Lawyer for United States-based Guyanese pilot Khamraj Lall, who is facing new money laundering and drug trafficking charges, is seeking to have him transferred to another jail to facilitate easier access to him by his family and legal team, among other things.
In a letter to US Judge Michael A. Shipp, attorney Michael D’Alessior Jr, is seeking to have Lall transferred back to the Essex County Jail, where he had already spent two years, from the Monmouth County, where he was transferred several weeks ago for arraignment on the new charges he now faces.
Listing the reasons in the letter, which was sent on Wednesday and seen by this newspaper, D’Alessior, Jr said Lall has to face a bail application hearing next Monday.
He noted that his home and office are about an hour and half away from freehold without traffic, while his office is 15 minutes away from the Essex County Jail.
The lawyer also said that his client’s wife and two children, both under 12, live in Bergen County and visiting is very difficult for them.
D’Alessior, Jr argued that his client should be transferred to enable his legal team to better prepare for his case as the Monmouth County Jail has no contact visit and there will be a large amount of paperwork involved to prepare for his trial.
Lall was sentenced in 2016 by US District Judge Jay A. Garcia-Gregory to one year in prison and his private jet and over half a million US dollars seized from him were forfeited to the US government after he had pleaded guilty to bulk cash smuggling.
At the time of his sentencing, Lall also faced charges both in New Jersey and in New York for alleged money laundering and drug trafficking.
While he was defending the charges in New York during the year he was incarcerated, the cases in New Jersey had not progressed. However, in August of this year, the prosecution in New Jersey filed a new indictment, this time charging Lall with four crimes.
He is now facing a conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to structure funds, conspiracy to import cocaine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine, all allegedly committed between April, 2011 and November, 2014.
Following the filing of the new indictment, which also included a new forfeiture application, the charges in New York were discontinued since the prosecution acknowledged that they were similar to the ones he now faces in New Jersey.
Lall’s legal woes began in November of 2014. It was then that searches of his private aircraft during a refueling stop at the Luis Munoz International Airport, in San Juan, Puerto Rico uncovered US$620,000 stashed aboard the plane. Lall was travelling to Guyana at the time.