The man known by East Hampton Town police as Jose Torres, and by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as William Wilfredo Janders-Rodriguez, apparently has a third name. “My name is Casada,” he told a reporter as he was being led away from the East Hampton Town Justice Court on August 8. At that moment, he was in the custody of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department. That was about to change.
In court, the case of the People of the State of New York v Jose Torres had been, essentially, dropped, as East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky agreed to adjourn the case for one year “in contemplation of dismissal.” Torres had been originally charged with criminal mischief for allegedly smashing up the dashboard of an acquaintance’s car. That charge was brought as a felony. He was initially arraigned in East Hampton on that charge on July 6.
However, there was an arrest warrant for the man known to the Feds as Janders-Rodriguez. He had been indicted by a Federal grand jury on a charge of being a violent felon who had illegally re-entered the country after being deported as such. It was the second time he has faced that charge.
He had served six years in New York State prison for armed robbery in which the victim was injured, after which, in 2002, he was deported back to his native El Salvador. He then re-entered the country illegally, was caught, and, in 2011, pleaded guilty to the violent felony charge, and was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison, after which he was again deported.
At some point after that, he returned illegally, according to the Feds. He was indicted on that charge in March, and faces up to 20 years if convicted. Before that could happen, however, the local charge needed to be dealt with. Matthew D’Amato, an attorney from the Legal Aid Society who represented the man known on the local docket as Jose Torres, was adamant in open court sessions in East Hampton that his client would not take a plea.
Last Wednesday, the district attorney’s office threw in the towel by agreeing to what is termed an ACOD. Such an adjournment means that if the defendant stays out of trouble with the law for a prescribed period of time, in this case one year, the charge will be dropped.
If Torres or Janders-Rodriguez gets in trouble, it will likely be while in custody, which, in his case, would not be the first time. While serving his time upstate following the armed robbery conviction, he was charged and convicted of an illegal weapon in prison charge. Twenty-four hours after receiving his ACOD, federal marshals picked him up. He is now being held in the Federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
When prisoners are brought from county jail to court, they are allowed to wear their own clothing, instead of prison garb, if they so choose. Last Wednesday, the man known locally as Torres wore a suit with a purple dress shirt underneath the jacket. As he was being led from the court, a reporter had the following exchange with him: “How are you doing?” the reporter asked.
“How are you?” he responded back, smiling. “Good,” the reporter said. “Is your name Janders-Rodriguez or Torres?” the reporter asked.
“No. My name is Casada. William Casada. William Wilfredo Honduras Casada.”
“Are you concerned with possibly having to go to federal prison?”
He responded, “Yes, I am. Thank you very much.” He was speaking in a very polite, almost friendly tone.
He was asked if he would ever return to the U.S. “Would I return?” he answered. “No, sir. Thank you.”