Judge orders Paul Manafort to be transferred to New York City’s notorious Rikers Island

Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who was sentenced earlier this year to nearly seven years in prison in connection with two federal cases, will be transferred later this week from a minimum security facility in Pennsylvania to New York City’s Rikers Island, a source close to Manafort told Fox News.

Rikers Island is the famous jail in the shadow of LaGuardia Airport. It has been the temporary home of some of the most high-profile violent criminals in the city, including  David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam; and Mark David Chapman, the man who killed John Lennon.

"He’s not a mob boss," the source close to Manafort said.

RIKERS ISLAND HAS BEEN CRITICIZED FOR VIOLENCE

A New York State judge ordered the transfer at the request of New York City District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. He will be held in solitary confinement for his own protection, the source said. The move is expected to happen as early as Thursday.

Vance, a Democrat, said in March that a New York grand jury charged Manafort with 16 counts including residential mortgage fraud, falsifying business records and other charges. He said at the time that “no one is beyond the law in New York.” Manafort cannot be pardoned by President Trump for state crimes.

Vance’s office did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News late Monday. Manafort’s defense team is planning an appeal, according to the source.

Manafort’s conviction in August made him the first campaign associate of President Trump found guilty by a jury as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis emphasized ahead of sentencing that the Manafort case was not about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Ellis said that the guidelines of sentencing Manafort to between 19 and 24 years in prison were "excessive for this case."

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Prosecutors said Manafort, 70, hid income earned from political work overseas from the IRS while fraudulently obtaining millions in bank loans. Manafort had pleaded not guilty to all 18 counts in the case.

In connection with a separate case in Washington related to foreign lobbying and witness tampering, Manafort was ultimately sentenced to nearly seven years in prison.

Fox News' Alex Pappas and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.