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United States v. Perez

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

April 1, 2020, Decided; April 1, 2020, Filed

17 Cr. 513-3 (AT)

Opinion

ORDER

ANALISA TORRES, District Judge:

Wilson Perez, a prisoner serving his sentence at the Metropolitan Detention Center (the "MDC"), moves for a reduction of his term of imprisonment under the federal compassionate release statute, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). Def. Letter, ECF No. 92. For the reasons stated below, Perez's motion is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND

On October 21, 2019, Perez pleaded guilty to kidnapping and conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201. ECF [*2]  No. 85. On January 2, 2020, the Court sentenced him to three years of imprisonment and two years of supervised release. ECF No. 89. "Perez has a well-documented history of medical complications which stem from injuries suffered during his incarceration." Gov't Letter at 3, ECF No. 95. While housed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, he was the victim of two vicious beatings, resulting in a broken jaw and shattered bones around his eye socket; both attacks sent him to the hospital and necessitated reconstructive surgeries of his face, with the second surgery requiring metal implants. See Sentencing Tr. 9:8-18, ECF No. 74. Although Perez's physicians directed that he receive follow-up care, such care was repeatedly delayed or difficult to obtain. See id. 10:22-12:17. He continues to suffer from pain and persistent vision problems. Because Perez has been detained since his arrest on September 27, 2017, ECF No. 17, his prison sentence is set to terminate on April 17, 2020, Def. Letter at 1.

Perez requests release in advance of that date because he is at risk of contracting, and experiencing serious complications from, COVID-19 if he remains at the MDC. Id. at 1-2. He spends most of each day with a cellmate in [*3]  a small cell "that is barely large enough for a single occupant," where he is "breathing recirculated air" and "unable to practice proper hygiene." Id. at 1. Additionally, Perez "is in pain and not receiving pain medication." Id. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (the "BOP") acknowledges that COVID-19 is present within the MDC. See COVID-19 Tested Positive Cases, Federal Bureau of Prisons, https://www.bop.gov/coronavirus/. The Government does not object to Perez's release on the merits, conceding that Perez has a "heightened risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 due to his pre-existing medical issues," and that "he has less than a month remaining on his sentence." Gov't Letter at 3. But the Government questions the Court's authority to act on Perez's application, arguing that he has not exhausted the administrative remedies under § 3582(c)(1)(A), which requires that a defendant seeking compassionate release present his application to the BOP and then either (1) administratively appeal an adverse result if the BOP does not agree that his sentence should be modified, or (2) wait for 30 days to pass. Gov't Letter at 3-4.

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2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57265 *

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, -against- WILSON PEREZ, Defendant.

CORE TERMS

sentence, exhaustion, compelling reason, BOP, reduction, term of imprisonment, required to exhaust, administrative process, circumstances, surgeries, Prisons, modify, pain