Mark N. a client of Rosenfeld & Sawyer had faced 18 charges including first degree robbery and assault with a firearm following an incident involving a marijuana transaction in June of 2018. The state of California had dismissed all charges against Mark N. who was represented by defense attorney Allen Sawyer and Ken Rosenfeld. The US Attorney for the Eastern District of California McGregor Scott brought Federal Charges and after extensive litigation Mark N. Entered a Plea to One Count of Hobbs Act Robbery.
FRESNO, CA—April 10, 2020—An Illinois man who allegedly engaged in a transaction of cannabis that resulted in State charges of kidnapping and torture of six victims, as well as the theft of marijuana and personal items in Calaveras in June of 2018, had all charges against him dismissed by the State of California. The State case was dismissed when Federal Prosecutors in Fresno indicted Mark N. in Federal Court in Fresno.
After 16 months of litigation, Federal prosecutors entered into a plea agreement with the defense for a single count of Hobbs Act Robbery in Federal Court in Fresno, California. His sentencing is scheduled for June 10, 2020. The Federal Government is recommending a 57 Month Sentence but under the plea agreement, the defense is allowed to argue for a downward departure.
My client, a businessman, intended to engage in what he perceived—and what all parties understood to be—a legal transaction,” said lead attorney Allen Sawyer of Rosenfeld & Sawyer, who defended Mark N. “(Mark N.) was looking at seven consecutive life sentences for the alleged acts. It was very satisfying that we were able to have all the charges dismissed in the state court and reach a favorable agreement with the Federal Government,” said co-counsel Ken Rosenfeld of Rosenfeld & Sawyer.
”The case took a dramatic turn when 5 correctional guards and 3 inmates contracted COVID 19 in Federal lockup in Kern County Jail in Bakersfield, CA, where Mark N. was awaiting sentencing.”
“The case took a dramatic turn when 5 correctional guards and 3 inmates contracted COVID 19 in Federal lockup in Kern County Jail in Bakersfield, CA, were Mark N. was awaiting sentencing,” said lead defense attorney, Allen Sawyer.
“We believed the awful turn of events placed our client’s life in jeopardy,” said Allen Sawyer. “I filed a motion for extraordinary relief based on the dire circumstances. I wanted my client immediately released from custody,” stated Allen Sawyer.
Initially, Federal Judge Dale A. Drozd of the Eastern District in California denied the extraordinary motion but Allen Sawyer, of Rosenfeld & Sawyer, filed a motion for reconsideration. On April 10, 2020, Judge Drodz reversed his decision and ordered the immediate release of Mark N. over the strenuous objections of the United States Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of California.
This was the first time during the COVID 19 pandemic where a Federal inmate facing sentencing was released from custody in California. “The judge recognized the danger posed by this virus and the risk to Mark N. if he continued to remain in custody,” said Allen Sawyer. Allen Sawyer continued, “[t]he Government cannot violate my client’s 5th Amendment right to Due Process and 8th Amendment right and prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and we appreciate Judge Drodz for valuing our client’s rights.” Sawyer added, “this was a case of first impression for California and the Court got it right.” Mark N. was released immediately and is quarantined in California until he returns to Chicago, where he will remain under house detention.
About Rosenfeld & Sawyer
The Law Firm of Rosenfeld & Sawyer is located in Sacramento, Stockton, and San Jose, has successfully defended a number of high-profile media cases. As a California criminal defense lawyers, Ken Rosenfeld and Allen Sawyer aggressively serves their clients across a wide scope of cases, from first-degree murder to driving under the influence (DUI defense), with a specialty in defending sex offense cases and political corruption cases. As experts in criminal law commentators Ken Rosenfeld and Allen Sawyer have made a number of appearances on television and radio, including national media, as a legal expert. There criminal defense law firm also practices federal criminal defense and juvenile defense, as well as appellate law, prison law, and mental health law. For more information, please contact Allen Sawyer at (209) 645-0556, visit www.allensawyer.com or Ken Rosenfeld directly at (916) 447-2070, visit www.therosenfeldlawfirm.com.
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