Jonathan Braun ran a billion dollar international marijuana dealing operation out of his parents house in his childhood bedroom in Staten Island. Braun had Los Angeles street gangs and the Hell’s Angels smuggle marijuana through an Indian reservation on the New York – Canadian border and then distribute it all over the United States. None of Braun’s pot was approved for sale as medical marijuana.
The Feds busted 60 guys working for Braun. Braun was clearing $6 million a week. When the Feds were closing in, Braun fled to Canada, and then to Israel. The Israelis told Braun to return to the United States. Braun went back to the States and turned himself in. Israel has enough Russian gangsters and Jewish pot dealers. Send the American drug dealer back to Uncle Sam.
When Braun turned himself in the Feds seized about a million bucks in petty cash Braun had lying around his parents house in Staten Island. Braun’s friends and family posted $10 million in assets so that Braun could be out on bail.
Within a year of getting busted Braun negotiated a plea agreement. Braun pleaded guilty in 2011. Braun’s sentencing has been repeatedly postponed since 2011, for no apparent reason. In December of 2017 Larry Noodles wrote a blog about how Braun has evaded sentencing for almost seven years. Two months later the Federal Judge scheduled a sentencing date for Braun.
Usually when a criminal case sits around for close to ten years it is a good indication that the defendant is ratting out other guys. I don’t know whether Braun has been cooperating in another investigation. You would think any investigation would be over by now. But the Feds have been treating Braun very well compared to most drug dealers.
As part of his bail condition, Braun has been on house arrest in his parents house in Staten Island, which was also the center of his drug dealing operation. Most drug dealers convicted of Federal crimes languish in Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) while they wait for their sentencing date.
While he has been on home confinement for the past seven years, Braun got married to Miriam Hurwitz. Braun sired two children with Miriam while wearing an ankle bracelet. Miriam was wearing a choker. Miriam is currently pregnant with another Braun bundle of joy on the way.
The Feds provided Braun with many perks while he was on home confinement. You can read about these Braun benefits by clicking this link: BraunPerks Braun got permission to leave his home confinement to attend his engagement party at his in-laws house. The Feds gave Braun permission to go to the Ohel in order to receive a blessing from the Rebbe, permission to travel to the Diamond District to help pick out the wedding ring, permission to get fitted for a tux, permission to attend his sheva brachos, and permission attend Lamaze classes with Miriam. Braun was also allowed to go house hunting with Miriam.
Braun’s co-defendant Brian Guariglia got killed in a mysterious motorcycle accident in Staten Island. Guariglia’s death was ruled an accident by the Staten Island police. Co-defendant Akiva Saltzman, was found with a bullet in his head inside of a torched automobile in Los Angeles. Both guys were rumored to be rats because the Feds were not looking for long jail sentences.
A few months ago Braun’s attorneys submitted a sentencing memorandum to Judge Kiyo Matsumoto. Kiyo is a Federal judge who was appointed by President George Dubya. Kiyo is the only female Japanese Judge sitting on the Federal bench. Because she is a Republican she will not be deported by the President.
In the sentencing memo Braun’s attorney John Meringolo pleaded that Judge Kiyo grant Braun mercy. Meringolo argued that Braun should be spared a thirty year sentence, which is the norm in such a massive case of drug dealing, money laundering and extreme violence. Meringolo argued that because of his good deeds Braun should only get ten years. You can read the memo by clicking the link below:
Attorney John Meringolo stated the following in the memo: “Since his arrest and release on bail, Mr. Braun has consistently maintained employment. Currently, Mr. Braun works as a manager and risk analyst at a private lending company, Richmond Capital Group, LLC, where he has remained for the past five years. His employer is fully aware of the charges against him and remains supportive. Prior to his present employment, Mr. Braun worked as a senior funding specialist and director of sales and marketing at another lending company, Pearl Capital Rivis Ventures, LLC, that specialized in financing small businesses. Mrs. Braun is currently employed by this same company as a contractor and enjoys a successful and stable career in this field. Mr. Braun is dedicated to advancing his employment, earning potential, and creating a solid home for his family.”
Attorney Meringolo submitted a character letter signed by Braun’s employer, Robert
Giardina of Richmond Capital. Mr. Giardina stated: “The Jonathan that I know is a dedicated, hardworking member of my staff,and has risen to the position of Senior Funding Manager. This company, of which I am the Managing Partner, is in the financial field and trust in
our employees is not taken lightly. During the time that Jonathan has been an employee here, it is not uncommon that he works 12 hour days, and is always on time for work the next morning. I also know that in these past few years, that Jonathan has married, and has two beautiful children, whom I am sure will all, not only miss him but will be denied his guidance
as they grow, if sent to prison.”
Braun’s sentencing was scheduled for July 10th, 2018. The July 10th sentencing date was just rescheduled for the day after Yom Kippur on September 20th. Judge Matsumoto rescheduled the sentencing because new information was brought to her attention. Rabbi Avraham Lesches, of Crown Heights has recently been subjected to threats of violence by Braun due to a loan Richmond Capital had extended to a shul run by Lesches. Lesches filed a legal document in New York State Court in which he attested that Braun threatened to cause him physical pain and suffering if he didn’t pay off the loan.
Lesches stated in his affidavit that Braun called him and said the following: “Do you know who I am? I know everyone in your Chabad-Lubavitch community. I am going to come down there and beat the $%*# out of you at 770 Eastern Parkway… I am going to hang papers all over the lampposts in Crown Heights stating that you are a liar and a thief… I am going to make you bleed, you are going to regret the day you met me… You had the audacity to send that &unt Rachel Plaut, Esq. who do you think she is? She obviously does not know how this business works. Are you on your knees? Can you suck? Suck my #%^$.”
You can read a copy of this legal document by clicking the link below:
Lesches mentioned in his legal paperwork that he contacted the New York Police Department and got a restraining order against Braun. Braun should have went in the clink back in 2011 when he first pleaded guilty. If he got a ten year sentence back in 2011 he would have been close to the end of his sentence by now. He would have been in a halfway house right about now. Instead he is now looking at twenty years easy. What a shmuck. When I was locked up in Federal prison I always used to say that the drug dealers were the stupidest criminals in the jail.