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Feds blast drug kingpin’s bid for NY prison release due to stress headaches, need for vegan diet




NEW YORK – Federal prosecutors on Friday criticized Queens drug leader Lorenzo “Fat Cat” Nichols’ attempt to get early release from prison for tension headaches, who said the convict’s migraine problem was “not an unusual and compelling reason” for a jail-free card.

The 63-year-old drug dealer made his request in a letter to Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Edward Corman on August 15, claiming he was concerned about his deteriorating health and suffering from “the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic.”

He also claimed that his grandson, sister and niece had died in recent years and had been denied a vegetarian diet in federal prison.

“Even though I try to stay strong, the mental stress weighs on me and raises my blood pressure,” he wrote. I am afraid my health will deteriorate rapidly under these circumstances. I’ve now developed a migraine after receiving news of another four-year prison sentence for miscalculation and failing to report a test violation for which I was not charged, judged, or known to exist.”

Nichols received a 25-year prison sentence, and a concurrent 40-year federal sentence, after pleading guilty in 1992 to masterminding the murder of parole officer Brian Rooney and the murders of two others, including his ex-girlfriend.

He has also been linked to but never charged with the murder of NYPD policeman Eddie Byrne, 22, who was executed while sitting in his patrol car in southern Jamaica, Queens, in February 1988.

After he spent 34 years in state prison, the parole board ordered his release earlier this year, angering the city’s police unions. But he still owed time to the feds, though he claimed that the time he had served since his 1988 arrest did not count toward his sentence. He is currently being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn

In a nine-page response to Nichols’ merciful release letter, Brooklyn-based U.S. attorney Bron Pace noted that Nichols never referred to any diagnosed illnesses in his plea for his release.


In order to receive merciful release, Nichols must provide an “unusual and compelling reason” or show evidence that he has a terminal illness or impairment, Pace explained.

Salam wrote: “He mainly complains of ‘migraines’ and unspecified ‘various health ailments’, including his ‘glucose levels and prostate.’ He does not indicate any illness. Rather, he asserts that he is “afraid” that his health is “rapidly deteriorating.”

Nichols asserts that “pandemic stress and anxiety” and “fear” warrant his release. But generalized anxiety is not an exceptional and compelling cause. There is no indication that Nichols’ anxiety caused a significant disability or impairment, wrote the US attorney general.

Pace added that Nichols never expressed any remorse for his crimes in the letter and “the government is not aware of any medical requirement that Nichols consume a vegan diet.”

Judge Corman will issue his decision on Nichols’ request in a few weeks.

Even if merciful release was approved, he would have to wait for his freedom. If he does grow up, he will be sent to Florida, where a 10-year prison sentence looms.



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