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United States v. Ramirez

August 2, 2007

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PLAINTIFF,
v.
LUIS ERASMO ROSALES RAMIREZ, ALFRED ALLEN ARREOLA, LUKE A. MCLAUGHLIN, MATTHEW DAVID SUGAMELI, DANIEL RAMSEY, DEBORAH NOMMENSON, DARRELL WAYNE LUCK, AND SCOTT EDWARD WILLYARD, ALSO KNOWN AS ROCKY DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: C. Clifford Shirley, Jr. United States Magistrate Judge

Phillips / Shirley

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

All pretrial motions in this case have been referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) for disposition or report and recommendation regarding disposition by the District Court as may be appropriate. This case came before the Court for arraignment on a superseding indictment filed July 18, 2007, [Doc. 63]. Luis Erasmo Rosales Ramirez was present with his attorney, Michael Meyrick. Alfred Allen Arreola was present with his attorney, Aubrey Davis. Luke A. McLaughlin, was present with his attorney, Stephen A. Burroughs. Matthew David Sugameli was present with his attorney, Charles C. Burks, Jr. Daniel Ramsey was present with his attorney, Douglas A. Trant. Attorney Bryan E. Delius was present on behalf of Deborah Nommenson. Darrell Wayne Luck was present with attorney Norman McKellar, appearing in the stead of Mr. Luck's counsel of record, Andrew S. Roskind and Peter J. Strianse. Scott Edward Willyard was present with his attorney, Robert L. Vogel. Assistant United States Attorney Hugh B. Ward, Jr. was present representing the United States.

After conducting the arraignment, the Court heard argument on the following motions:

(1) First Motion to Continue Trial Date [Doc. 65], filed by Defendant Ramirez;

(2) Motion for Leave to File Additional Motions, filed by Defendant Nommenson [Doc. 47];

(3) Motion to Extend Time and Continue Dates, filed by Defendant Willyard [Doc. 43];

(4) Motion for Extension of Time to File Motions, filed by Defendant Willard [Doc. 72]; and

(5) Motion to Adopt Co-Defendant's Motions, filed by Defendant Sugameli [Doc. 71].

The Court first took up Defendant Willyard's Motion to Extend Time and Continue Dates [Doc. 43], and Motion for Extension of Time to File Motions [Doc. 72]. In support of his motions, Attorney Vogel cited the fact that Defendant Willyard made his initial appearance on this case about one month ago. Attorney Vogel told the Court that several CDs have been provided in discovery along with other material which he and his client continue to review. There is also additional discovery indicated by the government, but not yet received. Attorney Vogel stated that Mr. Willyard was indicted by a federal grand jury in Arkansas for criminal conduct alleged to have formed part of the basis of the conspiracy charged in this indictment. Attorney Vogel told the Court that he is pursuing material from that case, having been unsuccessful contacting the Arkansas defense lawyer to date. Attorney Vogel expressed his opinion that further information about the Arkansas events may well give rise to a motion to suppress in this case relating to an auto stop. Attorney Vogel stated that he could not complete his investigation, discovery review, prepare and pursue appropriate motions and also prepare for trial before the trial date set for August 18, 2007. For these reasons, Attorney Vogel requested a continuance of the trial date.

The Court next heard Defendant Luis Erasmo Rosales Ramirez' First Motion to Continue Trial Date [Doc. 65]. Attorney Michael Meyrick told the Court that his factual investigation extends to other jurisdictions, to include Arizona. Attorney Meyrick stated that although he has been conducting his factual investigation with all diligence, it will not be complete before the trial date as currently scheduled. Attorney Meyrick drew the Court's attention to the fact that, although the superseding indictment does not contain substantive additions to the original conspiracy alleged, it does add conduct that would effect Mr. Ramirez' sentencing if he were convicted. By way of example, Attorney Meyrick stated that the superseding indictment includes firearms found at other houses attributed to Defendant Ramirez. This change will require further investigation and preparation by Mr. Ramirez' defense. Attorney Meyrick asked the Court to allow 45 days from the hearing date for filing of pretrial motions.

Attorney Charles Burks argued in favor of trial continuance on behalf of his client, Defendant Matthew Sugameli. Attorney Burks has asked for leave to joint the motions to continue filed by Mr. Ramirez and Mr. Willyard, [Doc. 71], and adopted their arguments at the hearing. Attorney Burks stated that his client was arraigned on these charges only some 15 days ago on July 16, 2007. If the trial were conducted on the originally scheduled trial date, this would allow Defendant Sugameli barely 30 days in which to prepare his defense. Attorney Burks argued that this simply could not be accomplished. Attorney Burks made an oral motion to declare this case unusual and complex for purposes of the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3161. Attorney Burks cited the number of defendants and the volume of discovery.

Defendant Daniel Ramsey objected to a continuance of the trial. Attorney Douglas Trant asserted his client's right to a speedy trial, as provided in the Speedy Trial Act 18 U.S.C. § 3161, and asked the Court to maintain a trial date within 70 days of Mr. Ramsey's initial appearance on these charges. Attorney Trant argued that the superseding indictment presented no substantive changes in the alleged conspiracy, only the addition of property subject to forfeiture. Attorney Trant stated that this case is not unusual and complex as it relates to Mr. Ramsey and he would like to proceed to trial on August 18, 2007. Attorney Trant confirmed that no motion for severance has been filed, but made an oral motion to sever as a remedy if necessary to allow Mr. Ramsey to proceed to trial as scheduled.

Defendant Alfred Arreola joined Defendant Ramsey's opposition to a trial continuance. Attorney Aubrey Davis adopted the arguments posited by Attorney Trant. Attorney Davis stated that, while the discovery material is voluminous, little of it applies to Mr. Arreola. Attorney Davis asserted that Mr. Arreola would like to proceed to ...


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