Reformulated Sentences Bring No Relief to Pair Convicted of Racketeering, Extortion

Two former police officers convicted of racketeering and extortion couldn’t get a break on sentencing in District Court on Monday. Officers Enid Edwards and Francis Brooks were sent back to prison for another 10 years apiece.

When they’re done with that, they have another five years to serve at the Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility, said District Court Judge Curtis Gomez. The pair were first sentenced in June 2012.

Both were found guilty of violating the Criminally Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act for racketeering, conspiracy and extortion. When they began to serve their penalties, Edwards and Brooks faced 151 months in prison.

But by June 2017, 48 months had passed.

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As they entered the courtroom at the Ron deLugo Federal Building the passing of time could be seen. Brooks appeared thinner, Edwards, who was always thick, appeared wider and grayer.

Defense attorney Edgar Sanchez-Mercado told Gomez his client may be eligible for early release, based on a medical infirmity.

Mercado told the court about the documentation he’d amassed over the years, showing the difficulty of getting requests for medical specialists through the prison system.

“It is very clear the Bureau of Prisons has a difficult time taking care of Mr. Brooks’ health,” Mercado said.

Gomez was not impressed. He asked if there was any written declaration from the prison bureau saying they could not provide medical care.

Conversely, he asked Mercado, could it be shown that incarceration had done anything to contribute to Brook’s medical deterioration. The judge acknowledged from reports he received there were two medical impairments identified by doctors.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Chisholm agreed.

“There is notheing from this motion that you can glean that wold help you determine the Bureau of Prisons has contributed to Mr. Brooks’ health woes,” Chisholm said.

Resentencing of the two former cops was part of a broader order by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The order called for reduction of sentence for non-violent drug offenders.

Part of the Monday proceeding was a review of a newly formulated pre-sentencing report.

“I don’t believe anything has changed,” Chisholm said.

The only thing that changed, she added, was an increase in the court assessments each defendant has to pay. For Edwards, the assessment rose from $800 to $1,100.

Brooks paid his $700 court-ordered assessment in full at the time of his sentencing in 2012. After Monday’s hearing the assessment rose to $1,000, payable immediately with the previous $700 payment applied as a credit.

Brooks and Edwards were given 121 months apiece in federal prison and an additional 60 months to serve at Golden Grove after the federal terms are served. Both defendants were also ordered to serve three to five years of supervised release at the end of their prison terms.

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