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United States v. Padilla

United States District Court, D. Maine

December 21, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
LUIS PADILLA

          ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         A defendant raises a significant double jeopardy issue based on the Government's successful prosecution of the defendant in one district charging a narrow drug trafficking conspiracy and its indictment of the defendant in another district for what appears to be the same, but much broader drug trafficking conspiracy. As the motion and opposition leave important questions unaddressed and unanswered, the Court dismisses the motion to dismiss, but without prejudice, so that the defendant may reinitiate the motion with a more fulsome record and more complete briefing, should the defendant choose to do so.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. The District of Maine Charge

          On July 18, 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Luis Padilla along with several other defendants for engaging in a drug trafficking conspiracy in violation of federal criminal law. Indictment (ECF No. 2) (Me. Indictment). The indictment reads:

COUNT ONE
(Conspiracy to Distribute and to Possess With Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances)
From on or about January 1, 2015 through on or about September 1, 2017, the exact dates being unknown to the Grand Jury, in the District of Maine and elsewhere, the defendants
LUIS PADILLA, a/k/a “Twin, ”
DAMIAN PERRY, a/k/a “Primo, ”
LUIS HERNANDEZ, a/k/a “Flacco, ”
JASON MANNIX, a/k/a “Boston, ”
SAMMANTHA JOHNSON, a/k/a “Sam, ”
MALCOLM GREENLAW, a/k/a “Mac, ” And
ERICA OLIVEIRA
and others known and unknown, knowingly and intentionally conspired together and with one another, to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute, controlled substances including a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance, a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, and a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base, a Schedule II controlled substance, contrary to the provisions of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1), all in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846.
QUANTITY OF HEROIN AND COCAINE BASE INVOLVED IN THE CONSPIRACY
With respect to the defendants LUIS PADILLA, a/k/a “Twin, ” DAMIAN PERRY, a/k/a “Primo, ” their conduct as members of the conspiracy charged in Count One, which includes the reasonably foreseeable conduct of other members of the narcotics conspiracy charged in Count One, involved one kilogram or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance, in violation of 21, United States Code, Section 841(b)(I)(A)(i) and 280 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base, a Schedule II controlled substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(b)(1)(A)(iii).
With respect to the defendants, LUIS HERNANDEZ, a/k/a “Flacco, ” JASON MANNIX, a/k/a “Boston, ” SAMMANTHA JOHNSON, a/k/a “Sam, ” MALCOLM GREENLAW, a/k/a “Mac, ” and ERICA OLIVEIRA their conduct as members of the conspiracy charged in Count One, which includes the reasonably foreseeable conduct of other members of the narcotics conspiracy charged in Count One, involved a quantity of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance and a quantity of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base, a Schedule II controlled substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(b)(1)(C), all in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846.

Id. at 1-2.[1]

         B. The Connecticut Charge

         On December 7, 2016, a federal grand jury in the District of Connecticut issued a three-count indictment against Mr. Padilla, including Count One. Gov't's Obj. to Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss (ECF No. 158) (Gov't's Opp'n), Attach. 1, Indictment (Conn. Indictment). Count One reads:

COUNT ONE
(Conspiracy to Distribute and to Possess with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances)
1. From approximately October 1, 2016 to on or about October 12, 2016, the exact dates being unknown to the Grand Jury, in the District of Connecticut and elsewhere, the defendants DAMIEN PERRY, a.k.a. “Primo, ” LUIS PADILLA, a.k.a. “Twin, ” and CECIL STANLEY, and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, knowingly and intentionally conspired together and with one another, to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, controlled substances, namely a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance, and a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base, also known as “crack, ” a Schedule II controlled substance, contrary to the provisions of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1).
QUANTITY OF COCAINE BASE INVOLVED IN THE
CONSPIRACY
2. Defendants DAMIEN PERRY, a.k.a. “Primo, ” LUIS PADILLA, a.k.a. “Twin, ” and CECIL STANLEY knew and reasonably should have foreseen from their own conduct and that of other members of the narcotics conspiracy charged in Count One that the conspiracy involved 28 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base, also known as “crack, ” a Schedule II controlled substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(b)(1)(B).
QUANTITY OF HEROIN INVOLVED IN THE CONSPIRACY
3. Defendants DAMIEN PERRY, a.k.a. “Primo, ” LUIS PADILLA, a.k.a. “Twin, ” and CECIL STANLEY knew and reasonably should have foreseen from their own conduct and that of other members of the narcotics conspiracy charged in Count One that the conspiracy involved a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(b)(1)(C).
COUNT TWO
(Possession with Intent to Distribute 28 Grams or More of Cocaine Base)
4. On or about October 12, 2016, in the District of Connecticut, the defendants DAMIEN PERRY, a.k.a. “Primo, ” LUIS PADILLA, a.k.a. “Twin, ” and CECIL STANLEY knowingly and intentionally possessed with intent to distribute 28 grams of more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base, also known as “crack, ” a Schedule II controlled substance.
In violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B), and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.
COUNT THREE
(Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin)
5. On or about October 12, 2016, in the District of Connecticut, the defendants DAMIEN PERRY, a.k.a. “Primo, ” LUIS PADILLA, a.k.a. “Twin, ” and CECIL STANLEY knowingly and intentionally possessed with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance.
In violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C), and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.

Id. at 1-3.

         To his motion, Mr. Padilla attached a presentence investigation report (PSR) that confirmed, among other things, that on July 25, 2017, he pleaded guilty to Count One of a three-count federal indictment. Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss Double Jeopardy, Attach. 2, Def.'s Presentence Report at 3 (ECF No. 145) (PSR). On March 2, 2018, the district court in the District of Connecticut sentenced Mr. Padilla for his count one conviction to seventy-eight months of incarceration, five years of supervised release, no fine, and a $100 special assessment. Id. Attach. 5 (J.).

         II. THE PARTIES' POSITIONS

         A. Luis Padilla's Motion to Dismiss

         On October 16, 2018, Mr. Padilla filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on double jeopardy grounds. Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss Double Jeopardy (ECF No. 145) (Def.'s Mot.). Mr. Padilla states that he previously pleaded guilty to engaging in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. Id. at 2. Mr. Padilla says that the First Circuit identified five factors to determine whether two charged conspiracies are the same offense: (1) the time during which the activities occurred; (2) the persons involved; (3) the places involved; (4) whether the same evidence was used to prove the two conspiracies; and (5) whether the same statutory provision was involved in both conspiracies. Id. at 2 (citing United States v. Laguna-Estela, 394 F.3d 54, 57 (1st Cir. 2005) (citing United States v. Gomez-Pabon, 911 F.2d 847, 860 (1st Cir. 1990)). As Mr. Padilla sees it, the time period, the persons involved, the places involved, the evidence used, and the statutory provisions “support a finding of double jeopardy” and he asks that the Court dismiss the district of Maine indictment. Id. at 3-5.

         B. The ...


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