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United States of America v. Steve Ruby (1

February 12, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
STEVE RUBY (1), DEFENDANT.



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

ORDER

The matters before the Court are the motions (ECF Nos. 71-1 through 71-10) filed by the Defendant Steve Ruby.

BACKGROUND

The investigation in this case involved a series of bank robberies which took place from January 17, 2012 through February 28, 2012. During the investigation, police officers put out a "be on the look out" (BOLO) bulletin to county law enforcement to look for a maroon/burgundy Chevrolet Silverado. On March 1, 2012, a San Diego Sheriff's Department Detective conducting an unrelated investigation observed a truck matching the BOLO description. Further investigation produced a licence plate number for the truck which was registered to Spiros Romensas and information that Spiros Romensas and Steve Ruby had storage lockers at the A-American Storage facility in El Cajon.

On March 8, 2012, at approximately 1:30 p.m., Defendant Steve Ruby and Defendant Spiros Romensas were arrested.

On March 8, 2012, at 1:30 p.m., the Government sought and received a warrant authorizing the search of Defendant Ruby's hotel room and storage unit.

On March 21, 2012, the grand jury returned an indictment charging Defendant Steve Ruby with six counts of bank robbery and one count of attempted bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a).

On March 29, 2012, the Government sought and received an order directing Defendant Ruby's cell phone service provider "to disclose the records of cell site and cell storage activations by the subject telephones during the period January 1, 2012 to March 31, 2012." (ECF No. 71-2 at 17).

Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) showed a photographic lineup which included a photo of Defendant Ruby to a bank teller witness on each of the following dates: April 17, 2012; July 27, 2012; July 31, 2012; August 1, 2012; and August 24, 2012. Each of the five bank tellers identified Defendant Ruby as the robber.

On May 16, 2012, the grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging the following counts:

Count 1: On or about January 17, 2012, within the Southern District of California, defendant STEVE RUBY, by force, violence, and by intimidation, did unlawfully take from the person and presence of employees of Pacific Western Bank, located at 9955 Mission Gorge Road, Santee, California, the sum of approximately $516.00, belonging to and in the care, custody, control, management, and possession of Pacific Western Bank, the deposits of which were then insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(a).

Count 2: On or about January 23, 2012, within the Southern District of California, defendant STEVE RUBY, by force, violence, and by intimidation, did unlawfully take from the person and presence of employees of Pacific Western Bank, located at 9955 Mission Gorge Road, Santee, California, the sum of approximately $2,587.00, belonging to and in the care, custody, control, management, and possession of Pacific Western Bank, the deposits of which were then insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(a).

Count 3: On or about February 6, 2012, within the Southern District of California, defendant STEVE RUBY, by force, violence, and by intimidation, did unlawfully take from the person and presence of employees of Home Bank of California, located at 875 Garnet Avenue, San Diego, California, the sum of approximately $607.00, belonging to and in the care, custody, control, management, and possession of Home Bank of California, the deposits of which were then insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(a).

Count 4: On or about February 10, 2012, within the Southern District of California, defendant STEVE RUBY, by force, violence, and by intimidation, did unlawfully take from the person and presence of employees of Pacific Western Bank, located at 9643 Mission Gorge Road, Santee, California, the sum of approximately $1,211.00, belonging to and in the care, custody, control, management, and possession of Pacific Western Bank, the deposits of which were then insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(a).

Count 5: On or about February 14, 2012, within the Southern District of California, defendant STEVE RUBY, by force, violence, and by intimidation, did unlawfully attempt to take from the person and presence of employees of Pacific Western Bank, located at 9955 Mission Gorge Road, Santee, California, money belonging to and in the care, custody, control, management, and possession of Pacific Western Bank, the deposits of which were then insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(a).

Count 6: On or about February 21, 2012, within the Southern District of California, defendants STEVE RUBY and SPIROS ROMENSAS, by force, violence, and by intimidation, did unlawfully take from the person and presence of employees of Pacific Western Bank, located at 368 Broadway, El Cajon, California, the sum of approximately $1,432.00, belonging to and in the care, custody, control, management, and possession of Pacific Western Bank, the deposits of which were then insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(a) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.

Count 7: On or about February 28, 2012, within the Southern District of California, defendants STEVE RUBY and SPIROS ROMENSAS, by force, violence, and by intimidation, did unlawfully take from the person and presence of employees of Wells Fargo Bank, located at 6670 Montezuma Road, San Diego, California, the sum of approximately $9,903.00, belonging to and in the care, custody, control, management, and possession of Wells Fargo Bank, the deposits of which were then insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2113(a) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2. (ECF No. 26).

On July 3, 2012, the government sought and received a search warrant to search Defendant Ruby's cell phone which had been seized at the time of his arrest.

RULINGS OF THE COURT Motion #1 to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction

Defendant Ruby moves to dismiss the superseding indictment on the grounds that the Congress exceeded its Commerce Clause authority in promulgating the federal bank robbery statute, 18 U.S.C. Section 2113(a).

In United States v. Harris, 108 F.3d 1107, 1108 (9th Cir. 1997), the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stated: "[f]ederal courts have jurisdiction over a bank robbery offense where the bank was a federally insured institution." The Court of Appeals explained "[t]hese federal institutions are instrumentalities and channels of interstate ...


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