Luthmann is a former attorney and former federal prisoner. He discussed many issues with Johnson and co-host Peter Mingils on Building Fortunes Radio.
Among the topics Luthmann discussed with Johnson and Mingils was the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facility where Ghislaine Maxwell, R. Kelly, Luthmann, and NXIVM leader Keith Raniere lived for a time awaiting trial.
The following is not a verbatim transcript, but an edited for print version of the topics discussed.
I came across Richard on www.frankreport.com, which is the number one – and by the way – it’s by far the number one website – for finding information on NXIVM, which was led by Keith Raniere, who, in fact, Richard met in person, not that long ago.
MK10ART’s painting of Keith Raniere.
We don’t have too many guests on here who actually met Keith Raniere, the leader of NXIVM, who’s sentenced to 120 years in federal prison. He’s not getting out alive unless they overturn his case, which I don’t think is gonna happen.
I am currently a writer and investigative journalist for the Frank Report. I work with Frank Parlato. And with that outlet, we do a lot of different work, with NXIVM and other issues involving corruption: corrupt courts, corrupt attorneys, corrupt judges, and other issues that deal with exposés.
Richard Luthmann was formerly a bow-tied barrister.
I’ve been writing about the criminal justice system, particularly prisons. I have expertise in that area because I’m a recovering attorney living in Southwest Florida. I’m originally from Staten Island, New York. I went to Columbia University. I have a degree from the University of Miami.
And I got another degree from the Federal Government. I was indicted, prosecuted, and convicted in a politically-motivated hit job in the Eastern District of New York.
U.S. Courthouse for the Eastern District of New York
That was in 2017. I got sent to prison for four years, but they took me off the street right away. I didn’t make bail at first. After making bail, I was out about three months when they revoked my bail and sent me to the nuthouse to discredit me.
When I returned from the psychiatric facility, I was sent to the worst prison, probably in America. That prison is the MDC Brooklyn or the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center.
It’s in Brooklyn, in Sunset Park, which is by the docks by an inlet and is a big industrial area. Basically the middle of nowhere in Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn MDC is near the Henry Street Basin warehouse district in Sunset Park. And the MDC was built to warehouse individuals. It’s a human warehousing facility. It’s a federal facility, so it’s meant to warehouse prisoners.
By far, the biggest category of warehoused prisoners at MDC is pretrial inmates. These are people waiting to go to trial who don’t make bail. They are defendants waiting for court in Brooklyn or the Manhattan Federal Court.
The MDC has hundreds of individuals who haven’t made bail and have pending federal cases. They can wait in that facility for a long time, waiting for trial.
I was in MDC for almost two years. I ultimately got a four-year sentence, but by the time I was sentenced, I had already served about half.
At the MDC, I met Keith Raniere, who was there pretrial.
Keith Raniere as seen from outside his cell at the MDC.
There are also two other types of individuals at MDC. There are individuals there after they’ve been sentenced. They are usually from the New York area and are scheduled to be released within the next year or two. They do what’s called the CADRE — inmates who work in the prison.
The individuals in prison are the labor for the prison. The prison holds the inmates, and the inmates work for the prison.
Under our Constitution, the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery. But slavery or ‘involuntary servitude’ of prisoners is exempt. Prisoners can be forced to work, and prisoners don’t have to be paid minimum wage.
The 13th Amendment outlaws involuntary servitude except for prisoners.
If prisoners get paid, they get paid about $30 to $40 a month.
The CADRE prisoners at the Brooklyn MDC cook, clean, and transport materials and other duties – supervised by correctional officers.
The CADRE does the brunt of the work.
The third category of individuals at MDC is “in-transit” individuals.
If you get moved within the federal prison system, you sometimes do what people call “diesel therapy.”
Keith Raniere is at USP Tucson, in Arizona now.
He was in Brooklyn MDC until about 4 AM on January 5, 2021.
To get from Brooklyn to Tucson, he had a very, very hard trip.
Keith would have been awakened early one morning. He didn’t get any advance warning. And they took him out. His belongings were packed in boxes in the Receiving and Delivery section and put in the mail to his ultimate destination.
First, it is believed he took a bus to Lewisburg USP.
He remained in Lewisburg for a number of days. Then he flew to Oklahoma City via the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS), better known as “Con Air”, the agency of the federal government charged with the transportation of persons in legal custody among prisons, detention centers, courthouses, and other locations.
On Con Air, everybody is shackled down. It’s not a fun place to be.
Oklahoma City, a huge facility that warehouses about 1400 people in transit, is the central hub for Con Air.
Keith contracted COVID during his trip. It’s unclear how long he was in Oklahoma City, where it’s basically the same security level as almost death row.
There you are thrown into a cell. You don’t get any daylight. You’re in there, and alone. They throw sandwiches in for you a few times a day. And that’s that.
And the point is that you’re going to be put in transit, and for Keith’s journey, he probably flew from Oklahoma to another prison out west. Then he probably rode the bus from prison to prison until he made his ultimate trip to Tucson.
The journey from MDC Brooklyn to USP Tucson took 15 days and involved at least two midpoint stops.
And you recognize what that can do to somebody.
Stay tuned for part 2
Richard Luthmann is a writer, commentator, satirist, and investigative journalist with degrees from Columbia University and the University of Miami. Once a fixture in New York City and State politics, Luthmann is a recovering attorney who lives in Southwest Florida and a proud member of the National Writers Union.
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