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United States v. Cisneros-Zepeda

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

May 10, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MARTHA CISNEROS-ZEPEDA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         In this memorandum opinion and order, the court addresses the discovery motion of defendant Martha Cisneros-Zepeda (“Cisneros”). Cisneros is charged in a one-count indictment with possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(viii). Cisneros' November 3, 2017 discovery motion is pending for decision. The government has not responded to the motion.

         The trial is set for May 29, 2018.

         I

         In her motion, Cisneros moves for 13 categories (including subcategories) of discovery. The court has organized some of Cisneros' categories of evidence into subcategories for purposes of this memorandum opinion and order.

         A

         Rule 16 Evidence

         In requests Nos. 1-3, 11, and 12, Cisneros requests that the government be ordered to disclose information or evidence as required by Fed. R. Crim. P. 16(a)(1)(A)-(F). In request No. 1, Cisneros requests that the government be ordered to disclose any oral, written, or recorded statements made by Cisneros within the possession, custody, or control of the government, including any audio recordings and the substance of any oral statements made by her to government agents or law enforcement officers, including probation or parole officers, before or after her arrest. Cisneros requests in request No. 2 that the government be ordered to disclose all books, papers, documents, photographs, tangible objects, or copies or portions thereof, within the possession, custody, or control of the government that are material to the preparation of Cisneros' defense, or are intended to be used in the government's case-in-chief, or were obtained from or belong to Cisneros. This request includes any checks and other securities, computers, programs, software, diskettes, printers, check stock, counterfeit payroll, chemicals, fingerprints, handwriting exemplars, identification, bank statements, and other potential evidence. In request No. 3, Cisneros requests that the government be ordered to disclose any results or reports of all physical or mental examinations and of scientific tests or experiments conducted by federal or state authorities in the course of the investigation of this case, and any related state investigation of Cisneros, including all fingerprints or handwriting reports, and results compiled by, and who examined, known fingerprints, palm prints, or handwriting exemplars of Cisneros and compared them to questioned specimens. This request includes any chemical analysis of narcotics and reports generated from tests, and a request to review the reports of polygraph tests administered to participating government informants.[1] Cisneros requests in request No. 11 that the government be ordered to disclose any information or evidence gained by electronic surveillance, including wiretaps, videotapes, and tape recorded conversations, or the like, concerning Cisneros, any alleged coconspirators or codefendants, and/or any witness. In request No. 12, Cisneros requests that the government be ordered to disclose a copy of her prior criminal record, including the disposition of the cases.

         To the extent that Cisneros requests discovery that the government is required to disclose under Rules 16(a)(1)(A)-(F), 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 her 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 § II.

         B

         Impeachment Evidence

         Cisneros requests in request No. 4 that the government be ordered to disclose any evidence that may be used to impeach any government witness, including any evidence that may be used to substantially impeach the credibility of any key government witness and any government witness' prior criminal record or other prior material acts of misconduct. In request No. 5, Cisneros requests that, pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 613, the government be ordered to disclose all information that it has regarding inconsistent statements of any witness it may call at trial. In request No. 6, Cisneros requests that, pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 607 and 608, the government be ordered to disclose any information regarding the untruthfulness of any government witness that it may call at trial. She requests in request No. 7 that the government be ordered to disclose any information known to the government, or that may become known by searching its files and the files of other government agencies, regarding the use of narcotics by any witness whom the government may call at trial, at the time of their cooperation with the government, when they appeared before the grand jury, when they entered their guilty pleas, or at trial. She also requests disclosure of any psychiatric examinations administered to any informant witness.[2]

         To the extent Cisneros requests discovery that the government is required to disclose under Rules 12(b)(4), 16, and 26.2, Brady, Giglio, and/or the Jencks Act, the motion is granted. To the extent her requests exceed what is required by these authorities, the motion is denied.

         C Government Investigation Notes

         In request No. 8, Cisneros requests that the government be ordered to disclose any notes, tapes, and/or memoranda made by a government agent, including any person who may have been acting as an informer, or in an investigative or undercover capacity.[3] Cisneros also requests that, if such notes, tapes, and/or memoranda were once in existence but have since been destroyed, the government be ordered to disclose the purpose and exact information ...


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