US not opposed to minimum security facility for Ed Ahmad

The United States government has told a New York court that it is not opposed to Guyanese businessman Ed Ahmad serving his two-year prison term at a minimum security facility.

This was communicated to Judge Dora Irizarry in a letter dated July 20.

Stating that she could see no basis for preferential treatment to Ahmad, Judge Irizarry had given the US government up to July 20 to state its position on Ahmad’s request to serve his sentence in a minimum security facility. Now that the US has replied, the judge is expected to make her decision on Ahmad’s request.

Ahmad who pleaded guilty in a New York court to conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud had his lawyer, Steven Kartagener write to the judge stating that his intended incarceration at the Metropolitan Detention Centre (MDC)  in Brooklyn, New York would be onerous and could also pose a danger to him considering his co-operating testimony in a case for the US government.

In its reply, the US government wrote to the judge stating “The government takes no position on the defendant’s request, other than to state that the defendant should be physically separated from John Sampson, the person against whom Ahmad testified. The government will submit a separation request to the Bureau of Prisons to ensure that Ahmad and Sampson are not housed in the same facility”.

The judge then called on the government to take a position on the matter.

Ahmad’s testimony for the US government against his erstwhile friend resulted in Sampson being jailed for five years in January this year. Ahmad’s light sentence in April this year was as a result of his co-operating testimony.

In his letter of June 8 this year to the judge on behalf of Ahmad, Kartagener said “For someone of (the) defendant’s age, 50, this assignment is particularly onerous. I have since learned that the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) will consider re-designation of a defendant assigned to the MDC, but that it requires the willingness of the court to make such a designation”.

Kartagener asked that Ahmad be recommended for re-assignment to a minimum security facility such as Fort Dix, McKeon, Otisville or Lewisberg Camp.

Ahmad was arrested on July 21st, 2011 in New York on a range of charges but later entered a plea agreement with the government and on October 13, 2012 pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud conspiracy before Judge Irizarry.


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