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Prisoner Who Passed Balloon of Contraband in Cell Awaiting Release Is Freed After Testing

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 26 – Just after being ordered released, a Federal prisoner removed a four-inch balloon of contraband from his colon and threw it to a prison in the next holding cell, wrapped in a T-shirt. The U.S. Marshals saw.

  He was brought back before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge James L. Cott, on his last day presiding of the SDNY Mag court before retiring. Inner City Press was there.

  The Assistant US Attorney said the defendant admitted to Marshals that the ballon contained narcotics as well as tobacco. But the Federal Defender insisted it was tobacco only and that he should still be release.  

Judge Cott put his previously release order in abeyance, pending testing of the contents of the balloon. He said he retained jurisdiction - and he did:

"ORDER as to Carlos Colon: Given that the Government is not seeking to reopen the Court's release order, and that the contraband tested negative (or inconclusive) for all narcotics tested, the Court hereby directs that the defendant be released forthwith, consistent with the Court's prior release order. The Government is directed to arrange for the defendant to be transported to 500 Pearl Street for processing as soon as tomorrow if possible. (Signed by Magistrate Judge James L. Cott on 6/24/2024)."

Then on June 26, "Order Setting Conditions of Release Bond Entered as to Carlos Colon. Home Detention; Location monitoring technology as directed by Probation."

 The case is US v. Colon, 13-cr-376 (Ramos / Cott)


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