In June of 2015, our client, Mr. Elvis Moreno, was indicted along with 13 other people for his alleged involvement in a heroin ring operating in Staten Island, Yonkers, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. His arrest was part of a 15-month long probe called "Operation Lost Boys." It began after police found a text message from a known drug dealer to a 21-year-old who had died of a drug overdose.
Prosecutors painted our client as Kingpin. He was charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fourth-degree conspiracy.
Denial of a Plea Deal
In March of 2018, the special prosecutor handling the case and our client's then-defense attorney negotiated a plea deal wherein Mr. Moreno would plead guilty to the misdemeanor of fourth-degree conspiracy only. In exchange, he would receive inter alia, a 15-day jail sentence.
However, New York State Supreme Court Justice Willam E. Garnett rejected the plea deal. He stated that our client was at the top of the drug ring and did not believe that he should receive a lesser sentence than those imposed on the other co-conspirators.
The Verdict and Sentence
In June of 2018, a jury found Mr. Moreno guilty of both charges: third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fourth-degree conspiracy. A month later, Garnett sentenced our client to 7 years in prison.
Appealing the Judgment
After sentencing, Portale Randazzo LLP was retained to Appeal the conviction. We filed a motion pursuant to C.P.L. 460.50 to stay the judgment against Mr. Moreno.
During oral arguments, a hot Second Department bench questioned the strength of the evidence against Moreno. The very next day, on March 3, 2021, the Appellate Division, Second Department granted our motion and ordered Mr. Moreno's immediate release from prison on his own recognizance. He will remain at liberty while his appeal is pending.
Portale Randazzo LLP seeks the best possible outcome in criminal matters even after a conviction. If you've been charged with a crime or a verdict has been entered in your case, contact us at (914) 292-3557 to learn how we can help.