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United States v. Fuentes

April 22, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
EDWARD FUENTES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



ORDER RE DEFENSE MOTIONS FOR DISCOVERY AND RELEASE OF BRADY MATERIAL

INTRODUCTION

On March 19, 2010, this matter came before the undersigned for hearing on the defendants' motions for discovery and for release of Brady material. All defendants joined in those motions. Attorney John Balazs, appearing on behalf of defendant Edward Fuentes, and Attorney Peter Kmeto, appearing on behalf of defendant Larry Amara, argued the discovery motion on behalf of all defendants. Attorney Joseph Wiseman appeared on behalf of defendant Caracheo and argued the Brady motion on behalf of all defendants. Assistant United States Attorneys Jason Hitt and William Wong appeared on behalf of the government. For the reasons set forth below, the motions are granted in part and denied in part.

ANALYSIS

I. Rule 16 Discovery Motion

By this motion, defendants seek production of discovery materials that have allegedly been omitted from the otherwise voluminous pretrial discovery provided to date in this case. For the reasons explained in detail on the record at the hearing on the motion, the court ruled as follows with respect to the defendants specific discovery requests.

A1 - Missing Wiretap Intercepted Call Recordings: Based on the government's representations that all such recordings have been produced, the motion is denied.

A2 - "Voice Box" Data: Because the defendants have not made a sufficient showing of materiality with respect to the requested data, this request is denied without prejudice to a renewed discovery request based upon a showing of the materiality of the requested data to the defense of the case.

B - Pen Register Record: Following a lengthy discussion, the government agreed to provide all of the requested raw data for telephone numbers 831-240-2206 and 831-970-9534 for the period from May 4, 2006 through January 17, 2007. This discovery will be provided to the defense within two weeks of the hearing date.

C - Evidence From December 5, 2009 Cell Searches: Due to additional discovery provide by the government to the defense shortly before the hearing on the discovery motion, this discovery request was withdrawn pending review of the latest discovery materials by the defense.

D - Gang Affiliation Evidence: Denied as effectively covered by the assigned district judge's order regarding expert disclosure prior to trial.

E1 - January 19, 2007 Recording: This request was withdrawn when defense counsel learned that all but one version of the discovery provided by the government to the defense included this recording.

E2 - Copy of Roster of Stockton Gang Members Given to Officer Rocha: The government represented that it possessed no such item. Based on that representation, the request was denied. In addition, the court denied the defense request that the government confirm or deny that Officer Rocha was ever given such a roster.

E3 - Color Digital Copies of All Photos Provided in Discovery: Following discussion, the government offered to have defense counsel review the government's copies of all photographs produced in discovery and, if the government's photos were of higher quality than those produced in discovery, arrange for copies of those photographs to be produced to the ...


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