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United States v. Maymi-Maysonet

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

February 5, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee,
v.
CARLOS JAVIER MAYMÍ-MAYSONET, Defendant, Appellant

Page 234

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO. Hon. Gustavo A. Gelpí, U.S. District Judge.

Raymond Rivera-Esteves, for appellant.

Mainon A. Schwartz, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney, Nelson Pérez-Sosa, Assistant United States Attorney, Chief, Appellate Division, and Francisco A. Besosa-Martínez, Assistant United States Attorney, were on brief, for appellee.

Before Torruella, Hawkins,[*] and Barron, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 235

HAWKINS, Circuit Judge.

Following a jury trial, defendant Carlos Javier Maymí -Maysonet (" Maymí " ) appeals his convictions for conspiring to possess and aiding and abetting to possess with intent to distribute five kilos or more of cocaine. Maymícontends there was insufficient evidence to sustain the conviction. We affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

In July 2012, Homeland Security agents were conducting an undercover sting operation at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Isla Verde, Carolina, Puerto Rico. Posing as sellers, they planned a sham drug transaction for five kilos of cocaine at $19,000/kilo. Agents were stationed outside the hotel conducting surveillance and inside a hotel room posing as drug traffickers. The primary target of the investigation was co-defendant Tirson Rodríguez-Belliard (" Rodríguez" ). To arrange the transaction, the agents were using the cooperation of a confidential informant (" CI" ), who did not testify at trial.

Around noon, an agent observed Rodríguez and a companion, later identified as co-defendant García-Calderón (" García" ) arrive, park on a service road, and walk towards the nearby Lupi's Restaurant. Around 1:11 p.m., the agent saw Rodríguez and García returning from the restaurant, now accompanied by defendant Maymí . The three went to the area where Rodríguez had parked and stationed themselves against a fence.

Shortly thereafter, around 1:37 p.m., the trio were joined by the CI. The men spoke for about three minutes, and then the CI left and walked towards the hotel. At 1:59 p.m., the three defendants walked towards the Hampton Inn; Rodríguez and García positioned themselves near the driveway entrance, while Maymíheaded towards a nearby cockfighting ring. Two minutes later, a red Suzuki vehicle exited the cockfighting ring parking lot and drove past the Hampton Inn; the agent could not see who was driving or how many passengers were in the vehicle.

The red Suzuki returned seventeen minutes later (at 2:18 p.m.) and drove into the Hampton Inn parking lot through its driveway entrance and parked. Rodríguez and García had remained stationed by the hotel driveway while the vehicle was gone. Upon its return, they followed it into the hotel parking lot and out of the view of the agent. Two minutes later (2:20 p.m.), the agents inside the hotel received the call indicating the money for the drugs had arrived. At 2:26, Rodríguez and García met the CI in front of the hotel lobby and were joined by the agents inside the hotel. Rodríguez was now carrying a black bag.

García asked the agents if they would go upstairs, count the money, and send the narcotics down for somebody else to take it away (" bring down the work so that the guys can leave . . . ." ). Rodríguez, the CI, and one of the agents went upstairs while García and the other agent remained in the hotel lobby. The agent asked ...


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