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A federal judge has agreed to postpone the date on which former New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins will surrender himself and begin a 26-month prison sentence due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Collins, who pleaded guilty to charges related to insider trading in 2019, claimed through his legal team that because of his “high risk factors” for suffering serious illness from COVID-19, he should not have to report to the facility in Pensacola, Fla., where he will be serving his sentence.
CHRIS COLLINS, FORMER GOP REP, SENTENCED TO 26 MONTHS IN PRISON OVER SECURITIES FRAUD
“We respectfully submit that the unprecedented circumstances described above concerning the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, the extreme danger to elderly prisoners with high risk factors who enter or remain in incarceration, and the fact that BOP may have to isolate new prisoners in local and county facilities that may be ill-equipped for such tasks, combined with Mr. Collins’ own high risk factors for susceptibility to severe COVID-19 illness,” Collins’ request said, “constitutes good cause for continuing the Report Date of Mr. Collins to the designated facility from April 21, 2020 to 2:00 p.m. on June 23, 2020.”
Judge Vernon Broderick agreed to Collins’ request after prosecutors declined to oppose.
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This comes at a time when prisoners are being released due to the stresses placed on corrections facilities trying to deal with the outbreak. District attorneys in New York City agreed to release certain offenders, but recently lashed out at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration for including domestic violence and sex offenders in those recommended for release, despite the mayor saying such offenders would not be among those let out.
President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, currently in the middle of a three-year sentence for financial crimes and campaign finance violations, sought his own release from a New York federal prison, but was denied.
Fox News’ Marta Dhanis contributed to this report.