United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Corpus Christi Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
D. RAINEY, SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court are Defendant Salvador Noyola's Motion
to Dismiss Indictment for Violation of Speedy Trial (D.E. 21)
and Motion to Dismiss for Violation of Double Jeopardy (D.E.
22), to which the Government has responded (D.E. 33, 34).
allegedly possessed cocaine with intent to distribute on
September 17, 2013, and again on November 4, 2014, in Corpus
Christi, Texas. Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
officers arrested Defendant on November 4, 2014. He bonded
out on the state charge on November 10, 2014, and a state
arrest warrant was issued on May 6, 2015.
Defendant was arrested in a separate incident on April 23,
2015, after U.S. Border Patrol agents discovered marijuana in
his vehicle at an immigration checkpoint. On May 13, 2015, he
was indicted in the Southern District of Texas for possession
with intent to distribute 55.14 kilograms of marijuana in
Case No. 2:15-CR-404. He pled guilty before the undersigned
judge and was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment on
September 21, 2015. While in the Bureau of Prisons (BOP),
Defendant sent at least one letter to the Nueces County
Sheriff's Office (NCSO) seeking to lift a pending
detainer from the November 4, 2014, cocaine offense. FCI
Three Rivers also sent notices to the NCSO and the Nueces
County DA's Office regarding the detainer.
his release from the BOP on August 11, 2016, Defendant was
transferred to the Nueces County Jail on a state detainer
based on a pending charge of felony manufacturing or delivery
of a controlled substance. On November 3, 2016, he was
indicted in Nueces County, Texas, for knowingly transferring
between 200 and 400 grams of cocaine to Cristina Hernandez on
or about November 4, 2014. State v. Noyola, Cause
No. CR14-00-3977-G. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss on
speedy trial grounds, and the state case was eventually
dismissed pursuant to a state's motion to dismiss for
prosecutorial discretion. The September 17, 2013, offense was
not prosecuted by the state.
25, 2018, Defendant was arrested after U.S. Border Patrol
agents discovered 41 kilograms of marijuana in his vehicle at
an immigration checkpoint. On June 13, 2018, he was indicted
in the current federal case for possession with intent to
distribute marijuana on or about May 25, 2018. A Superseding
Indictment was filed on September 12, 2018, which added:
Count Two, alleging that between September 17, 2013, and
November 4, 2014, Defendant conspired to possess with intent
to distribute 356 grams of a mixture containing a detectable
amount of cocaine; Count Three, alleging that on or about
September 17, 2013, Defendant possessed with intent to
distribute 107 grams of a mixture containing a detectable
amount of cocaine; and Count Four, alleging that on or about
November 4, 2014, Defendant possessed with intent to
distribute 249 grams of a mixture containing a detectable
amount of cocaine.
Motion to Dismiss Indictment for Violation of Speedy
argues that the Government's almost five-year delay in
bringing the charges against him in Counts Two, Three, and
Four of the Superseding Indictment violates his right to a
Statute of Limitations
Superseding Indictment alleges offenses under 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841 and 846 that occurred between September 17,
2013, and November 4, 2014. A five-year statute of
limitations is applicable to prosecutions under 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841 and 846. See 18 U.S.C. §
3282(a). Thus, the Superseding Indictment-filed September 12,
2018-charges offenses occurring within the statute of
Sixth Amendment guarantees that, “[i]n all criminal
prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy
and public trial . . . .” U.S. Const. amend VI.
“The general rule is that ordinarily the federal
constitutional right to a speedy trial arises after a
federal accusation against the defendant is made, so
that a prior state arrest based on the same facts as the
subsequent federal charge does not implicate the federal
constitutional guarantee.” United States v.
Walker, 710 F.2d 1062, 1069 (5th Cir. 1983) (emphasis in
consider four factors in determining whether a
defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial has
been violated: “(1) Length of delay, (2) the reason for
the delay, (3) the defendant's assertion of his right,
and (4) prejudice to the defendant.” Barker v.
Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 530 (1972). “The
[Barker] Court isolated three ways in which the
defendant might be prejudiced by the delay [i] by lengthy
pretrial incarceration, [ii] by a substantial impairment of
his defense, and [iii] by being subjected to public scorn and
personal anxiety.” United States v. Dyson, 469
F.2d 735, 741 (5th Cir. 1972). “The first prong of
Barker, the length of delay, is merely a threshold
‘triggering mechanism.' The Court need not inquire