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United States of America v. Luis Miguel Salas Rodriguez (1

April 9, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
LUIS MIGUEL SALAS RODRIGUEZ (1),
CARLOS ALBERTO ANDRADE-DE LA CRUZ (2),
ANTONIO ZERMENO GARCIA (3), DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: United States District Judge William Q. Hayes

ORDER

HAYES, Judge:

The following motions are pending before the Court:

(1) Motion to suppress wire and electronic evidence (ECF No. 54) filed by Defendant Luis Miguel Salas Rodriguez; (2) Motion to suppress wire and electronic evidence (ECF No. 58) filed by Defendant Carlos Alberto Andrade-De La Cruz; (3) Motion to join motions (ECF No. 59) filed by Defendant Antonio Zermeno Garcia; (4) Motion to redact indictment (ECF No. 44) filed by Defendant Luis Miguel Salas Rodriguez; (5) Motion to reveal CI and to sever defendants (ECF No. 38) filed by Defendant Carlos Alberto Andrade-De La Cruz; and (6) Motion to join motions (ECF No. 40) filed by Defendant Antonio Zermeno Garcia.

BACKGROUND FACTS

During the course of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cross-Border Violence Group, a target contacted an FBI Confidential Source ("CS") and sought to arrange the collection of drug trafficking debts from three debtors living in San Diego. The target contacted the CS to assist an associate identified as TJ SHOTCALLER with the debt enforcement.

On February 28, 2012, the CS spoke to TJ SHOTCALLER by telephone. During the consensually recorded call, the CS made arrangements to meet an associate of TJ SHOTCALLER (later identified as Defendant SALAS) in San Diego in order to receive details of the proposed enforcement. Several minutes later, the associate of TJ SHOTCALLER contacted the SC by phone and meeting was arranged.

On March 1, 2012, the CS met with Defendant SALAS at a location in San Diego. Defendant SALAS arrived in a 2005 Nissan and drove the CS to three separate locations to show the CS where the three drug debtors could be located. The CS was wearing a recording device on his/her person which recorded Defendant SALAS.

On March 6, 2012, FBI agents sought and received authorization to intercept wire communication of TJ SHOTCALLER from United States District Court Judge Dana Sabraw. The Judge found probable cause to believe TJ SHOTCALLER and others have committed, are committing, and will continue to commit kidnaping, conspiracy to kidnap, distribution of controlled substances, importation of controlled substances and illegal use of communication facilities. The Judge found that normal investigative procedures have been tried and failed, reasonably appear unlikely to succeed if tried, or are too dangerous to employ.

Over the next few days, the CS continued to delay in order for the agents to learn the identities and locations of the targeted drug debtors.

On March 12, 2012, agents intercepted conversations from the wire intercepts that led them to believe that TJ SHOTCALLER and another associate referred to as "Benito" (later identified as Defendant ANDRADE) located a new individual (later identified as Defendant ZERMENO) to conduct the enforcement against the targeted drug debtors.

On March 14, 2012, Defendant ANDRADE crossed the border from Mexico and met with Defendant SALAS. The two drove to a location and met with Defendant ZERMENO. Believing that one of the targeted drug debtors had been located, FBI agents arrested the three defendants.

On May 4, 2012, a federal grand jury in the Southern District of California returned a superseding indictment charging the three defendants with conspiracy to commit kidnaping in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(c); conspiracy to commit extortion by threat of force in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951; and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 841(a) and 846. Defendant Salas is further charged with inducing and encouraging an illegal alien to enter the United States in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv). Defendant Andrade is further charged with interstate communication of threats/extortion in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 875(b) and with removed alien found in the ...


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