United States District Court, D. Minnesota
A. Slaughter, Assistant United States Attorney, for the
E. Meczyk, Ralph E. Meczyk & Associates, for Defendant
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
N. Leung United States Magistrate Judge
November 14, 2017, Defendant Edgar Martinez-Sanchez,
represented by counsel, appeared before the undersigned
United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to Federal Rule of
Criminal Procedure 11 and entered a plea of guilty to Count 1
of the Superseding Indictment. (See ECF No. 115).
After cautioning and examining Defendant under oath
concerning subjects related to a guilty plea, including the
subjects set forth in Rule 11, the Court determined that the
guilty plea was voluntary and knowing, and the offense
charged was supported by a sufficient factual basis
containing each of the elements of the offense. This Court
therefore recommends that Defendant's plea of guilty be
commencement of the hearing, the undersigned informed
Defendant of his right to have an Article III judge, the
Honorable Joan N. Ericksen, United States District Judge for
the District of Minnesota, preside over the change of plea
hearing. See United States v. Cortez-Hernandez, 673
F. App'x 587, 588 (8th Cir. 2016) (per curiam). The
parties were informed that, should the undersigned conduct
the hearing, the assigned Article III judge will conduct a
de novo review of the record to decide whether to
accept Defendant's plea. United States v.
Torres, 258 F.3d 791, 795-96 (8th Cir. 2001). All
parties and counsel consented to the undersigned conducting
the change of plea hearing.
being placed under oath, Defendant was informed that the
Government can prosecute him for perjury or for making a
false statement should he lie under oath during the
change-of-plea hearing and the Government could use any
statements he made under oath in such a prosecution. Fed. R.
Crim. P. 11(b)(1)(A).
acknowledged he received a copy of the Superseding
Indictment, had an opportunity to review and discuss it with
his attorney, and waived reading of the Superseding
Indictment. Defendant acknowledged he received a copy of the
Plea Agreement and Sentencing Stipulations (hereinafter
“Plea Agreement”), (see ECF No. 116),
and had an opportunity to review and discuss it with his
attorney. Defendant's counsel confirmed he had conveyed
all the Government's formal plea offers to Defendant.
Missouri v. Frye, 566 U.S. 134 (2012).
Court then asked a number of questions to ensure that
Defendant had the mental capacity to enter the plea and that
the plea was voluntary. Defendant stated his full name, his
age and date of birth, that he was born in Mexico and is not
a United States citizen, and that he received a four-year
college degree in Mexico. Defendant is a native Spanish
speaker and communicated in court through the use of an
interpreter. Outside of the Plea Agreement, no one had made
any promise or assurance to Defendant to persuade him to
plead guilty, and no one had threatened Defendant to plead
guilty. Defendant reported no drug or alcohol addictions, no
recent drug or alcohol use, no prescribed medication use, and
no present treatment by doctors, psychiatrists,
psychologists, or therapists. Defendant had a clear head and
understood what he was doing. From the inquiry, the Court
determined Defendant was not suffering from any mental
disability that would impair his ability to offer a knowing,
intelligent, and voluntary plea of guilty to the charged
Court then discussed Defendant's rights as outlined in
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11, including: the right
to persist in his not guilty plea; the right to public trial
by jury comprised of 12 individuals from a cross-section of
the community; the right to a speedy trial; the presumption
of innocence; the right to require the Government to meet its
burden of proving Defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable
doubt; the requirement that the jury agree unanimously to
find Defendant guilty; the right to an attorney at every
stage of the criminal proceeding; the right to confront and
cross-examine witnesses and to compel the attendance of
witnesses; the right to choose to testify or not and that no
one can compel Defendant to testify; and the right to present
evidence and challenge the Government's evidence. Fed. R.
Crim. P. 11(b)(1)(B)-(E). Defendant understood he would waive
these rights should he plead guilty. Fed. R. Crim. P.
11(b)(1)(F). Defendant indicated that his counsel answered
all his questions about his rights, the plea, and this case,
and that he was satisfied with his counsel's
Court then advised Defendant of the nature of the charges
against him. Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(b)(1)(G). Under Count 1, the
Government charges Defendant with Conspiracy to Distribute
Cocaine and Methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and 846. (ECF No. 31,
at 1-2). The Government alleges that Defendant knowingly and
intentionally conspired with his co-defendants and others to
possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute, a
mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of
cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance, and a mixture
and substance containing a detectable amount of
methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance. (ECF No.
31, at 1-2). The Government alleges Defendant possessed five
kilograms or more of a mixture and substance containing
cocaine and 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance
containing methamphetamine. (ECF No. 31, at 1-2). The Court
also noted Defendant was charged with nine other counts in
the Superseding Indictment: Count 2 charges distribution of
cocaine; Counts 3 through 9 charge distribution of
methamphetamine; and Count 10 charges possession with intent
to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine. (ECF No. 31, at
3-7). Pursuant to the Plea Agreement, the Government agrees
to dismiss Counts 2 through 10 at sentencing. (ECF No. 116,
at 1). The Government then elicited a full and complete
factual basis for all elements of Count 1 of the Superseding
Indictment. (See ECF No. 116, at 2-4).
Court advised Defendant he faces a maximum possible
punishment of life imprisonment and a $10, 000, 000 fine. 21
U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A); Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(b)(1)(H).
Defendant was informed of the mandatory minimum sentence of
10 years' imprisonment and a supervised release term of
at least five years and up to life. 21 U.S.C. §
841(b)(1)(A); Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(b)(1)(I). The Court also
noted that while there may be safety valve provisions that
lower the minimum sentence, there is no promise that
Defendant is safety-valve eligible and that the Government
may challenge Defendant's eligibility at sentencing.
was informed he would be imposed a special assessment of $100
for a felony conviction. Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(b)(1)(L).
Defendant was also informed that the Court may also impose
other assessments, including the costs of prosecution,
imprisonment, and supervision, and that, as a result of a
felony conviction, he may also face the possible loss of
eligibility for federal benefits. Defendant was informed that
the Court has the authority to order, or may be required to
order under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act, that he
make restitution to any victim of the offense. Fed. R. Crim.
was informed that the Court may require him to forfeit
certain property to the Government, and that, through the
Superseding Indictment, the Government seeks forfeiture of
certain property. Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(b)(1)(J). The Court
noted that, in the Plea Agreement, Defendant agrees to
forfeit “all property constituting, or derived from
proceeds obtained from the offense, and all property used, in
any manner or part, to commit or to facilitate the commission
of the offense.” (ECF No. 116, at 12-13).
was informed there may be possible adverse immigration and
related consequences as a result of his plea, including
without limitation, removal, deportation, exclusion, or
voluntary departure, and other actions preventing Defendant
from obtaining U.S. citizenship and denying Defendant
admission to the United States in the future. Fed. R. Crim.
P. 11(b)(1)(O). Defendant indicated he had ...