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United States v. Padilla

United States District Court, D. Maine

April 16, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
LUIS PADILLA

          ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S RENEWED MOTION TO DISMISS

          JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         A defendant renews a double jeopardy motion to dismiss based on the defendant's past conviction in one district for his role in a narrower drug trafficking conspiracy and a pending indictment in this district for a related, but broader drug trafficking conspiracy. The Court dismissed the double jeopardy claim in a prior order, but without prejudice, to allow the defendant to reintroduce his motion with a more complete record and briefing. Upon the additional briefing and evidence of both parties, the Court reiterates its earlier conclusion that the defendant sustained his prima facie burden by presenting a non-frivolous double jeopardy claim and that the burden shifted to the government to prove that the indictments charge separate offenses. The Court now concludes that the government failed to show it is not prosecuting the defendant twice for the same crime. The Court grants the defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment on double jeopardy grounds.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Procedural History

         On July 18, 2018, a federal grand jury in the United States District Court for the District of Maine indicted Luis Padilla and several other defendants for participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy in violation of federal criminal law. Indictment (ECF No. 2) (Me. Indictment). On October 16, 2018, Mr. Padilla moved to dismiss the indictment, claiming a Fifth Amendment violation of double jeopardy. Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss (ECF No. 145) (Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss Double Jeopardy). In support of his motion, Mr. Padilla attached the sentencing memorandum and presentence report filed by the Government in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, Case 3:16-cr-00205-VLB. Id. Attach. 1, Ex. 1- Ct. Prosecutor Sentencing Mem. (ECF No. 145-1) (Conn. Prosecutor Sentencing Mem.); id. Attach 2., Ex. 2- Ct. Pre-Sentence Report (ECF No. 145-2). The Government opposed the motion on October 31, 2018, including as support a copy of the indictment, the plea agreement, a transcript of the Rule 11 proceeding, and a copy of the judgment in the Connecticut case. Gov't's Resp. in Opp'n (ECF No. 158); id. Attach. 2., Copy of Plea Agreement in Case 3:16-cr-00205-VLB, Doc. # 129 (Plea Agreement); id. Attach 3., Tr. of Padilla's Connecticut Plea Hr'g in Case 3:16-cr-00205-VLB (Plea Tr.); id. Attach. 4, Tr. of Padilla's Connecticut Sentencing Hr'g in Case 3:16-cr-00205-VLB (Sentencing Tr. I); id. Attach 5., Copy of J. in Case 3:16-cr-00205-VLB, Doc. # 189) (J.). On December 21, 2018, the Court dismissed without prejudice Mr. Padilla's motion. Am. Order on Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss (ECF No. 175) (Prior Order).

         On February 14, 2019, Mr. Padilla filed a renewed motion to dismiss with additional supporting evidence. Def.'s Renewed Mot. to Dismiss (ECF No. 200) (Def.'s Renewed Mot.); Sealed Add'l Attachs. re Renewed Mot. to Dismiss (ECF No. 204), Ex. 1: Plea Agreement 3:16-cr-205 (Plea Agreement); id. Attach. 1, Report of Investigation 11/15/2016 (Report of Investigation); id. Attach 2, Addendum to Plea Agreement 3:16-cr-205. The Government responded in opposition on March 5, 2019; along with its response, the Government filed several exhibits. Gov't's Obj. to Def.'s Renewed Mot. to Dismiss (ECF No. 218) (Gov't's Opp'n); id. Attach. 1, Connecticut Sentencing Hr'g, 2/27/18 (Sentencing Tr. II); id. Attach. 2, Part 1: Connecticut Evidentiary Hr'g, 1/30/18 (Evidentiary Hr'g Tr. I); id. Attach 3, Part 2: Connecticut Evidentiary Hr'g, 1/30/18 (Evidentiary Hr'g Tr. II); id. Attach. 4, Connecticut Amended Joint Trial Mem. (Joint Trial Mem.).

