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United States v. Hulguin

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Norfolk Division

April 2, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
CHARLES ILAGAN HULGUIN, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

ROBERT G. DOUMAR, Senior District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on multiple pre-trial motions filed by Charles Ilagan Hulguin ("Defendant"). For the reasons set forth herein, (1) Defendant's Motion for Disclosure of 404(b) and 609 Evidence, ECF No. 73, is DENIED AS MOOT; (2) Defendant's Motion for a Bill of Particulars, ECF No. 74, is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART; (3) Defendant's Motion for Exculpatory Evidence, ECF No. 75, is DENIED; (4) Defendant's Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence, ECF No. 77, is DENIED; (5) Defendant's Motion for Notice of Evidence Intended to be Used at Trial, ECF No. 78, is DENIED AS MOOT; (6) Defendant's Motion for Disclosure of Bad Acts, ECF No. 79, is DENIED AS MOOT; (7) Defendant's Motion to Sever, ECF No. 80, is DENIED; and (8) Defendant's Motion for Leave to File Additional Motions as They Become Appropriate, ECF No. 81, is DENIED. The Court will consider each motion in turn.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On August 7, 2014, Defendant was charged in a twenty-four count indictment with co-defendants Enrique Garcia Pamular, Jr., Rhajan Aguilar Cabida, Jefferson Larce Suarez, and Roger Lewis Toone. ECF No. 3. Defendant was charged with seven counts: (1) Count One, Controlled Substances Conspiracy, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846; and (2-7) Counts Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Twenty Two, and Twenty Three, Using the United States Mail to Cause, Commit and Facilitate a Felony Violation of the Controlled Substances Act, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 843(b).

On January 21, 2015, Defendant appeared before Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller for arraignment. ECF No. 60. At arraignment, Defendant submitted an Agreed Discovery Order, which was signed by both parties, and adopted by the Court. ECF No. 61. This Agreed Discovery Order thoroughly addressed the disclosure obligations of each party. Id. It also set out a timeline for the production of evidence. Id.

On February 22, 2015, Defendant filed the instant motions. ECF Nos. 73, 74, 75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81.[1] The Government filed a consolidated response to Defendant's motions on March 31, 2015. ECF No. 85. Defendant did not file a reply to the Government's response.

II. MOTION FOR DISCLOSURE OF 404(b) AND 609 EVIDENCE

Defendant moves the Court to "require the government to disclose its intention to rely on evidence pursuant to Rules 404(b) and 609 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, the substance of such evidence, and the witnesses that the government intends to call in proof of said evidence." ECF No. 73. Rule 404(b) evidence refers to evidence of a past crime, wrong, or other act introduced for a purpose other than to show conformity with said crime, wrong, or other act. Rule 609 evidence refers to evidence of a witness's criminal conviction used to impeach the witness's character for truthfulness. Pursuant to Rule 404(b), the Government is required to provide Defendant, upon request, reasonable notice of the general nature of any crime, wrong, or other act it indents to offer at trial. Pursuant to Rule 609, the Government is required to give reasonable written notice of its intent to use a criminal conviction of over 10 years old for impeachment.

Defendant does not allege that the Government beached its duty to disclose. Moreover, Defendant and the Government already signed an Agreed Discovery Order that addresses what each party is required to disclose. The Government, for its part, openly acknowledges its obligations. In fact, the Government represents that it has already provided Defendant with a copy of his prior criminal record. ECF No. 85 at 2. It appears to this Court that an order directing the Government to disclose 404(b) and 609 evidence is wholly unnecessary. Therefore, Defendant's Motion for Disclosure of 404(b) and 609 Evidence is DENIED AS MOOT.

III. MOTION FOR A BILL OF PARTICULARS

A. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 7(c)(1) requires than an indictment be "a plain, concise, and definite statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged...." FED. R. CRIM. P. 7(c)(1). To supplement the information in the indictment, the defendant may move for a bill of particulars before or within 14 days after arraignment. Id. at 7(f). The purpose of a bill of particulars is to "enable a defendant to obtain sufficient information on the nature of the charge against him so that he may prepare for trial, minimize the danger of surprise at trial, and enable him to plead his acquittal or conviction in bar of another prosecution for the same offense." United States v. Schembari, 484 F.2d 931, 934-35 (4th Cir. 1973). "A bill of particulars is not to be used to provide detailed disclosure of the government's evidence in advance of trial." United States v. Automated Medical Labs., Inc., 770 F.2d 399, 405 (4th Cir. 1985). Rather, a bill of particulars is limited to "essential information which may have been omitted from the indictment." United States v. Anderson, 481 F.2d 685, 690 (4th Cir.1973) (internal quotations and citations omitted). "In determining whether to grant a bill of particulars, a court may also consider whether the requested information has been or will be provided by other means, such as pretrial discovery, voluntary disclosure by the government, or the indictment itself.'" United States v. Tsoa, No. 1:13cr137 (JCC), 2013 WL 3242700 at *3 (E.D. Va. June 25, 2013) (internal citation omitted). The disposition of a motion for a bill of particulars is addressed to the sound discretion of the district court. Anderson, 481 F.2d at 690.

In a conspiracy case, the Government is "not required to prove any of the particular acts constituting the conspiracy." United States v. Hallock, 941 F.2d 36, 40 (1st Cir. 1991). Accordingly, "the absence of a statement of the precise dates and locations of such acts does not necessarily render the indictment impermissibly vague." Id. at 41; See United States v. MaCauley, No. 1:11CR199 JCC, 2011 WL 4853366, at *3 (E.D. Va. Oct. 13, 2011) ("Where a particular date is not a substantive element of the crime charged, strict chronological specificity or accuracy is not required in the indictment."). Even where the Government alleges ...


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