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United States v. Reyes-Castillo

United States District Court, D. Nevada

June 6, 2019

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Jose Luis Reynaldo Reyes-Castillo, et al. Defendants.

          NICHOLAS A. TRUTANICH United States Attorney District of Nevada, DAVID L. JAFFE Chief, Organized Crime & Gang Section U.S. Department of Justice, JOHN S. HAN, TRACEY BATSON, CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR Trial Attorneys Organized Crime & Gang Section U.S. Department of Justice, Representing the United States of America.

          RICHARD A. WRIGHT, ESQ. Counsel for defendant JOSE LUIS REYNALDO REYES-CASTILLO.

          MICHAEL J. MICELI, ESQ. Counsel for defendant MIGUEL TORRES-ESCOBAR.

          ANDREA L. LUEM, ESQ. Counsel for defendant DAVID ARTURO PEREZ-MANCHAME.

          MOTION TO CERTIFY CASE AS COMPLEX AND ENTER A COMPLEX CASE SCHEDULING ORDER

         The United States of America, by and through NICHOLAS A. TRUTANICH, United States Attorney, DAVID L. JAFFE, Chief of the Organized Crime Section, U.S. Department of Justice, and JOHN S. HAN, TRACEY BATSON, and CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR, Trial Attorneys, hereby moves the Court to certify the above-referenced case as complex for the purposes of computing and excluding time under the Speedy Trial Act, 18, U.S.C. § 3161, and enter a revised scheduling order as set forth herein. In support thereof, the Court is advised that counsel for the government electronically provided counsel for defendants a copy of this motion for their review. The undersigned counsel for each defendant support the motion and agree to the contents of the motion.[1] Given the complexity of the evidence, volume of discovery, and death penalty protocol process (for all three charged defendants), it is unreasonable to expect each defendant could adequately prepare for trial within the timeframe mandated by the Speedy Trial Act.

         I. COMPLEXITY AND VOLUME OF THE CASE

         A. The Charges, Potential Penalties, and Case Status

         1. On April 30, 2019, a federal grand jury seated in Las Vegas, Nevada returned a three-count Indictment charging three defendants - JOSE LUIS REYNALDO REYES-CASTILLO, a.k.a. “Molesto, ” MIGUEL TORRES-ESCOBAR, a.k.a. “Chamilo, ” and DAVID ARTURO PEREZ-MANCHAME, a.k.a. “Walter Melendez, ” a.k.a. “Herbi” -- with offenses related to the January 21, 2018 murder of Arquimidez Sandoval-Martinez. (ECF No. 1). More specifically, all three defendants are charged with Murder in Aid of Racketeering (VICAR Murder), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1959(a)(1) and 2 (Count One); Using, Carrying, and Discharging a Firearm During and In Relation to a Crime of Violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c) (Count Two); and Causing Death Through the Use of A Firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(j) and 2 (Count Three).

         2. Counts One and Three are both death penalty eligible offenses. Count Two carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment and a statutory maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

         3. Defendants TORRES-ESCOBAR and PEREZ-MANCHAME have been arraigned and entered pleas of Not Guilty in this District. Defendant REYES-CASTILLO is expected to be arraigned on or about June 25, 2019. The Court joined Defendants TORRES-ESCOBAR and PEREZ-MANCHAME for trial, setting a trial date of July 29, 2019.

         B. Brief Summary of the Case and Evidence

         4. The Indictment alleges that the defendants were members and associates of the criminal street gang Mara Salvatrucha, commonly known as MS-13, and the Parkview clique in Las Vegas, Nevada, specifically. The Indictment further alleges that MS13, including its leaders, members, and associates, constituted an enterprise which engaged in racketeering activity consisting of multiple acts involving murder, kidnapping, and robbery, among other offenses.

         5. The discovery in this case will be voluminous. It includes, but is not limited to, thousands of pages of documents, including the complete “murder book”, investigative reports from both federal and state agencies, court documents, photographs, medical examiner reports, summaries and/or transcripts of multi-hour interviews with various individuals (several of which involve Spanish speakers and are in the process of being translated), toll records, forensic reports and related data, social media records, and other such materials; multiple audio and video recordings; and items of physical evidence, including clothing, knives, firearms, and other such items.

         C. Pretrial Motions and Discovery

         6. While the government intends to meet its obligations under Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and other applicable law, the defendants will require substantial time in order to thoroughly review the discovery, conduct any necessary follow-up investigation, apprise their clients of the nature of the evidence against them, and research, prepare, and file any necessary pretrial motions that defense counsel deem necessary given the evidence and posture of the case.

         7. Moreover, all three defendants are charged with death penalty eligible offenses. Whether the government decides to seek death or seek approval not to seek death, such requires compliance with death penalty protocol processes which will be time-consuming and will require participation of counsel for each defendant with regard to presenting mitigating information. Defense counsel will need sufficient time to accumulate mitigation information to present to the United States Attorney and the Attorney General of the United States. Finally, since cooperation is a consideration in the death penalty decision, each defendant will require time to review discovery in order to make an informed decision as to whether to seek a plea agreement. If this occurs, the government will require time to debrief any such defendant.

         D. Proposed Complex Case Schedule

         i. The Initial ...


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