United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Lufkin Division
FINDINGS OF FACT AND RECOMMENDATION ON GUILTY PLEA
BEFORE THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
F. GIBLIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
order of the District Court, this matter was referred to the
undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for administration
of a guilty plea and allocution under Rules 11 and 32 of the
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. 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), cert. denied, 123 S.Ct. 1642 (2003). On
February 27, 2018, this cause came before the undersigned
United States Magistrate Judge for entry of a guilty plea by
the defendant, Phearom Lay, on Count
Two of the charging First Superseding
Indictment filed in this cause.
Two of the First Superseding Indictment charges that
beginning in or about December 12, 2012 and continuing
through in or about May 2013, in the Eastern District of
Texas and elsewhere, Phearom Lay, and co-defendant, knowing
and in reckless disregard of the fact that S.L., an alien,
came to entered, and remained in the United States in
violation of law, did conceal, harbor, and shield S.L. from
detection in any place, including in their residence and
place of business, for the purpose of commercial advantage
and private gain, in violation of Title 8 United States Code,
Sections 1324(a)(I)(A)(iii), and 1324(a)(1)(B)(i).
Phearom Lay, entered a plea of guilty to Count Two of the
First Superseding Indictment into the record at the hearing.
conducting the proceeding in the form and manner prescribed
by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11 the Court finds:
a. That Defendant, after consultation with counsel of record,
has knowingly, freely and voluntarily consented to the
administration of the guilty plea in this cause by a United
States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Texas
subject to a final approval and imposition of sentence by the
b. That Defendant and the Government have entered into a plea
agreement and a plea agreement addendum which were addressed
in open court and entered into the record.
c. That Defendant is fully competent and capable of entering
an informed plea, that Defendant is aware of the nature of
the charges and the consequences of the plea, and that the
plea of guilty is a knowing, voluntary and freely made plea.
Upon addressing the Defendant personally in open court, the
Court determines that Defendant's plea is voluntary and
did not result from force, threats or promises. See
Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(b)(2).
d. That Defendant's knowing, voluntary and freely made
plea is supported by an independent factual basis
establishing each of the essential elements of the offense
and Defendant realizes that her conduct falls within the
definition of the crimes charged under 8 U.S.C. §§
1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) and (a)(1)(B)(I).
factual support for Defendant's guilty plea, the
Government presented a factual basis. See Factual Basis
and Stipulation. In support, the Government and
Defendant stipulated that if this case were to proceed to
trial the Government would prove beyond a reasonable doubt,
through the sworn testimony of witnesses, including expert
witnesses, as well as through admissible exhibits, each and
every essential element of the crime charged in Count Two of
the First Superseding Indictment. The Government would also
prove that the defendant is one and the same person charged
in the First Superseding Indictment and that the events
described in First Superseding Indictment occurred in the
Eastern District of Texas and elsewhere. The Court
incorporates the proffer of evidence described in detail in
the factual basis and stipulation in support of the guilty
Phearom Lay, agreed with and stipulated to the evidence
presented in the factual basis. Counsel for Defendant and the
Government attested to 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 she was entering her guilty plea
knowingly, freely and voluntarily.
IS THEREFORE the recommendation of the undersigned
United States Magistrate Judge that the District Court accept
the guilty plea of 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 Two of the charging First Superseding Indictment on
file in this criminal proceeding. The Court also recommends
that the District Court accept the plea agreement and plea
agreement addendum pursuant to the Local Rules for the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c). Accordingly, it is