ALBANY — The COVID-19 pandemic is adding more urgency to efforts by supporters of Albany pizza maker Mohammed Hossain to be released early from his 15-year federal prison sentence on terrorism charges.
Hossain, 65, has been pleading with federal prison authorities and prosecutors to allow for his early release after completing most of his 15-year sentence. He is scheduled for early release in July but has petitioned to be released immediately due to chronic health conditions, including kidney failure.
Now add fears over COVID-19 infection to his reasons for wanting to get out of a federal prison in Springfield, Mo. immediately and coming 体彩app官方网站 to his family in Albany where he intends to use private health insurance to pay for his medical care.
"The attempts to address Mr. Hossain's health conditions have been unsuccessful, risk further deterioration, and present life-threatening susceptibilities if exposed to COVID-19," Hossain's public defender Molly Corbett wrote in a March 26 filing in U.S. District Court in Albany.
State and federal prisons have increasingly become COVID-19 hotspots across the country体彩app官方网站, with some seeking early prisoner release as a solution to stop the spread.
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Hossain's attorney and supporters have argued that Hossain is no danger to the public upon his release. He was convicted of being part of a fake money-laundering scheme orchestrated by FBI informant Shahed Hussain, who posed as a wealthy businessman and enlisted the help of Hossain and the leader of an Albany mosque in a fake plot to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat in New York City. The mosque leader, Yassin Aref, has since been released from prison and was deported to his native Iraq. The trial took place in Albany in 2006 with FBI informant Hussain the star witness.
Hussain, a motel and limo operator who is now living in Pakistan, was the owner of the stretch Ford Excursion involved in the 2018 limo crash in Schoharie that killed 20 people. He also worked as an undercover informant for the FBI, participating in anti-terrorism stings in Albany and Newburgh in which Hussain convinced defendants into participating in fake terrorism plots with promises of money and gifts.
No decision has been made on Hossain's immediate release, which is opposed by federal prosecutors.