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United States v. Martinez

United States District Court, N.D. California

April 30, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
DAVID ANDREW MARTINEZ, EDMUND DESHAWN DENEILIOM, RUBEN ALEJANDRO QUIROZ, CESAR CASTELLANOS, LUCIO LERENZO MENDOZA, SAMUEL TEWOLDE, KALIN CARELL, and ANDREW HILL-PICCOLA, Defendants.

ORDER RE DEFENDANT SAMUEL TEWOLDE'S MOTIONS TO DISMISS AND FOR BILL OF PARTICULARS

WILLIAM ALSUP, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

In this prosecution under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering Act, and other penal statutes, one defendant moves to dismiss several counts under the indictment, or alternatively, for a bill of particulars. The motion to dismiss is DENIED. The motion for a bill of particulars is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

STATEMENT

The background of this prosecution is set forth in a prior order ( see Dkt. No. 72). In brief, this is a non-capital criminal gang prosecution with seventeen counts and eight defendants. According to the indictment, nearly all defendants are connected to the Varrio South Park gang. Two defendants - Lucio Lerenzo Mendoza and Cesar Castellanos - previously challenged certain counts brought against them. On March 12, 2014, an order denied their motions to dismiss, while granting in part and denying in part their motions for a bill of particulars.

Following his arrest as a fugitive, defendant Samuel Tewolde now moves to dismiss Counts One, Two, Three, Four, and Six: (1) racketeering conspiracy; (2) conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering; (3) conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; (4) use/possession of firearm in furtherance of crime of violence; and (6) attempted murder in aid of racketeering. He also moves for a bill of particulars in the alternative. The order decides both motions below after full briefing and oral argument.

ANALYSIS

As a preliminary matter, Tewolde "joins and incorporates" the arguments made by Mendoza and Castellanos in their prior motions to dismiss (Br. 2). Because the March 12 order has already addressed those arguments, this order will only discuss new arguments specifically raised by Tewolde in his present motions.

1. MOTION TO DISMISS.

A. Count One - RICO Conspiracy.

Count One is the sole RICO charge under the indictment, alleging racketeering conspiracy against Tewolde and other named defendants. 18 U.S.C. 1962(d). In addition to other details, Count One states (Indict. ΒΆΒΆ 18, 19) (emphasis added):

18. Beginning on a date unknown to the Grand Jury but since at least the mid-2000s, and continuing up through and including the present, in the Northern District of California and elsewhere, [Tewolde and other named defendants], together with others known and unknown, each being a person employed by and associated with VSP, an enterprise engaged in, and the activities of which affected, interstate and foreign commerce, unlawfully, willfully, and intentionally did conspire to violate Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(c), that is to conduct and participate, directly and indirectly, in the conduct of the affairs of the VSP enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity, as defined in Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1961(1) and (5), which pattern of racketeering activity consisted of:
a. multiple acts and threats involving murder...;
b. multiple acts and threats involving robbery...;
c. multiple acts involving dealing in controlled substances...;
d. multiple acts indictable under 18 U.S.C. [] 1951 (interference with commerce, ...

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