Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


If you were wondering why Richard Chichakli, who is appealing his Federal conviction for OFAC violations, is serving his sentence at the Federal Detention Center (FDC) in Miami, you are not the only one. Chichakli's case was in the Southern District of New York, and his appeal is in progress at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which is also in New York. So why does the Bureau of Prisons have him housed in Miami ?

An FDC is where inmates subject to pre-trial confinement, due to their risk of flight, or danger to the community, are confined. Also, witnesses being held for trial testimony, inmates who are at personal risk, for a variety of reasons, or inmates close to being released in the Miami area. It is not designed for one to serve his entire sentence. Chichakli is within two years if his release date, and his US citizenship, and lack of history of violence, all should have resulted in his institutional placement closer to his appellate attorney in New York. So why is he here in Florida, instead of somewhere in the northeastern United States ?

I suspect that his multiple pre-trial complaints, to the effect that the conditions of his confinement in New York prevented him from properly preparing for trial, might have something to do with it. Remember also that he was subject to "diesel therapy," a deliberately circuitous route to his final correctional destination, which results in multiple overnight stays in a number of county jails with primitive accommodations for transients.

 His attorney obviously cannot easily meet with his client, due to the fact that he was abruptly shipped, after sentencing, to the Miami FDC, in a move that an objective observer might see as a punitive BOP response to his vocal complaints to the Court, and to the Bureau of Prisons staff. We wonder why he is not sitting in a Federal Prison Camp, given his profile and history, and the short time remaining upon his sentence. Is it because he, like his co-defendant and partner, Viktor Bout, fell out of favor with the American intelligence community ?


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