A Major Twist of Fate: Judge Makes Surprise Decision in FBI-orchestrated Terrorist Conspiracy

Photo: NY1
Photo: NY1
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The last incarcerated member of the of the Newburgh Four—the four men who were accused and wrongly convicted of terrorism because of an FBI informant’s alleged lie—is about to be released after serving 15 years in prison. Yes, 15 years of a 25-year minimum sentence.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon granted James Cromitie compassionate release from prison, AP News reported. The order comes six months after McMahon ordered the release of his three co-defendants—Onta Williams, David Williams and Laguerre Payen—who were all convicted in 2010 of terrorism charges.

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Furthermore, McMahon said, “The notion that Cromitie was selected as a ‘leader’ by the co-defendants is inconceivable, given his well-documented buffoonery and ineptitude.” The cherry on top, Cromitie was allegedly brought into this fraudulent conspiracy by notorious federal informant Shaheed Hussain, she added.

McMahon referred to Hussain as “most unsavory” and a “villain” used by the government to “troll among the poorest and weakest of men for ‘terrorists’ who might prove susceptible to an offer of much-needed cash in exchange for committing a faux crime.”

Cromitie’s lawyer, Kerry Lawrence, said Cromitie’s family was very content with McMahon’s decision.

In an email, Lawrence stated: “I’m obviously thrilled that Mr. Cromitie will be released from prison, but still believe that his conviction was entirely the product of government entrapment.”

He added, “Seeing as he was hounded and manipulated by the government informant way more than any of ... the other defendants who were previously ordered released, it would have been shocking if Judge McMahon didn’t grant our motion.”

Welcome to freedom, Cromitie.

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