Pro Bono Client Receives Below-Guidelines Sentence

August 31, 2021

Cleary Gottlieb represented Mr. C in connection with federal racketeering and narcotics charges filed against him in the Southern District of New York, including most recently during his guilty plea and sentencing hearing.

Although he initially faced up to a 20-year sentence, Cleary successfully advocated for Mr. C, and he was ultimately sentenced to a below-Sentencing Guidelines sentence of just 27 months.

Mr. C is a young father who was denied bail, despite turning himself in when he learned there was a warrant for his arrest. The government, seeking to keep him in prison, alleged he was involved in two murders and had a leadership role in a gang.

Mr. C entered prison shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been confined for the duration of the crisis while his girlfriend and young child became homeless after losing his income. Due to their difficult situation and the ongoing pandemic, he was unable to contact them for over a year.

A small Cleary team sifted through a mountain of evidence, including hundreds of hours of phone and video recordings, in order to dissect the government’s allegations about our client and ultimately dissuade them from charging him with any involvement in the two murders. Ultimately, the prosecution agreed to a low sentencing guidelines range. Based on the prosecution’s agreement and the team’s thoughtful sentencing submission, the Court sentenced Mr. C to 27 months. With time served, he now has less than a year of his sentence remaining before he is reunited with his family.

Cleary was appointed to represent Mr. C under the Criminal Justice Act.