Skip to comments.Doc Gets 18 Months for Removing Prints
Posted on 02/13/2008 2:58:14 PM PST by Responsibility2nd
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) A plastic surgeon who replaced the fingerprints of a man involved in a drug ring with skin from the bottom of his feet was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison.
U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane called the crime "horrific" when she imposed the sentence on Dr. Jose Covarrubias.
Covarrubias, a U.S. citizen who lived in the border town of Nogales, Ariz., and practiced in Mexico, pleaded guilty Nov. 1 to a federal charge of harboring and concealing a fugitive.
He apologized to Kane for his conduct, and said he had learned his lesson.
Covarrubias, 50, has been held in Adams County Jail for about 10 months and can be released in eight months. After that, he faces three years probation.
Covarrubias' lawyer, Joseph Metz, said the sentence was fair.
The case was bizarre even to prosecutors, who didn't believe the stories of drug ring operatives without fingerprints until Marc George was arrested in September 2005 at the Nogales border crossing, bandaged and limping badly from the painful procedure.
Covarrubias was indicted in May by a grand jury in Harrisburg. Prosecutors say the drug ring moved cash and drugs from Tucson and elsewhere and distributed more than a ton of it in central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and other areas.
Covarrubias could have faced a sentence that was about twice as long, said William Behe, a federal prosecutor.
But Kane ruled that prosecutors couldn't prove Covarrubias knew about the specific crimes being committed by George, who has pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy.
Kane took another six months off the sentence because Covarrubias has cooperated with authorities who were investigating some of his other clients.
I say deport him.
It’s been a long workday. I thought the headline said “Pants.”
So if that was the case, what was the reason for convicting this guy? This is government nailing someone on grounds of Because We Can, which is the same logic used in the Ramos/Compean case.
Definitely deport him, some of his former patients might be waiting for him.
Because even if he didn't know what specific crimes the guy was committing, he KNEW that his operation to remove the criminal's fingerprints was itself a federal crime of harboring and concealing a fugitive. Had he known the specific crimes the fugitive had committed, then he could have been charged as a conspirator in those crimes as well. This has zero in common with the Romos/Compean case, other than the ethnicity of some of the parties involved.
Wonder who appointer her? /sarc>
ENTERED ON DUTY October 27, 1998
On Thursday, April 8,  US district judge Yvette Kane gave the government 10 days to release Abdel-Muhti, a stateless Palestinian national whom immigration authorities have held in prison for nearly two years while they claimed to be arranging his deportation.
She also was the judge for this case:
During a court hearing last week, the Commonwealth opposed U.S. Attorney General John Ashcrofts request for a second ballot, and for an extension of the absentee ballot deadline because all military and overseas ballots had been issued in time to be received and counted in accordance with law, and because a second absentee ballot would create significant voter confusion. After two days of hearings and arguments, U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane who served as Secretary of the Commonwealth under Governor Tom Ridge and is intimately familiar with Pennsylvania election law and procedures agreed with the Commonwealth position and denied the DOJ request.
The court ruled that all military and overseas absentee voters will have ample time to complete and return their ballots and their votes will be counted. As Judge Kane noted in her Memorandum and Order, the proposal by the federal government would have invited unpredictability to an otherwise orderly and time tested elections process and may do more to disenfranchise overseas voters than the harm they seek to cure.