New York police took the wrong man to court in a federal gun and methamphetamine case

New York police took the wrong man to court in a federal gun and methamphetamine case

New York police officers arrested a man on Rikers Island named Andrew Pagan and booked him in federal court. last Wednesday, thinking they had a suspect in a gun and methamphetamine ring that has been operating in the city.

However, they had the wrong Andrew Pagan in custody, taking a whole day and a few angry faces to figure it out.

Confusion became the order of the day when a veteran investigator with the NYPD’s Gun Offender Monitoring Unit, Debra Laeason, concluded that the Andrew Pagan they were looking for was in custody on Rikers Island.

Lawson and other officers went to the Anna M. Kross Center, where Pagan, 26, who has been held on a weapons case in the Bronx since March of this year, is being held. They were transported to federal court in Brooklyn to appear before federal judge Vera Scanlon, according to court and Department of Correction records.

The judge presided over the arraignment on Wednesday and he was transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

Everything seemed to be in order, when the police realized that they had mistaken Andrew Pagan.

The real suspect, Andrew A. Pagan, wasn’t even being held at Rikers. Officials found out where he works, apprehended him there on Thursday morning, and took him to appear in court.

Later the same Thursday, Assistant United States Attorney John Enright had to explain the disaster to Judge Scanlon.

He told the judge that another police detective with Lawson “put together, after the arraignment, that Andrew Pagan was not in fact Andrew A. Pagan.”

“NYSID numbers [identificación del estado de Nueva York] they did not match. And then they immediately started taking corrective action,” Enright said. “In fact, it was identified that he was not on Rikers Island or otherwise incarcerated.”

“The government greatly apologizes for this mistake,” Enright added.

The prosecutor said the reason they didn’t realize the wrong man was because another assistant US attorney was standing in for him at Wednesday’s arraignment.

“There was really no way that I would have independently identified that this was not the right person,” said attorney Karume James, the federal defender who represented the misguided pagan on Wednesday.

He added that “it’s obviously up to law enforcement and government to make sure they really have the right person. The only documents that were printed for me yesterday were just an indictment with the person’s name and charges.”

The attorney stated that on Thursday he was able to obtain an NYPD report that matches the photo of the real Pagan and, although the birth dates were similar, it was clear that the officers had the wrong man.

Andrew A. Pagan’s attorney, federal defender Benjamin Yasser, called the process “simply a lack of due diligence.”

“I just want to mention one small fact that makes this mistake particularly unforgivable,” he said, noting that Andrew A. Pagan, who is being prosecuted in the federal indictment, was charged with the same crime in Brooklyn state court nearly a year ago. , and that he is out on bail in that case.

“In that case, if you were to check the most basic criminal history, you would see that he was released on bail. There is no way the Andrew A. Pagan sought in this indictment could have been in Rikers,” Yasser said.

Judge Scanlon ordered the charges dismissed. The wrong Pagan was held overnight at the Metropolitan Detention Center and then sent to Rikers again.

The correct Pagan was released on $100,000 bail, who has attended each and every state court date since his arrest in December 2021. He owns two businesses, a cigarette shop and a company of music production.

“Due to a clerical error, the wrong individual was removed from Rikers Island, where he was already in state custody,” the Department of Corrections said in a statement.

“When the error was discovered, the individual was returned to Rikers Island and the appropriate person was arrested and charged federally with distribution of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm.”

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.