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Prisoner Who Passed Balloon of Contraband in Cell Awaiting Release Is Detained for Testing

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 21 – 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 - so while perhaps his last Mag court case, it may not be his last proceeding.

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


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