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United States v. Perez

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

June 15, 2018

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Macrina Perez (4), Defendant.

          David P. Steinkamp, Esq., Craig R. Baune, Esq., James S. Alexander, Esq., United States Attorney's Office, counsel for Plaintiff.

          Gary R. Wolf, Esq., Wolf Law Office, counsel for Defendant Macrina Perez.

          ORDER

          BECKY R. THORSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Defendant Macrina Perez has been charged in a superseding indictment with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. (Doc. No. 43.) This matter is currently before the Court on Defendant's pretrial motions. A hearing on the parties' motions was held on June 15, 2018. Based on the files, records, and proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

         1. Defendant's Motion to Disclose Evidence Favorable or Helpful to the Defense. Defendant moves, pursuant to Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), and its progeny, for disclosure of all evidence favorable to the defense. The Government states that it is both aware of and will continue to comply with its Brady obligations, though it objects to Defendant's motion to the extent that it seeks to impose disclosure requirements that surpass Brady and its progeny. The Government agrees to provide Defendant, three days before trial, a copy of the criminal records, if any, of its witnesses, and also agrees to provide in advance of trial promises or agreements between the Government and its witnesses, if any. Defendant's Motion to Disclose Evidence Favorable or Helpful to the Defense (Doc. No. 187) is GRANTED to the extent required by Brady, Giglio, and their progeny. To the extent that the motion seeks early disclosure of Jencks Act material, the motion is DENIED, but nothing precludes the Government from making Jencks Act material available to Defendant prior to trial as is customarily done in this District.

         2. Defendant's Motion for Early Disclosure of Jencks Act Materials.

         Defendant moves for an order requiring the Government's early compliance with the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3500, specifically requesting disclosure of Jencks Act material at least two weeks before trial. The Government objects to this motion on the grounds that while it may voluntarily turn over Jencks Act materials in advance of hearings or trial, neither the Jencks Act nor Rule 26.2 provides a basis for ordering disclosure at this stage. Because the Jencks Act plainly provides that “no statement or report in the possession of the United States which was made by a Government witness or prospective Government witness (other than the defendant) shall be the subject of subpoena, discovery, or inspection until said witness has testified on direct examination in the trial of the case, ” Defendant's Motion for Early Disclosure of Jencks Act Materials (Doc. No. 188) is DENIED. Nothing in this Order, however, precludes the Government from voluntarily disclosing Jenks Act material no later than five business days before trial as it has represented that it would.

         3. Defendant's Motion for Discovery and Inspection.

         Defendant seeks disclosure of information and materials pursuant to Rule 12 of the Federal Rule of Criminal procedure. Specifically, Defendant seeks an order requiring the Government to disclose all written, recorded, or oral statements made by Defendant, the substance of any oral statement made by Defendant, and Defendant's prior record. In addition, Defendant asks for permission to inspect and/or copy certain objects, including photographs that are in the possession, custody or control of the Government and intended for use as evidence in chief at trial, and the results of any physical or mental examinations, or scientific tests or experiments. In addition, Defendant seeks a pretrial written summary of the testimony the Government intends to use pursuant to Rules 702, 703, or 705. The Government does not oppose the motion to the extent that the motion aligns with Fed. R. Crim. P. 16. The Government should continue to disclose evidence as required by the rules and pursuant to Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), and as subsequently delineated in the case law, including limitations upon the Government's obligation. Therefore, Defendant's Motion for Discovery and Inspection (Doc. No. 189), is GRANTED to the extent that it conforms to the scope of Rules 12 and 16 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Expert witness information shall be disclosed at least two weeks prior to trial.

         4. Defendant's Motion for Disclosure of Statements of Codefendants.

         Citing Bruton v. United States, 391 U.S. 123 (1968), Defendant seeks an order compelling the Government to give notice and disclosure of intent to use, refer to, or introduce into evidence at trial the statements or confessions of any Defendant or unindicted co-conspirator, and granting her leave to file motions for severance, suppression, or in limine based on those disclosures. The Government does not object to Defendant's motion to the extent that it requests disclosure of codefendant statements that could fall under Bruton, however, it represents that it will not offer in a joint trial any statement by one Defendant which implicates another explicitly as Bruton requires. The Government also agrees to provide statements of co-conspirators if the statements contain exculpatory material or if the Government intends to call a co-conspirator at trial. Otherwise, the Government objects to the disclosure of statements. Defendant's Motion for Disclosure of Statements of Codefendants (Doc. No. 190) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. The Government shall disclose any Codefendant statements that it intends to introduce into evidence no less than fourteen days before trial. The Government, however, is not required to disclose the statements of unindicted coconspirators prior to their trial testimony, as such statements are covered by the Jencks Act and beyond the scope of Bruton's rule regarding the statements of non-testifying codefendants. Again, nothing in this Order precludes the Government from voluntarily producing the statements of unindicted coconspirators five business days before trial, as it has represented it would.

         5. Defendant's Motion to Retain Rough Notes. Defendant seeks an order requiring government agents to preserve all rough notes taken as part of the investigation into this case. The Government does not object to Defendant's request and has indicated that it will instruct its agents to retain their rough notes. Defendant's Motion to Retain Rough Notes (Doc. No. 191) is GRANTED.

         6. Defendant's Motion to Suppress Statements and Admissions.

         Defendant seeks an order suppressing all statements made by herself to police officers on December 4, 2014. The Government opposes the motion. The Court requests post-hearing briefing on the issue. Defendant shall file her post-hearing brief no later than June 29, 2018, and the Government shall file its response by July 6, 2018. The Court will take Defendant's Motion to Suppress Statements and ...


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