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In the Matter of the Extradition of Joshua Moses

April 29, 2011

IN THE MATTER OF THE EXTRADITION OF JOSHUA MOSES MORALES CERTIFICATION OF EXTRADITABILITY AKA JOSUE MOISES MORALES


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

AND ORDER OF COMMITMENT

I. INTRODUCTION

This is an extradition proceeding pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3184 in which Mexico, through the United States ("Government"), seeks the extradition of Joshua Moses Morales ("JMM"). The extradition request is based upon a 1978 Treaty entered into between the United States and Mexico. Mexico requests JMM's extradition for the crime of aggravated homicide.

On February 24, 2010, a complaint for provisional arrest of JMM was filed by the Government (Doc. 1). Acting on the complaint, this Court issued a warrant on February 24, 2010, for the provisional arrest of JMM under 18 U.S.C. § 3184 (Doc. 2). After the arrest of JMM on the provisional warrant, he was arraigned by Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin on March 3, 2010, and ordered detained (Doc. 4). On October 22, 2010, the Government filed a "Brief in Support of Extradition" which contained supporting documents required under the Treaty (Doc.21). JMM filed an "Opposition to Extradition" on November 22, 2010 (Doc. 29). On December 9, 2010, the Government subsequently filed a "Reply Brief in Support of Extradition" (Doc. 30).

On January 11, 2011, an extradition hearing was held (Doc. 31).*fn1 JMM personally appeared by, through, and with the assistance of his attorney, Deputy Federal Defender Victor Chavez. Assistant United States Attorney Ian Garriques personally appeared on behalf of the Government. At the hearing, the Court admitted the Government's sealed exhibits numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 (with subparts) into evidence.

Upon consideration of all of the filings, evidence, and arguments presented, the Court finds that Joshua Moses Morales is extraditable to Mexico for the offense requested, aggravated homicide, and certifies this finding Her Excellancy Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, as required under 18 U.S.C. § 3184.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

The Court's inquiry at an extradition hearing is to determine the following: (1) whether the undersigned judicial officer is authorized to conduct the extradition hearing; (2) whether jurisdiction lies; (3) whether there is an extradition treaty in full force and effect between the requesting state (Mexico) and the requested state (United States); (4) whether the crime alleged in the charging instrument is covered by the Treaty; and, (5) whether competent legal evidence amounting to probable cause establishes that there is good reason to believe that the extraditee committed the crime alleged. Ornelas v. Ruiz, 161 US 502, 510 (1896); Zanazanian v. United States, 729 F. 2d 624, 626 (9th Cir. 1984).

If the Court determines that all the requisite elements have been met, the findings are incorporated into the certificate of extraditability. The certificate is forwarded to the Department of the State. The Secretary of State makes the final decision on whether to surrender the respondent. 18 U.S.C. § 3186.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Requirements for Extradition

1. Authority of the Judicial Officer

Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3184 and Eastern District of California Local Rule 302(b)(8), a magistrate judge is authorized to conduct an extradition hearing; hence, this requirement is met.

2. Jurisdiction Over the Individual Sought

JMM is currently in custody in the Eastern District of California. Accordingly, this Court has personal and subject matter jurisdiction over him. See, In re Pazienza, 619 F. Supp. 611, 616-18 (S.D.N.Y. 1985). JMM has not challenged this requirement.

3. Validity of the Treaty

On October 25, 2010, under seal, the Government filed a declaration of Alexis R.Blane, an Attorney Advisor in the Office of the Legal Adviser for the Department of State, which certifies that there is a valid extradition treaty in force between the United States and Mexico. Declaration of Alexis R. Blane, dated March 11, 2010, Gov't. Exh. #4; See also Doc. 23-4. A copy of the Treaty is attached to Ms. Blane's declaration. Id. Accordingly, the Court takes judicial notice that there is an extradition treaty in full force and effect ...


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