United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
F. ATLAS, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant Juan Guajardo's Motion to Dismiss
(“Motion”) [Doc. # 805]. The Government
responded,  and Guajardo replied.The Motion is ripe
for decision. Based on the parties' briefing, pertinent
matters of record, and relevant legal authority, the Court
denies Guajardo's Motion.
February 7, 2007, Defendant Juan Guajardo was indicted, along
with nineteen other defendants, by a federal grand jury of
conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, namely
cocaine. Guajardo is a United States citizen, and on or about
July 24, 2019, he was deported from Mexico to the United
States and turned over to the U.S. Marshals
Service. He is set to be tried on the conspiracy
charge on September 27, 2019.
moves to dismiss the Indictment, asserting his prosecution
violates the Speedy Trial Clause of the Sixth
Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees
criminal defendants “the right to a speedy . . .
trial.” U.S. Const. amend. VI. The guarantee is
“an important safeguard to prevent undue and oppressive
incarceration prior to trial, to minimize anxiety and concern
accompanying public accusation and to limit the possibilities
that long delay will impair the ability of an accused to
defend himself.” United States v. Marion, 404
U.S. 307, 320 (1971) (quoting United States v.
Ewell, 383 U.S. 116, 120 (1966)). Consequently, the
speedy trial right attaches when “a defendant is
arrested or formally accused.” See
Betterman v. Montana, 136 S.Ct. 1609, 1613 (2016)
(emphasis added); Marion, 404 U.S. at 320
(“[I]t is either a formal indictment or information or
else the actual restraints imposed by arrest and holding to
answer a criminal charge that engage the particular
protections of the speedy trial provision of the Sixth
analyzing a Sixth Amendment speedy trial claim, ”
courts in the Fifth Circuit “balance, among other
relevant circumstances, (1) the length of the delay; (2) the
reason for the delay; (3) whether the defendant timely
asserted his right; and (4) any prejudice resulting to the
defendant because of the delay.” United States v.
Bieganowski, 313 F.3d 264, 284 (5th Cir. 2002) (citing
Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 530 (1972)).
“The court balances the factors by ‘weigh[ing]
the first three Barker factors . . . against any
prejudice suffered by the defendant due to the delay in
prosecution.'” United States v.
Molina-Solorio, 577 F.3d 300, 304 (5th Cir. 2009)
(quoting United States v. Serna-Villarreal, 352 F.3d
225, 230-31 (5th Cir. 2003)).
first factor, length of delay, is a “threshold
requirement” courts must consider before examining the
other factors. See Laws v. Stephens, 536 Fed.Appx.
409, 412 (5th Cir. 2013) (per curiam) (quoting
United States v. Schreane, 331 F.3d 548, 553 (6th
Cir. 2003)). Only if the delay between the indictment and
trial is greater than one year must the Court
“undertake a full Barker analysis, looking
to the first three factors to decide whether prejudice will
be presumed.” Molina- Solorio, 577
F.3d at 304 (quoting United States v. Parker, 505
F.3d 323, 328 (5th Cir. 2007)).
between Guajardo's 2007 indictment and his 2019 arrest
and trial date does not violate his Sixth Amendment right to
a speedy trial. Accordingly, the Court
denies Guajardo's Motion to Dismiss.
satisfies the “threshold requirement” for a
speedy trial claim; his indictment and putative trial are
separated by more than one year. See Laws, 536
Fed.Appx. at 412; Molina-Solorio, 577 F.3d at 304.
Accordingly, the Court will “undertake a full
Barker analysis.” See Molina-Solorio,
577 F.3d at 304.