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United States v. Orgias

United States District Court, E.D. New York

June 28, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
ZADEK ORGIAS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          WILLIAM F. KUNTZ, II, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On May 31, 2017, Zadek Orgias pleaded guilty to a lesser-included offense within Count Five of the Superseding Indictment. The Court now sentences him and provides a complete statement of reasons pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2) of those factors set forth by Congress and the President and contained in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). For the reasons discussed below, Zadek Orgias is hereby sentenced to 70 months of incarceration, 3 years of supervised release, a forfeiture money judgment of $1, 000, 000.00, and a $100.00 special assessment.

         BACKGROUND

         On July 15, 2015, the United States filed a seventy-five count Superseding Indictment against twenty-three defendants, including Zadek Orgias ("Defendant"). See Superseding Indictment, ECF No. 48. On May 31, 2017, Defendant pleaded guilty to a lesser-included offense within Count Five of the Superseding Indictment, which charged a Narcotics Trafficking Conspiracy. See Plea Agreement ¶ 1.

         The Court hereby sentences Defendant and sets forth its reasons for Defendant's sentence using the rubric of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Legal Standard

         18 U.S.C. § 3553 outlines the procedures for imposing sentence in a criminal case. If and when a district court chooses to impose a sentence outside of the Sentencing Guidelines range, the court "shall state in open court the reasons for its imposition of the particular sentence, and ... the specific reason for the imposition of a sentence different from that described" in the Guidelines. 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2). The court must also "state[] with specificity" its reasons for so departing "in a statement of reasons form[.]" Id.

         "The sentencing court's written statement of reasons shall be a simple, fact-specific statement explaining why the guidelines range did not account for a specific factor or factors under § 3553(a)." United States v. Davis, 08-CR-0332, 2010 WL 1221709, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 29, 2010) (Weinstein, J.). Section 3553(a) provides a set of seven factors for the Court to consider in determining what sentence to impose on a criminal defendant. The Court addresses each in turn. II. Analysis A. The Nature and Circumstances of the Offense and the History and Characteristics of the Defendant The first § 3553(a) factor requires the Court to evaluate "the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant." 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1).

         Defendant, now forty-four years old, was born in Brooklyn, New York on May 15, 1974. Presentence Investigation Report ("PSR") ¶ 74, ECF No. 487. Defendant is the only child born to the consensual union of Abdullah (last name unknown) and Grace Orgias. Id. His father resides in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and is employed overseeing the plumbing layout in new building construction. Id. His mother resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and works as a travel agent. Id. The parents are aware of Defendant's arrest and conviction, and they remain supportive of him. Id. Defendant has a maternal half-sister, Aisha Hinds, who resides in Woodland Hills, California. Id. ¶ 76. Defendant also has two paternal half-siblings, Aisha and Michael (last names unknown), who both reside in Atlanta. Id. The siblings are aware of Defendant's arrest and conviction, and they remain supportive of him. Id.

         Defendant advised Probation that he was primarily raised by his mother and his maternal half-sister's father, Mark Hinds, in a middle-income household. Id. ¶ 78. He had no contact with his biological father until he was in his thirties. Id. ¶ 79. He noted that he would call Mr. Hinds "dad," and Mr. Hinds treated him as his son "for the most part." Id. ¶ 78. Defendant recalled that Mr. Hinds physically and verbally abused his mother several times per month. Id. In addition, Mr. Hinds physically abused Defendant and his sister, and they were often beaten over "small things," like leaving the refrigerator open. Id. Mr. Hinds would beat Defendant with whatever items he could get his hands on, including belts. Id. Defendant noted that the abuse occurred regularly, and he was often bruised as a result of the beatings. Id. Defendant's mother and Mr. Hinds separated in 2001, and Mr. Hinds died from a heart condition at age 57, in 2013. Id.

         Defendant has primarily resided in Brooklyn. Id. ¶ 80. He resided in Grenada, West Indies, with a maternal aunt from 1980 to 1981, and 1987 to 1988. Id. Defendant noted that his mother sent him to live with aunt because the educational "structure" was better in Grenada. Id. From 1995 to 1997, Defendant resided in Largo, Florida. Id. Defendant recalled that his mother had relocated the family to Florida. Id. He resumed living in Brooklyn, New York, from 1998 to the present. Id.

         In 2011, Defendant became romantically involved with Abbecha Aaron. Id. ¶ 81. Ms. Aaron is a homemaker. Id. They have one child, Zadek Orgias, Jr. (age four at the time of the PSR), and Ms. Aaron has an additional child from a previous relationship. Id. Defendant has resided with Ms. Aaron and the two children since 2013. Id. ¶ 84.

         Although he shows no employment for the years 2010 through 2017, Defendant states he has been the primary supporter of Ms. Aaron and the children. Id. ¶ 82. There is no formal child support order from the court for the child. Id. At the time of the PSR, Ms. Aaron was searching for employment. Id. She had last worked as a cashier at a restaurant for a few months. Id. Ms. Aaron informed Probation that if Defendant were incarcerated, she would not be able to afford to rent the address of record on her own, and she would have to move in with her mother. Id. The move would also cause her other child to have to change schools. Id.

         In an interview with Probation, Ms. Aaron described Defendant as a "good person and great father." Id. ¶ 83. She speculated that his motivation for the instant crime was possibly financial. Id. Defendant's mother described him as "very loving, kind, gentle, and giving," and added that he had "found God" since his arrest. Id. ¶ 75. Ms. Hinds, Defendant's sister, also described him as a "good listener, and genuine friend." Id. ¶ 77.

         Defendant attended the ninth through the eleventh grades at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn from September 1988 to February 1991. Id. ¶ 97. Defendant withdrew from this school to attend an unrecalled high school in Florida, from which he earned his high school diploma. Id. Defendant advised Probation that he attended a single semester at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida, in 1996. Id. ¶ 96. Defendant withdrew from school because he was not "cut out" for it. Id. Notably, the verification response from the school indicates that Defendant completed ...


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