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In Re Extradition of Gregorio Salgado-Lopez

April 30, 2012

IN RE EXTRADITION OF GREGORIO SALGADO-LOPEZ, ALSO KNOWN AS GREGORIO SALGADO LOPEZ


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER REGARDING EX PARTE APPLICATION TO EXTEND TIME WITHIN WHICH TO FILE AN OPPOSITION, AND TO CONTINUE THE HEARING ON THE EXTRADITION

RELEVANT PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On November 7, 2011, the United States of America ("Government"), filed its Complaint for Provisional Arrest with a View Towards Extradition. (Doc. 1.)

On November 9, 2011, Gregorio Salgado-Lopez ("Salgado-Lopez") made his initial appearance in this matter. He was originally represented by attorney Charles J. Lee of the Federal Defender's office. (Docs. 7-8.) On that date, Salgado-Lopez was ordered detained. (Doc. 9.)

On February 9, 2012, attorney Roger S. Bonakdar of the Law Offices of Nuttall, Coleman & Wilson was substituted in place and instead of attorney Lee as counsel for Salgado-Lopez. (Doc. 13.)

Following a status conference of February 9, 2012, the matter was continued six weeks at the request for Mr. Bonakdar; the Government did not object to the continuance. (Doc. 14.)

On March 15, 2012, at a status conference regarding extradition, the Government requested a briefing schedule be imposed. As a result, the Government's brief was to be filed no later than April 5, 2012; any opposition was to be filed no later than April 26, 2012. The related hearing was scheduled for May 7, 2012. (Doc. 15.)

The Government filed its brief in support of the extradition on April 5, 2012. (Doc. 16.) Relatedly, nearly 900 pages of exhibits were filed under seal on April 6, 2012. (Docs. 19-20.)

On April 26, 2012, Salgado-Lopez filed an Ex Parte Application for an Order Extending Time for Defendant to File Opposing Papers, and for Continuance of Hearing on Extradition. (Doc. 21.)*fn1

On April 27, 2012, the Government filed its Opposition to the aforementioned application. (Doc. 22.)

DISCUSSION

Salgado-Lopez seeks an order extending time within which he may oppose the Government's extradition efforts, as well as an order continuing the related hearing. More particularly, Salgado-Lopez claims he has retained counsel in Mexico in an effort to "'place[ the matter] back on calendar" before the Mexican courts - without requiring his personal appearance - apparently to "resolve the action in Mexico," thus obviating the need for extradition. However, Salgado-Lopez makes no effort to explain how placing any matter back on calendar in Mexico will "resolve the action." Nevertheless, Salgado-Lopez seeks a continuance of three weeks within which to file his opposition, as well as a three-week continuance of the extradition hearing. (See Doc. 21.)

The Government opposes Salgado-Lopez's request. It asserts that a strong public interest in the United States abiding by its treaty obligations cautions against any extension of time here. It also points to Salgado-Lopez's seven months in the Government's custody and the more than three year old case now pending in Mexico against Salgado-Lopez involving illegal weapon possession. Moreover, the Government asserts that Mexican officials have advised it that its prosecutors do not have authority to dismiss the charges now pending against Salgado-Lopez, nor is bail available on the charges alleged, nor is there a provision for trial in absentia. Accordingly, the Government contends this Court should proceed with the hearing as scheduled. (Doc. 22.)

While the Court appreciates the public interest in the Government upholding its treaty obligations, an additional three weeks is little time in the totality. Further, although Salgado-Lopez may have absconded from Mexico three years ago, the matter has been pending before this Court less than six ...


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