Luthmann: Raniere’s Trip From MDC Brooklyn to USP Tucson Was Not a Savory One

Keith Alan Raniere is believed to be the smartest man in the world who is facing life in prison.
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. 
By Richard Luthmann

Richard Luthmann is a writer and contributor for the Frank Report.  He recently appeared on Scott Johnson’s radio show.

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.

Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn, NY.

Scott Johnson:

I came across Richard on, 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.

Richard Luthmann:

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.

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 located by the Henry Street Basin warehouse district in the Sunset Park neighborhood.

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.

The 29th Street entrance to the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center.
The 29th Street entrance to the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center.

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 servitudes, except for prisoners.

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

About the author

Richard Luthmann

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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  • Meh, as much as I despise the arbitrary infliction of pain, it’s hard to feel for Raniere when he did this to women for no purpose but his own depravity. This isn’t exactly Midnight Express.

    And hopefully SHU Fly makes KRs eyes light up and tummy say Howdy!

    • Snorlax- I agree. I also believe that the first 3 or 4 beatings Raniere received were well deserved.

      However, at certain point it becomes torture. When the line is the line crossed is open to debate.

      Joe O’Hara was prosecuted for a white collar crime and he endured wretched conditions that would be considered animal abuse if done to a dog.

  • So wait, was Richard there when the dead-Enders were dancing? If so, how did you like the show?

    100%, slavery has not ended in the United States. It was just transferred to the prison system.

  • Richard-

    As I’ve mentioned before I’m a NOW a fan of yours. You are making a difference and getting the word out regarding the corrupt BOP and DOJ. I salute you! Sincerely!

    A while back I stated that Scott Johnson is a religious extremist and diehard anti-Semite. He hates Jews. I advised you not to do his show.

    Here are some excerpts from his forum group:

    “That’s easy. There is obviously evil in this world, and good must oppose it. All Kikes are evil.”

    “Speaking of intelligence, the Old Testament is filled with stories of God bailing out the Jews, then they turn on Him, He bails them out again, and the story repeats itself over and over.”

    “The kikes killed my Christ”

    “Filthy kikes are inbreed.”

    In addition Scott Johnson harassed a woman whose sister who committed suicide at Kieth Raniere’s hands.

    Scott Johnson is the definition of “scum.”

    You clearly are your own person and make your own decisions. I just wanted to shed some light on who your dealing with.

    Scott hasn’t changed. He now allegedly, resides in Utah, and has joined a hardcore Moron spinoff cult.

    • Let it be known that I deplore antisemitism, and I believe wholeheartedly in religious toleration.

      That being said, if a person said deplorable things in the past but is now genuinely remorseful, I will give them the benefit of the doubt. We all say and do stupid things in life. No one is God.

      I have only encountered Scott Johnson being a gentleman. If something changes, I will act accordingly.

  • Why are none of my comments being posted? Seems if I mention the TRUTH about S and I, the comment never posts.

  • Thanks for coming on the podcast/radio show Richard, you did a great job. There’s lots of authors and commenters on this and many other websites who are too scared and are therefore abject cowards. We would love to have you on at least one more time. There is one instance of misspelling Peter’s last name, it is Mingils. Just want to give Peter credit for over seven years of weekly shows, most of which last an hour to an hour and a half, and mainly focus on MLM scams to help educate others before they get scammed.

  • Our treatment of prisoners is reprehensible. We degrade and dehumanize them as well as their families.

    We go from a formal courthouse that suggests honor, fairness and integrity, with full knowledge those sentenced will be subjected to physical abuse and psychological torment.

    Our government doesn’t want recovery or rehabilitation. They want retribution and punishment. Thriving on power, sadists working for the bop take pleasure in human suffering. God help us all.

    • If it was that important to you then you would be doing more than posting your displeasure on an obscure website comment section. God isn’t going to help you, He gave you a brain to help yourself, but you have to use it. LOL

    • The Criminal Justice System has to “feed the beast.” The so-called “Prison Industrial Complex.”

      I would just make the observation if we made a few common sense changes to our country’s approach to criminal justice, there would be millions of “essential workers” out of a job. And the Law Enforcement Unions would never let that happen.

      Also, the system promotes “win at all costs” and “career advancement” for Prosecutors and Federal Agents. This creates a real tension with seeing that actual justice is done. We talked a little bit about that on the podcast.

      • Not to speak for Scott, but I think he’s snearing at you. He thinks you should DO MORE. Stop wasting your time on this obscure website and on podcasts with single digit listeners. Enough with your observations. Enough talking. Do something!!! Scott thinks you should stop being a COWARD!

        • Yeah. Stop being a coward and stop the Amway tool scam. It is probably the single most pressing issue threatening America today. By far. An MLM divided against itself cannot stand.

    • I agree.

      Our prison system is far out of sync with the rest of the civilized world.

      And Keith’s punishment is a case in point.

      In many European countries, the age of consent is 14 or 15 years old (a few of them are 16 years old, but most are either 14 or 15 years old).

