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Man Arrested in Bronx House with 50 Pounds of Fentanyl Was Freed Now Indicted For CP

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 9 – Cristian Eustate Espinal and three others were arrested in a residence in The Bronx with 50 pounds of fentalyl and pill and kilo presses.

Cristian, late on October 6, 2023, was released on bond, on his own signature, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Inner City Press was there, the only media in the SDNY Magistrates Court.  

 Cristian's Criminal Justice Act lawyer argued that he had merely been present in the drug house, and not tied to it. The Assistant US Attorney argued it would have been impossible for him not to have known it was a narcotics factory, what with the garbage bags taped over the windows. 

SDNY Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron ordered release on bond. But the AUSA said they would appeal to the week's Part 1 District Judge, Arun Subramanian.  

 Judge Subramanian held the appeal in the Magistrates courtroom. Again, Inner City Press was there.

After detailed inquiry into where the drugs had been found -- in an alcove of the bathroom, as shown on the AUSA's phone -- Judge Subramanian upheld Magistrate Judge Aaron's release order, adding that the CJA lawyer must turn in Cristian's Dominican passport by noon on Saturday or he would be arrested. 

 The CJA lawyer replied that she would be in the MDC jail on Saturday, until 3 at the latest - and that if she did not have the passport by then, she would turn Cristian in to the Marshals.

  At 3 pm on Saturday, October 7, the defense lawyer was in front of Chatham Towers then the 200 Worth Street entrance of the courthouse, and to her credit acknowledged not having the passport. She was using her phone, perhaps trying to get her client there as was represented to the Court. We asked, What next?

Jump cut to October 25, 2023 when the same Cristian Eustate Espinal was brought in on a brand new case, CP material found on his phone. This time, he was detained on consent. His counsel asked for the search warrant and application for his phone; a letter is due in 24 hours. There was a whispered sidebar with another application, undisclosed, granted.

On November 9, Espinal had a bail appeal before the week's Part 1 Judge, Paul A. Crotty. He was remanded.

On November 27, Espinal's CP case was indicted and wheeled out to Judge Jessica G.L. Clarke.

 The first case is US v. Espinal, et al., 23-mj-6716 (Aaron / Subramanian)

This new CP case is US v. Espinal, 23-cr-619 (Clarke)


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