Update January 14: Judge Darrin Gayles granted prosecutor's request. Bosch could be released as early as the end of this year if he completes drug rehab in prison.
Just over one year ago, Tony Bosch's lawyers pleaded for leniency from a federal judge as he was sentenced for running a secret steroid ring out of his Coral Gables anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis. Bosch had turned snitch for the feds, they argued, helping to indict seven other co-conspirators, and had helped Major League Baseball suspend his star clients, including Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and Nelson Cruz.
Judge Darrin Gayles wasn't having it, though. Citing Bosch's willingness to sell drugs to minors and his failed cocaine test while under court supervision, he hammered the steroid kingpin with 48 months in federal prison.
Today, prosecutors are asking for leniency yet again. In a new filing in federal court, they again cite Bosch's "substantial assistance to the government in the prosecution of others." This time, they're asking for a third of his sentence to be shaved off, leaving him with just 32 months in prison.
"The government is willing to elaborate on the nature and quality of this assistance at a hearing," U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer writes in the motion.
So what gives? Did Bosch keep helping the feds from prison with juicy new info that would warrant another reduction in his sentence? Neither Bosch's attorney, Susy Ribero Ayala, nor a spokeswoman from the U.S. Attorney's Office would comment on that question.
But Frank Quintero, a veteran federal attorney who successfully defended Lazer Collazo — a former University of Miami pitching coach charged in the Biogenesis case — says it's unlikely that Bosch has provided any new information. Instead, the feds are likely asking for a reduction based on the past help he gave prosecutors.
"I'd doubt very much there's anything new," Quintero says. "The people he testified against almost all plead guilty, and that's the standard ... Why do you think people cooperate? They know if they do, they're going to get a reduction."
Porter Fischer, the whistleblower who blew up the Biogenesis story by leaking clinic documents to Miami New Times, says Bosch doesn't deserve any sentence reduction.
"I don't see how someone who pretended to be a doctor, injecting hundreds of people, including underage athletes and kids, ... is even allowed a consideration on early release," Fischer says. "Judge Gayles did the right thing with his sentence. I don't think anyone involved got a sufficient sentence, with the exception on Bosch. How do you send a message to criminals, and actually make a difference with this problem with just a slap on the wrist from the government?"
Gayles will have to decide whether to hold a new hearing on the motion or to grant the prosecutor's request.
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