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The People v. Julio Wilfrido Ramirez

December 22, 2010


APPEAL from the Superior Court of Riverside County. John D. Molloy, Judge. Affirmed. (Super.Ct.No. RIF129512)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hollenhorst J.

P. v. Ramirez CA4/2


California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.


Following a jury trial, defendant Julio Wilfrido Ramirez was convicted of possession of methamphetamine for sale (Health & Safety Code, § 11378). In a bifurcated proceeding, the trial court found true the allegation that he had served a prior prison term within the meaning of Penal Code*fn1 section 667.5, subdivision (b). On June 12, 2009, defendant was sentenced to three years in state prison. He appeals, contending he was denied the effective assistance of counsel. He further argues that he is entitled to additional conduct credits due to the amendment of section 4019.*fn2


On April 7, 2006, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Sergeant Michael Helmick of the Anaheim Police Department was conducting surveillance in Riverside. He observed defendant get into a black Yukon and drive to the home of Christina Valencia on Justin Lane in Moreno Valley. The sergeant detained defendant and conducted a parole search on his vehicle. The search revealed pay stubs from a business in Riverside with defendant's name and the Justin Lane address. Officers conducted a search of the house, even though defendant repeatedly said they could not go in his house.*fn3 Sergeant Helmick did not find any key to the Justin Lane home in the parole search of defendant. Defendant's listed parole address was in Anaheim.*fn4

Investigator Vargas testified that inside the Justin Lane home he had asked Ms. Valencia where defendant lived, and Ms. Valencia "motioned to [him] with her shoulder and her head pointing in the direction of the northwest bedroom."*fn5 A search of the bedroom produced two check stubs addressed to defendant at the Justin Lane home, men's clothing in the nightstand, men's and women's clothing in the closet, a wallet containing defendant's driver's license with the Anaheim address, a checkbook with defendant's name and the Anaheim address, a clear plastic bag with a substance that was suspected to be methamphetamine,*fn6 a small digital scale inside a soft case, and 17 empty Ziploc baggies. No drug paraphernalia that might indicate personal use were located, nor did defendant appear to be under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the arrest. Investigator Vargas opined that defendant possessed the methamphetamine for sale. He also testified that 11.5 grams of methamphetamine is a usable quantity; however, he stated that typical methamphetamine users buy in small amounts of about 0.1 to 1 grams.

Defendant testified on his own behalf. He admitted to prior theft-related convictions. He acknowledged that he was on parole at the time of the search. He claimed that at the time of his arrest he had been dating Ms. Valencia for about a year, but he did not live with her. He stated that his residence was the Anaheim address; however, he used the Justin Lane address so he could secure work in Riverside. Defendant testified that Ms. Valencia used methamphetamine up to the time he was arrested. On the day of his arrest, Ms. Valencia had called him to let him know that he had left his wallet at the house. He admitted that some of the men's clothes found at the house were his, while other clothes belonged to Ms. Valencia's 12-year-old son. Defendant denied he had ever left his wallet, checkbook or clothes in the nightstand and stated he had never seen the drugs that were impounded on the day of his arrest.


Defendant contends he received ineffective assistance of counsel (IAC).

A. Standard of Review.

To prevail on the claim of IAC, defendant must demonstrate both that his attorney failed to act in the manner expected of a reasonably competent advocate and that it is reasonably probable a more favorable determination would have been made in the absence of counsel's error. (Strickland v. Washington (1984) 466 U.S. 668, 687-696; In re Cox (2003) 30 Cal.4th 974, 1019-1020.) A ...

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