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United States v. Salazar

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Amarillo Division

July 19, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ARTURO SALAZAR, JR., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SIDNEY A. FITZWATER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         In this memorandum opinion and order, the court addresses three motions for discovery filed by defendant Arturo Salazar, Jr. (“Salazar”), and a motion for discovery filed by the government. Salazar is charged in count one of the superseding indictment with the offense of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(viii), and in count two with the offense of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A).

         The following motions are pending for decision: Salazar's November 15, 2016 motion for discovery and inspection; Salazar's November 15, 2016 motion for discovery and inspection under Rule 16(a)(1)(G); Salazar's November 15, 2016 discovery motion - extraneous acts; and the government's April 10, 2017 motion for discovery. The trial is set for September 11, 2017.

         I

         In Salazar's motion for discovery and inspection, he moves for 15 categories (including subcategories) of discovery. The court has organized some of Salazar's categories of evidence into subcategories for purposes of this memorandum opinion and order.

         A

         Rule 16(a)(1)-Based Discovery Requests

         In requests Nos. 1-5 and 13, [1] Salazar requests that the government be ordered to disclose information or evidence as required by Fed. R. Crim. P. 16(a)(1)(A)-(G).

         In request No. 1, Salazar requests that the government be ordered to disclose any written or recorded statements, including audio or video recordings, made by Salazar to any person, including persons who are not government agents, that are within the possession, custody, or control of the government, including the substance of any statements made by Salazar, whether before or after arrest, to any government attorney, or to a person known by Salazar to be a government agent or law enforcement officer, including probation, parole, or state police officers, [2] that the government intends to offer in evidence at trial or that are of relevance to the prosecution. He also requests disclosure of any oral statement made to any person that goes to any element of the offense; any statements made by him in response to Miranda-type warnings; and any grand jury testimony given by him that relates in any way to the offense charged and the names of any grand jury witness who may testify at trial.

         In request No. 2, Salazar requests that the government be ordered to disclose a copy of his prior criminal record, [3] including the disposition of the case.

         Salazar requests in request No. 3 that the government be ordered to disclose all books, papers, documents, photographs, tangible objects, buildings, or places that are material to the preparation of his defense, are intended to be used by the government at trial, or were obtained from or belong to Salazar. This request includes any drugs and drug experiments; weapons; handwriting exemplars and fingerprint cards; photographic spreads or line-ups of Salazar[4]; agency manuals, directives, rules, or bulletins, including personnel manuals and rules; out-of-district documents possessed by government agencies to which the prosecution has knowledge and access; and classified documents. Salazar also requests access to any drugs in order to weigh the drugs and/or to make an independent chemical analysis of the drugs.

         In request No. 4, Salazar requests that the government be ordered to disclose any results or reports of all physical or mental examinations and of scientific tests or experiments made in connection with this case that are material to the preparation of the defense or are intended for use by the government as evidence at trial. This request includes laboratory reports concerning the results of any drug tests (including negative test results); fingerprint or voice comparison analysis; handwriting analysis; footprint reports; psychiatric examinations of Salazar or of a government witness; the underlying data and programs for any computer study results; and agency testing procedures.[5]

         In request No. 5, Salazar requests that the government produce the statements of any alleged coconspirator or codefendant.[6]

         Salazar requests in request No. 13 that the government be ordered to disclose any electronic surveillance logs and transcripts concerning Salazar and/or any witness, including documents such as Federal Bureau of Investigation “airtels” or interoffice memoranda relating to any monitored conversations.

         To the extent that Salazar requests discovery that the government is required to disclose under Rules 16(a)(1), 12(b)(4), and 26.2, Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), and its progeny, Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972), and its progeny, and/or the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3500, the motion is granted. To the extent his requests exceed what is required by these authorities, the motion is denied. The government need not produce any discoverable statements covered by the Jencks Act or Rule 26.2 until the deadline specified infra at § IV.

         B

         Informants

         Salazar requests in request No. 7 that the government be ordered to disclose the identity of any informant in this case who was a percipient witness to or participated in the alleged offense. Salazar also requests that the government provide him with information to locate or contact any informant; produce any informant at a time and place ordered by the court for an interview with defense counsel; produce any informant at trial at Salazar's request; and produce the prior criminal record of any informant, any promises of immunity or consideration made to any informant, the identification of any informant's prior testimony, any evidence of psychiatric treatment of any informant, and any evidence of narcotic habits of any informant.

         If the government has used an informant in investigating or prosecuting Salazar, it must notify the court in ...


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