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The People v. Luis Jamarillo Gutierrez

April 5, 2012


(Super. Ct. No. 08F04807)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Blease , Acting P. J.

P. v. Gutierrez



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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Luis Jamarillo Gutierrez, Jr., was convicted of conspiracy to sell cocaine (Pen. Code, § 182, subd. (a)(1)), transportation of cocaine between noncontiguous counties (Health & Saf. Code,*fn1 § 11352, subd. (b)), and using a false compartment to transport cocaine (§ 11366.8, subd. (a)), with enhancements for more than 20 kilograms of the drug (§ 11370.4). The trial court sentenced defendant to a 21-year prison term.

On appeal, defendant contends the trial court erred in admitting prior uncharged misconduct evidence, imposing a conviction assessment fee (Gov. Code, § 70373) on a stayed count was unauthorized, and the court facility fee was an ex post facto punishment. We affirm.


The Initial Investigation

In October 2006, Placer County Sheriff's Detective Scott Bryan was introduced to uncharged co-conspirator Jesus Ramirez by a confidential informant, and expressed interest in buying large quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine. Detective Bryan made several drug purchases from Ramirez over the next several months.

In February 2007, Detective Bryan expressed interest when Ramirez asked if he knew anyone who was interested in driving to Canada for $10,000. Ramirez explained he was working with people to transport cocaine from Mexico to Canada, and there would be opportunities to make multiple trips each month. The plan involved driving new cars containing cocaine in a hidden compartment from California to Vancouver, British Columbia. They had a car dealership "on the hook," which allowed the driver to be placed on the registration and insurance.

The cocaine, worth $16,000 to $18,000 per kilogram in California, was worth $30,000 per kilogram in Canada. Ramirez said that each car had a GPS system so they would know its location at all times. He advised Detective Bryan to take his girlfriend, make a hotel reservation, and sign up for a seminar in the area. Later, Ramirez told Detective Bryan that his "homeboy" wanted to meet him and have him make a test run.

Ramirez told Detective Bryan that a car was ready on two occasions, but the detective demurred both times, claiming he was out of town. Ramirez reiterated the offer in May 2007, but Detective Bryan expressed concerns about driving so much cocaine across the border. Ramirez said they were desperate enough that they might pay as much as $15,000. Ramirez eventually offered $12,000. From February to July 2007, Ramirez asked him to transport cocaine at least 10 times.

The First Calls

Wiretaps were placed on telephones associated with Ramirez and uncharged co-conspirator Rafael Cardona during July and August 2007.

On July 31, 2007, defendant called Cardona and told him he was with the "princess"*fn2 and she was ready. Defendant would guide her to Sacramento, where Cardona would have her sign the paperwork to get the SUV in her name. Cardona was to reserve a room for her so they could take care of the paperwork in the morning, since she might arrive after the dealership closed. Cardona would make some deposits so defendant could give a check to her.

On August 1, 2007, Cardona told defendant he would buy a "device" for her to stay in contact. Defendant mentioned that he had a program which allowed him to see exactly where she was. He also gave her written directions for how to get to Cardona. Cardona had advised her to tell people "at the line" that she was going to see some properties for a few days, even though he thought they would be cool. Cardona also said the "pigeon" would be waiting for her when she arrived in "Vanco."

Cardona told defendant she would take Highway 4 to downtown Stockton and Highway 99 north to Sacramento, getting off at either Laguna or Calvine. At 7:08 p.m., defendant told Cardona he would tell her directions so she could go there directly without fail. At 7:11 p.m., defendant told Cardona he would call to see where she was, so he would know how long it would take, and so that he could ...

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