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United States v. Gentille

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

April 9, 2020, Decided; April 9, 2020, Filed

19 Cr. 590 (KPF)

Opinion

ORDER

KATHERINE POLK FAILLA, District Judge:

On November 1, 2019, Defendant Nunzio Gentille was sentenced by this Court principally to a term of six months' imprisonment. Gentille is serving the remainder of his sentence at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (the "MCC") in Manhattan; his scheduled release date is April 27, 2020. Gentille has moved for immediate release so that he may begin his term of supervised release, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i), citing the risks to his health occasioned by his continued incarceration at the MCC during the current COVID-19 pandemic. As set forth in the remainder of this Order, the Court grants his motion and orders that the remainder of his sentence be reduced to time served, and that he immediately be released to begin his period of supervised release.

BACKGROUND1

In April 2016, Nunzio Gentille was initially convicted in this District of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methylone, cocaine, and marijuana. See United States v. Gentille, No. 14 Cr. 608 (AJN). In that case, Gentille was sentenced on May 5, 2016, to a term of 60 months' imprisonment, to be followed by a term of five years' supervised release. (Id.; PSR ¶ 6).

On July 9, 2019, Gentille was transferred to the Bronx Community Reentry Center ("Bronx CRC"). (PSR ¶ 7). On July 24, 2019, Gentille walked away from the Bronx CRC and refused to self-surrender to the United States Marshals Service ("USMS"). (Id. at ¶¶ 8, 9). Gentille was ultimately arrested by the USMS on August 8, 2019. (Id.). On September 12, 2019, Gentille pleaded guilty to a one-count indictment charging [*3]  him with escape. (Minute Entry for September 12, 2019). The Court sentenced Gentille to six months' imprisonment. (Dkt. #16). The Court did not impose a period of supervised release because Gentille was already subject to a term of five years' supervised release for his prior conviction in United States v. Gentille, No. 14 Cr. 608 (AJN). (Id.). Presumably because of the short period of time remaining on his prison term, the Bureau of Prisons (the "BOP") allowed Gentille to remain at the MCC for the remainder of his sentence.

On March 30, 2020, counsel for Gentille filed a motion for compassionate release on his behalf. (Dkt. #28). In it, counsel requested that the Court modify Gentille's sentence to time served so he could begin serving the five year term of supervised release remaining in his prior conviction. Among other things, defense counsel observed that the COVID-19 virus "thrives in densely packed populations, and the MCC is ill-equipped to contain the pandemic and prevent COVID-19 from becoming a de facto health threat for Mr. Gentille." (Id. at 1; see also id. at 9 ("The MCC has disclosed that as of March 25, 2020, nearly one-third of its current population is high-risk within the CDC's definition [*4]  (205 inmates), creating a powerful likelihood that the coronavirus will spread throughout the facility, and particularly endanger the at-risk inmates, many of whom were already exposed to the virus by an inmate who tested positive and was housed on an open dorm unit with many of the at-risk inmates.")). In letter briefs dated March 31 and April 6, 2020 (Dkt. #30, 31), the Government expressed its opposition to Gentille's motion.

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2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62680 *

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -v.- NUNZIO GENTILLE, Defendant.

CORE TERMS

sentence, required to exhaust, supervised release, compassionate, exhaust, circumstances, reduction, Prisons, inmate, waive, term of imprisonment, imprisonment, reasons, courts