[This just in from a reliable source at the Metropolitan Detention Center [MDC]. Our sources at MDC have to remain deeply covert and carefully get information out to us to avoid detection. They can only communicate with us periodically. We can’t just call them on the phone for updates.]
BROOKLYN –Keith Alan Raniere [AKA prisoner #57005-177] was caught with a cell phone in prison.
He was removed from his cell in the pre-sentencing section of MDC and sent to the Special Housing Unit [SHU] where he remains in solitary confinement.
He is permitted to leave his cell for one hour per day to exercise but is not permitted to associate with other inmates during that hour.
The cell phone incident occurred about two weeks ago, and Raniere has been in the SHU since then. He has two weeks remaining before he can rejoin fellow detainees who have been convicted but have yet to be sentenced. He was housed there when he was caught with the phone.
Raniere’s sentencing date, originally scheduled for late September, has been postponed by the judge prior to the cell phone incident. It is believed he will be sentenced in late October or November.
Raniere, who was known to followers as Vanguard, was convicted on June 19, 2019, a date now known as Vangone Day.
He has been in federal custody since March 26, 2018, following an arrest by Mexican Federal Police in Puerto Vallarta, where he was found hiding in a closet of a villa and was immediately deported. The FBI arrested him later in the day as he crossed the border into Texas.
That Raniere procured and used a cell phone in prison surprised no one. It has been long rumored that he remains in contact with followers. Recently defected Nxians told Frank Report that they wondered how his orders to followers were being conveyed.
It is believed that Nxivm is now being run by Clare and Sara Bronfman [funding], Edgar and Omar Boone [Mexican operations], Loreta Garza [Rainbow Cultural Garden], Esther Carlson [Nxivm USA], Nicole Clyne [DOS], and James Del Negro [SOP].
Raniere’s cell phone is likely in FBI possession for analysis. It should be interesting for agents to see who Raniere has called.
While Clare Bronfman is likely to have used a burner phone to speak with Raniere [if she did speak to him], calls may be traceable to her home.
Bronfman lives at her Manhattan luxury apartment. The terms of her $100 million bail package subject her to home confinement but permit her to leave her apartment two times per week for 90 minutes and once per week for two hours for exercise and shopping.
The reason Raniere’s cell phone was confiscated is that, in federal prison, a cell phone is considered to be contraband. The only way for prisoners to make authorized calls is to use the payphones that are available in each unit. Payphone calls can be monitored by prison personnel and, if a warrant has been granted, by federal law enforcement.
In the case of a high-profile racketeering criminal such as Raniere, whose enterprise is still under investigation, it is likely that his payphone calls are monitored and recorded to gather additional evidence against him and his associates.
The typical penalty for possession of a cell phone by a prisoner is 30-days in the SHU. Following that, typically, for an additional period of time, the prisoner is not permitted to use the payphones.
Prior to being sent to the SHU, Raniere was in the section of MDC where pre-sentencing detainees are housed.
Where Did He Get the Phone?
Almost all cell phones used by prisoners are brought into prison by Corrections Officers [COs]. It is not known if Raniere bought the cell phone directly from a CO or from a prisoner who acted as a middle man.
According to one former prisoner at MDC, from 1/3 to 1/2 of the COs supplement their income by providing contraband to prisoners.
Raniere likely took pains to hide the phone and speak quietly at times when no one was near. The ringer was most likely off. He may have spoken from beneath his sheets in bed in a whisper. Somehow he got caught.
One former inmate at MDC told Frank Report that it is possible that whoever sold Raniere the cell phone also turned him in. Raniere is not well-liked at MDC, our sources have told us.
The cost of an illegal cell phone at MDC varies but is usually in the $100-$200 range.
Sometimes, COs work with a reliable prisoner who does the direct marketing of cell phones and other contraband to prisoners including alcohol, drugs, porn, food and other items.
This blot on Raniere’s prison record is not considered significant despite the fact that he is awaiting sentencing. It will likely be mentioned in his pre-trial sentencing report, but, since he is facing a minimum of 15 years, and more likely a life sentence, possession of a cell phone is likely to be a blip on the radar.
Did He Talk to Clare and Other Nxivm Convicts?
Clare Bronfman is also awaiting sentencing, as are Allison Mack, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, and Kathy Russell in the Nxivm racketeering case.
If it is determined that any of these were in phone contact with Vanguard, they may face stiffer penalties, since all co-defendants [with the exception of mother and daughter Salzmans] are prohibited from speaking with each other unless an attorney is present.
Of the five co-defendants, I believe only Clare Bronfman is steadfastly supporting Vanguard.
Lauren dramatically testified against him.
Nancy has been heard denigrating him to friends and former Nxivm members. [That could be an act.]
Allison Mack, in a teary-eyed allocution, denounced him to the world. [How sincere that was is anybody’s guess.]
Kathy Russell may still long for the golden days of Nxivm when she and Raniere found young vixens to inveigle into threesomes, but she has no doubt been advised to steer clear of her Vanguard. She faces only 6-12 months based on sentencing guidelines. Would Kathy take his calls? Possibly.
But the more significant question is why would he bother to call her?
Raniere doesn’t need Kathy. His calls from prison would more likely be made to those still active in Nxivm and who are not sidelined by the fact that they are awaiting sentencing.
The only Nxivm convict who could be really helpful to Raniere is Clare – both because she’s running Nxivm and because of her wealth.
Bad to Worse for Raniere
Overall, things have gone poorly for Vanguard. He was convicted on June 19th after a humiliating and disgusting six-week trial that saw the jury render a verdict within three hours: Guilty on all counts.
He was placed on suicide watch. He has been beaten up several times despite his claim of having prodigious judo skills. He has had his glasses stolen several times. Shit put in his shoes. He contacted ringworm and other ailments. He is almost universally despised by both guards and inmates, especially Mexicans who have learned about his abuse of Mexican women and girls.
He went from the luxurious and pampered life he lied to achieve and enjoyed for decades to the life he deserves – and which he will likely have to endure for decades – or for as long as he lives.
As he said so often when he was destroying others and loving it, “He who has the most joy wins.”
Viva Executive Success!