Businessman Charged In Weapons Smuggling Case Ordered Held Without Bail
NEW YORK (AP) _ A businessman accused of participating in a conspiracy to smuggle stolen military equipment to Iran was ordered held without bail Wednesday by a federal magistrate.
Edgardo Pangilinan Agustin, 45, of the New York borough of Queens, was named in a federal criminal complaint with four other people, including his brother.
″I am satisfied there are enough grounds to justify detention,″ said U.S. Magistrate A. Simon Chrein, adding that a package of property Agustin proffered to secure his release on bail was ″woefully inadequate.″
However, noting that Agustin, a native of the Philippines, was a naturalized U.S. citizen and had close family ties here, Chrein said the bail issue could be reopened later.
At a detention hearing Tuesday in the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn, Philip Halpern, an assistant U.S. attorney from San Diego, where three other suspects were being held, argued that Agustin would flee the country if he were released on bail.
″It is our belief that he has spent more time in the Philippines than in this country,″ said Halpern.
Lonn E. Berney, Agustin’s attorney, argued Tuesday that his client had long term ties to this country including two daughters, 22 and 17.
″His children are the most important things in his life,″ said Berney, noting that Agustin’s wife died recently.