      That means Keith’s indictment related to Cami (a 15 year old) would not even be a crime if he were living in most European countries.

      …And when European citizens violate those laws with a fully-consenting person who’s only 1 year younger than the age of consent, their justice system takes a more moderate approach when dispensing prison time (they don’t just “throw the book” at people and take away most of their lives, as we do here in America).

      Ghislaine Maxwell received 20 years for a crime that probably wouldn’t even be a crime in many European nations.

      Yet, we’ve taken away much of her life because it happened in America —- and because we couldn’t punish Epstein due to his suicide, thus we had to unleash our fanatical anger on the next most convenient person.

      I’m not saying that Ghislaine is not guilty. She deserves punishment, but her current punishment is nothing but left-wing madness run amok.

      Many FR members are part of this problem, including such extremely political FANATICS like Ice-Nine, Aristotle’s Sausage, Erasend, Joseph O’Hara and Ruth Graham.

      The FR members who say that Keith deserves life in prison are also the same people who have no problem with Roman Polanski engaging in fornication with a 13 year old girl after plying her with drugs and alcohol.

      Keith did not give drugs or alcohol to anybody to make them consent more easily, unlike Roman Polanski.

      Yet nobody is screaming for Polanski to get 120 years in prison.

      Heck, most left-wing Hollywood bigwigs threw a hissy-fit when prosecutors wanted Polanksi to get just 3-4 years in prison. LOL.

      I also agree that right-wingers have made punishments too severe for most drug possession offenses, and that all aspects of American prison policy are in need of overhaul.

      Have a good day.

  • Sorry, but some corrections to this article need to be made.

    First off, Scott does not have a radio show. Peter Mingils holds Scott’s hand and allows Scott to put his name on a weekly podcast.

    Secondly, Richard did not appear on Scott’s podcast. Richard carried the entire hour and 30 minutes virtually solo. Scott would periodically pipe in to kiss Peter’s ass. (not that I blame you Scooter – Peter seems to have his act together and you don’t want him to catch on to what a horrible person you are. But, it’s all in good fun, huh, Scoot?)

    Anyways, Richard was great and wildly entertaining. Another good listen for those who want to hear about Raniere from his CBI / pre-NXIVM days is a three part interview Mingils did with Fred Weih.

    • You consistently earn your name, Nutjob. Nobody holds anyone’s hand on my show, I wouldn’t hold your hand if you came on, which is why you won’t. LOL We allow our guests to take the lead when they’re on our show and Richard was able to maintain engaging topics throughout. Sometimes we interrupt/help our guests when things slow down and/or want to address another topic and we largely didn’t have to do that with Richard. If you had bothered to listen to any of our other nearly 400 shows you would have known we sometimes don’t have guests and both Peter and I do a great deal of talking back and forth. But you’re a NUTJOB and won’t do that. LOL What’s fun is mocking your COWARDESS. LOL

      • Why won’t you have Alanzo as a guest? Are you CHICKEN of getting Scientology mad? Stop being CHICKEN and let Alanzo carry your pod for an hour and a half.

          • That is awesome! I’ve always liked Alanzo.

            Guess you and Peter can do more of that back-and-forthing on Sat. Maybe you can tell Peter about the time you told the insanely nice female FR commenter who had terminal cancer that she was a loser and should hurry up and die. Don’t get me wrong – I know it was cool cause you were “just having fun”!

          • We have a guest on the show this Saturday, from India, where it will be Sunday morning. If you dig up a link to the conversation, I would be happy to talk about it on the show in a future show, in context. You can join us on the show to debate it, but you’re too big of a COWARD. LOL

        • You know Scott is sore afraid Alanzo would tear him to shreds over the Amway Tool Scam, and how little Scott is doing to combat this tribal ninny global cultic threat. From what I can tell and I could be wrong, Peter is not a coward. He is not too cowardly to pick up the phone and speak to Alanzo.

  • Meh. People in the past (as little 100 years ago in the rural parts of the US and definitely third world countries) used to have to travel much more difficult journeys in their lives, with much slower transport or none at all, shoddy shelter and scraps for food. People are offended by little nowadays and complain about everything.

    • Mr. Anonymous, your reply is a rather stupid one.

      Using your own douchebag logic, people from 100 years ago had it easy compared to the people from 3,000 years ago.

      Did Julius Caesar ever take a shit on a Kohler?

      How did Neanderthals treat common ailments?

      I bet they had it so rough that nobody should complain about anything in today’s world.

      I’m guessing that if somebody took away your cell phone — you’d probably be crying like a baby for days. That’s the extent of your own toughness.

      Stop being a pussy and respond with a moniker —- so we can know WHICH anonymous pussy you are each time you post.

      I hope that you never get locked up cuz, based on your pussy-like demeanor, you’d quickly be grabbing your ankles as somebody’s bitch.

      In my opinion, you’d probably be a prison commodity (sold amongst inmates) — probably sold for between 2-3 money macks (expired macks) by the gang leaders.

      Have a good day.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083