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United States v. Rios-Gonzalez

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Lufkin Division

December 1, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
RAUL RIOS-GONZALEZ

          FINDINGS OF FACT AND RECOMMENDATION ON GUILTY PLEA BEFORE THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          Zack Hawthorn United States Magistrate Judge

         By order of the District Court, this matter is referred to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for administration of the guilty plea under Rule 11. Magistrate judges have the statutory authority to conduct a felony guilty plea proceeding as an “additional duty” pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(3). United States v. Bolivar-Munoz, 313 F.3d 253, 255 (5th Cir. 2002).

         On November 22, 2017, this case came before the undersigned magistrate judge for entry of a guilty plea by the Defendant, Raul Rios-Gonzalez, to Count One of the Indictment. Count One alleges that on or about January 20, 2017, in the Eastern District of Texas and elsewhere, Raul Rios-Gonzalez, the Defendant, traveled in interstate commerce from the State of Texas to the State of Illinois and back to the State of Texas, with the intent to promote, manage, establish, carry on, and facilitate the promotion, management, establishment, and carrying on of an unlawful activity, that is, bulk cash smuggling in violation of 31 U.S.C. § 5332, and thereafter performed and attempted to perform an act to promote, manage, establish, and carry on, and to facilitate the promotion, management, establishment, and carrying on of such unlawful activity, that is, the transportation of approximately $150, 000.00 in United States currency, all in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1952(a).

         The Defendant entered a plea of guilty to Count One of the Indictment into the record at the hearing. After conducting the proceeding in the form and manner prescribed by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11, the undersigned finds:

         a. That the Defendant, after consultation with his attorney, has knowingly, freely and voluntarily consented to the administration of the guilty plea in this case by a United States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Texas, subject to a final approval and imposition of sentence by the District Court.

         b. That the Defendant is fully competent and capable of entering an informed plea, that the Defendant is aware of the nature of the charges and the consequences of the plea, and that the plea of guilty is made freely, knowingly, and voluntarily. Upon addressing the Defendant personally in open court, the undersigned determines that the Defendant's plea is knowing and voluntary and did not result from force, threats or promises (other than the promises set forth in the plea agreement). See Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(b)(2).

         c. That the Defendant's knowing and voluntary plea is supported by an independent factual basis establishing each of the essential elements of the offense and the Defendant realizes that his conduct falls within the definition of the crime charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1952(a).

         STATEMENT OF REASONS

         As factual support for the Defendant's guilty plea, the Government presented a factual basis. See Factual Basis and Stipulation. In support, the Government would prove that the Defendant is the same person charged in the Indictment, and that the events described in the Indictment occurred in the Eastern District of Texas. The Government would also have proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, each and every essential element of the offense as alleged in Count One of the Indictment through the testimony of witnesses, including expert witnesses, and admissible exhibits. In support of the Defendant's plea, the undersigned incorporates the proffer of evidence described in detail in the factual basis, and the Defendant's admissions made in open court in response to the undersigned's further inquiry into the factual basis and stipulation.

         The Defendant agreed with and stipulated to the evidence presented in the factual basis. Counsel for the Defendant and the Government attested to the Defendant's competency and capability to enter an informed plea of guilty. The Defendant agreed with the evidence presented by the Government and personally testified that he was entering the guilty plea knowingly, freely and voluntarily.

         RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         IT IS THEREFORE the recommendation of the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge that the District Court accept the Guilty Plea of the Defendant, which the undersigned determines to be supported by an independent factual basis establishing each of the essential elements of the offense charged in Count One of the Indictment. Accordingly, it is further recommended that the District Court finally adjudge the Defendant, Raul Rios-Gonzalez, guilty of the charged offense under 18 U.S.C. § 1952(a).

         OBJECTIONS

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c), each party to this action has the right to file objections to this report and recommendation. Objections to this report must: (1) be in writing, (2) specifically identify those findings or recommendations to which the party objects, and (3) be served and filed within fourteen (14) days after being served with a copy of this report, and (4) no more than eight (8) pages in length. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c) (2009); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2); Local Rule CV-72(c). A party who objects to this report is entitled to a de novo determination by the United States District ...


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