financially responsible co-signers, we could get a third one, to be honest, anything short of detention... GPS monitoring...

 AUSA: We dispute he's a lifelong New Yorker. Look at his rap sheet. He was a fugitive in NY

Judge: This is a difficult call. The type of charge, detention is not typical. Given conditions in our Federal facilities, I think long and hard before sending someone there. But it appears to be a compulsion to engage in crime

Judge: It's been going on for 20 years, nothing seems to deter you - not probation, not jail time. I can't see how I can satisfy myself that if I put a bracelet on you, you can't find a fake ID. The job, the people there have their own identifying information

 Defender starts to speak - Judge: I suggest you do it through your lawyer. I'll give you a moment. Defendant: Please. [But nothing is said] Judge: Last week you were engaging in the same conduct- Defense: The shelter he's in, it's migrants

 Defense: It's more difficult to get IDs from migrants

Judge: It doesn't satisfy me. He hasn't had the wake up call that hopefully this case is. I order the defendant remanded, on risk of flight grounds - I think you're a danger too

Jump cut to May 30: Webster was indicted, and on May 30 pled guilty. Sentencing was set for September 24.

 The case is  US v. Webster, 24-cr-345 (Daniels)


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