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United States v. Approximately $33

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 6, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
APPROXIMATELY $33, 794.00 IN U.S. CURRENCY, Defendant.

          PHILLIP A. TALBERT United States Attorney KEVIN C. KHASIGIAN JUSTIN L. LEE Assistant U.S. Attorneys Attorneys for the United States

          CONSENT JUDGMENT OF FORFEITURE

          TROY L. NUNLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pursuant to the Stipulation for Consent Judgment of Forfeiture, the Court finds:

         1. On or about January 28, 2016, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) executed a federal search warrant and an arrest warrant for Arnulfo Sanchez (“Sanchez” or “claimant”) at his residence located at 1479 Plumas Street, Yuba City, CA. Agents seized Approximately $33, 794.00 in U.S. Currency (hereafter the "defendant currency").

         2. Claimants do not dispute the United States' representation that it could show at a forfeiture trial the following: In 2015, and continuing into 2016, Sanchez was the owner/operator of La Habana, a restaurant and bar in Yuba City, California. Local law enforcement suspected that Sanchez was using the bar as a cover for the sale of methamphetamine. Local law enforcement, in conjunction with the DEA, initiated an investigation into Sanchez. In April 2015, law enforcement officers received authorization to intercept calls on a cellular telephone used by Sanchez. Law enforcement officers intercepted telephone calls to and from Sanchez's phone between April 22, 2015, and May 21, 2015.

         Recorded telephone calls demonstrated that Sanchez was regularly selling methamphetamine.

         3. Claimants do not dispute the United States' representation that it could show at a forfeiture trial that on May 1, 2015, Sanchez sold one-half pound of methamphetamine to an undercover DEA agent in exchange for $1, 900 in cash. Sanchez met the undercover agent in a public parking lot in Yuba City. Sanchez and the DEA undercover agent were the only individuals present at the drug transaction.

         4. Claimants does not dispute the United States' representation that on January 28, 2016, law enforcement executed a federal search warrant at Sanchez's residence at 1479 Plumas Street, Yuba City, California. During execution of the search warrant, law enforcement officers seized 345 grams of methamphetamine and $33, 794 in U.S. Currency. The currency is proceeds from drug trafficking.

         5. On February 11, 2016, an Indictment was filed in the Eastern District of California charging Vicente Velazquez, Pedro Fuentes, Arnulfo Sanchez, and others with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(a)(1) and Distribution of Methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), among other drug violations. The Indictment contained a Forfeiture Allegation that included the defendant currency. The United States and Sanchez entered into a plea agreement wherein he agreed to sign this Stipulation for Consent Judgment of Forfeiture forfeiting his right, title, and interest in the defendant currency.

         6. The United States could further show at a forfeiture trial that the defendant currency is forfeitable to the United States pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 881(a)(6).

         7. Without admitting the truth of the factual assertions contained above, claimants Arnulfo Sanchez and Maria Sanchez (“claimants”) specifically denying the same, and for the purpose of reaching an amicable resolution and compromise of this matter, claimants agree that an adequate factual basis exists to support forfeiture of the defendant currency. Claimants acknowledged that they are the sole owners of the defendant currency, and that no other person or entity has any legitimate claim of interest therein. Should any person or entity institute any kind of claim or action against the government with regard to its forfeiture of the defendant currency, claimants shall hold harmless and indemnify the United States, as set forth below.

         8. This Court has jurisdiction in this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1345 and 1355, as this is the judicial district in which acts or omissions giving rise to the forfeiture occurred.

         9. This Court has venue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1395, as this is the judicial district in which the defendant currency was seized.

         10. The parties herein desire to settle this matter pursuant to the terms of a duly executed Stipulation ...


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