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United States v. Approximately $19

November 30, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
APPROXIMATELY $19,608.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge

FINAL JUDGMENT OF FORFEITURE

Pursuant to the Stipulation for Final Judgment of Forfeiture filed herein, the Court finds:

1. This is a civil forfeiture action against defendant approximately $19,608.00 in U.S. Currency (hereafter "defendant currency").

2. A Verified Complaint for Forfeiture In Rem was filed on July 11, 2008, seeking the forfeiture of the defendant currency, alleging the defendant currency is subject to forfeiture to the United States of America pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6) because the defendant currency constitutes moneys or other things of value furnished or intended to be furnished in exchange for a controlled substance or listed chemical, all proceeds traceable to such an exchange and/or was used or intended to be used to facilitate one or more violations of 21 U.S.C. § 841 et seq.

3. On July 15, 2008, in accordance with the Complaint, a Warrant for Arrest of Articles In Rem for the defendant currency was issued and duly executed on the defendant currency on July 22, 2008.

4. On August 15, 22, 29, and September 5, 2008, a Public Notice of Arrest of the defendant currency appeared by publication in the Merced Sun-Star, a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the defendant currency was seized (Merced County). The Proof of Publication was filed with the Court on January 15, 2009.

5. In addition to the publication of the forfeiture action, actual notice was personally served upon Rosario Gutierrez, Maria Gutierrez, Gilbert Benavides, Veneranda Benavides, and Sergio Guzman. To date, only Rosario Gutierrez has filed a claim and answer to this action. No other parties have filed claims or answers in this matter, and the time for which any person or entity may file a claim and answer has expired.

6. The Clerk of the Court entered a Clerk's Certificate of Entry of Default against Maria Gutierrez, Gilbert Benavides, Veneranda Benavides, and Sergio Guzman on January 16, 2009. Pursuant to Local Rule A-540, the United States and claimant Rosario Gutierrez thus join in a request that as part of this Final Judgment of Forfeiture in this case the Court enter a default judgment against the interest, if any, of Maria Gutierrez, Gilbert Benavides, Veneranda Benavides, and Sergio Guzman.

7. Claimant Rodario Gutierrez represents and warrants that he is the sole owner of the defendant currency.

Based on the above findings, and the files and records of the Court, it is hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED:

1. The Court adopts the Stipulation for Final Judgment of Forfeiture entered into by and between the parties to this action.

2. Judgment is hereby entered against Rosario Gutierrez, Maria Gutierrez, Gilbert Benavides, Veneranda Benavides, Sergio Guzman, and all other potential claimants who have not filed claims in this action.

3. Upon entry of this Final Judgment of Forfeiture, $9,804.00 of the defendant approximately $19,608.00 in U.S. Currency, together with any interest that may have accrued on the whole defendant approximately $19,608.00 in U.S. Currency, shall be forfeited to the United States pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6), to be disposed of according to law.

4. Upon entry of this Final Judgment of Forfeiture herein, but no later than 45 days thereafter, $9,804.00 of the defendant approximately $19,608.00 in U.S. Currency, shall be returned to claimant Rosario Gutierrez, through his attorney Dominic J. Falasco at 930 ...


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