Grandfather sentenced to more than 500 years in jail ordered to be released immediately

Jessica Schladebeck, New York Daily News
·1 min read

A grandfather sentenced to serve 505 years behind bars was granted a reprieve by a Los Angeles judge, who ordered he be released “without delay.”

Juan Carlos Seresi was one of four people sentenced in 1991 to more than five centuries behind bars for laundering at least $300 million in cocaine cartel money, CNN reported. On Thursday however, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson cut his punishment down to time served and three years of supervised release.

All of the defendants have filed appeals in the case and Seresi’s attorney earlier this year filed a motion for a compassionate release, given his advanced age and high blood pressure diagnosis makes him high-risk for coronavirus.

The prosecutors office did not oppose and Wilson said there were additional “extraordinary and compelling reasons" to grant Seresi his freedom. The 73-year-old, initially slated for release on July 8, 2419, had already served 30 years for his crimes, which were not violent in nature.

Seresi also earned three associate degrees and had a near spotless disciplinary record during his time behind bars.

“The Court’s findings should not be construed to minimize the severity of the Defendant’s conduct,” Wilson wrote, emphasizing that Seresi was “a key employee of the ringleaders of a substantial money laundering conspiracy.”

His daughter, Patti Mawer, 46, praised the court’s decision in an interview with CNN on Thursday. She was just a teenager when her father was arrested.

“It’s a miracle,” she said. “After all this praying and all this hoping, he can’t believe it."

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