         B. The District of Maine Charge

         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]

         C. 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.

         The PSR in the Connecticut case confirms that Mr. Padilla pleaded guilty on July 25, 2017 to Count One of a three-count federal indictment. Prior Order at 6 (citing Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss Double Jeopardy, Attach. 2, Def.'s Presentence Report at 3 (ECF No. 145)) (PSR). The initial sentencing took place on January 3, 2018, but the court adjourned the hearing after Mr. Padilla requested an evidentiary hearing on the issue of obstruction and to address a miscalculation in Mr. Padilla's criminal history score discovered during the hearing. Sentencing Tr. I. The second part of the hearing took place on February 27, 2018. Sentencing Tr. II. On March 2, 2018, the district court in the District of Connecticut entered judgment, and 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.

         II. POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES

         A. Defendant's Motion

         Mr. Padilla asserts that the current indictment in the District of Maine is barred because 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. Def.'s Renewed Mot. at 2. According to Mr. Padilla, the test used to determine double jeopardy when two conspiracies are alleged is met because both prosecutions, which are brought under the same statutory provisions, took place during the same time period, in the same places, and involved the same people. Id. at 3-8 (citing United States v. Gomez-Pabon, 911 F.2d 847, 860 (1st Cir. 1990)). Furthermore, Mr. Padilla contends that the Government plans to use the same evidence it used to support Mr. Padilla's prior conviction. Id.

         In support of the “same persons” factor of the test, Mr. Padilla argues that he was central to each of the conspiracies, citing information regarding his role reported by Cecil Stanley to Maine AUSA Casey and investigators from Maine and Connecticut during a proffer in Maine. Id. at 4-5. Mr. Stanley reported that he sold drugs for Mr. Padilla and “that he transported drugs from Waterbury to Maine for Padilla and Perry on 4-5 occasions.” Id. at 5.[2]

         Mr. Padilla also avers that in entering into the plea agreement in the District of Connecticut, he did not waive “defenses to a new prosecution in a completely different jurisdiction, ” as “the Connecticut plea did not contain any promises by the government or waivers by the Defendant regarding the Maine charges.” Id. at 9. He argues that because the Connecticut and Maine prosecutors were aware of the overlap in the activities of the alleged conspiracy in both states, they should have been aware of the potential double jeopardy issue that could arise from breaking up the conspiracy into prosecutions in both jurisdictions. Id.

         B. The Government's Opposition

         The Government opposes Mr. Padilla's renewed motion. Gov't's Opp'n at 1. In response to Mr. Padilla's contention that the two alleged crimes took place during the same period of time, the Government contends that in the joint trial memorandum filed prior to the Rule 11 proceeding in the Connecticut case, “the parties limited the description of the facts to the events of early October 2016 culminating in the seizure of 95.2 grams of cocaine base and 55.1 grams of heroin.” Id. at 3. According to the Government, “it is apparent that in the Connecticut case the prosecution and the defendant both agreed that the facts of the Connecticut case related to what happened in early October 2016.” Id.

         The Government does not dispute that Mr. Padilla was a central figure in both the Connecticut and the Maine conspiracies. Id. at 3. It argues, however, that for the “same persons” factor to go in the Defendant's favor, “the defendants in the Connecticut case [must be] identical to the defendants in the Maine case.” Id. (citing United States v. Laguna-Estela, 394 F.3d 54, 57 (1st Cir. 2005); United States v. Hart, 933 F.3d 80, 86 (1st Cir. 1991)). Here, as identical defendants have not been charged in both prosecutions, the Government contends that the factor weighs in its favor. Id. at 4.

         The Government disputes Mr. Padilla's contention that the alleged conspiracy took place in the same locations, arguing that Mr. Padilla's alleged conduct in Maine referenced in the PSR and the sentencing memorandum in the Connecticut case, as well as Mr. Stanley's proffer, is irrelevant because none of which “resulted in an increase in his Connecticut sentence based on distribution events in Maine, and as such, it cannot be said that the pending prosecution will result in a second ...


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