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United States of America v. Yolanda Gutierrez-Castro

September 29, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
YOLANDA GUTIERREZ-CASTRO, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hayes, Judge:

ORDER

The matter before the Court is the motion to vacate, correct or set aside sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 filed by Defendant Yolanda Gutierrez-Castro. (ECF No. 92).

BACKGROUND FACTS

On March 6, 2007, Defendant was detained at a Highway 86 checkpoint near Westmorland, California after an x-ray scan of her vehicle indicated an anomaly in the rooftop. Subsequent investigation revealed packaging containing 23.89 kilograms of cocaine concealed in a non-factory compartment installed in the roof of the vehicle. The wholesale value of this cocaine was approximately $315,000.00.

On June 7, 2007, Defendant was charged in a two-count superseding indictment with conspiracy to distribute 5 kilograms and more of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 and 846, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). (ECF No. 13 at 1-3). Defendant entered a plea of not guilty.

On July 3, 2007, jury trial commenced. Defendant testified that she traveled to the United States to meet with a potential real estate client and that she did not know that drugs were in the vehicle. (ECF No. 76 at 78-104).

On July 6, 2007, the jury deliberated and returned a verdict of guilty on both counts. (ECF No. 48).

On June 20, 2008, Defendant was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 148 months, followed by 5 years of supervised release. (ECF No. 70 at 2-3).

On June 25, 2008, Defendant filed a notice of appeal in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on the following grounds: 1) the trial court improperly admitted evidence of Defendant's prior border crossings, 2) the trial court improperly admitted hearsay evidence and expert testimony regarding drug smuggling tactics and modus operandi, 3) the mandatory minimum for a drug trafficking conviction under § 841(a) is unconstitutional, 4) the trial court improperly applied the sentencing guidelines, and 5) the 148 month sentence is unreasonable. (ECF No. 71).

On July 13, 2009, the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of this Court on all grounds. (ECF No. 86).

On June 9, 2010, Defendant filed a motion to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (ECF No. 87).

On June 11, 2010, Defendant moved to dismiss and withdraw her § 2255 motion, stating that she "received a requested treaty transfer, which allows her to be transferred to a prisoner [sic] in Mexico." (ECF No. 89).

On June 17, 2010, the Court granted Defendant's motion to withdraw her ยง 2255 motion ...


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