428 F.3d 387 (2nd Cir. 2005), 02-1544, United States v. Estrada

Docket Nº:Docket Nos. 02-1544-CR(L), 02-1594(CON).
Citation:428 F.3d 387
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Frank ESTRADA, also known as
Case Date:November 02, 2005
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 
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Page 387

428 F.3d 387 (2nd Cir. 2005)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,

v.

Frank ESTRADA, also known as "The Terminator," also known as "Big Dog," also known as Frankie Estrada, also known as "Mustard"; Isaias Soler, also known as "Eso"; Nelson Carrasquillo; William Rodriguez, also known as Billy Rodriguez, also known as William Gomez, also known as Billy Gomez, also known as "Billy the Kid"; Felix Dejesus, also known as "Dino"; Eddie Lawhorn, also known as "Fat Boy"; Yamarr Shipman, also known as "Country," also known as "Mar"; Michael Hilliard, also known as "Mizzy"; Pablito Cotto; Rosario Cotto, also known as "Sato"; Jermaine Jenkins, also known as "Fats"; Joseph Butler, also known as "Pee Wee"; Viviana Jiminez; Kelvin Vereen; Felipe Santana, also known as "Omar Soto"; Tamarius Maner, also known as "Trigger"; Gloria Vargas; Hector Cruz, also known as "Casper"; Enrique Martinez, also known as Ricky Zapata; Carmen Cotto, also known as "CC"; Ricardo Rosario, also known as "Q"; Hector Gonzalez, also known as "June Bug"; Felipe Santana, also known as Omar, Charles Dejesus, Edward Estrada, Benito Rosario, Defendants,

Daniel Herredia, also known as "D-Nice," Makene Jacobs, also known as "Madee," Defendants-Appellants.

Docket Nos. 02-1544-CR(L), 02-1594(CON).

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

November 2, 2005

Argued: September 19, 2005.

Defendants-appellants appeal from judgments of conviction and sentence for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute at least 1000 grams of heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), and 846. We hold that prior felony drug convictions triggering a mandatory minimum sentence of lifetime imprisonment under § 841(b)(1)(A) need not be charged in the indictment or proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

Page 388

EARLE GIOVANNIELLO (Jason P. Gladstone, Westport, CT, on the brief), New Haven, CT, for Defendant-Appellant Daniel Herredia.

JOSE M. ROJAS, Shipman & Goodwin, LLP, Hartford, CT, for Defendant-Appellant Makene Jacobs.

ALEX HERNANDEZ, Assistant United States Attorney (Kevin J. O'Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Alina Reynolds, Assistant United States Attorney, on the brief, Sandra S. Glover, Assistant United States Attorney, of counsel), Bridgeport, CT, for Appellee.

Before: WINTER, SOTOMAYOR, WESLEY, Circuit Judges.

SOTOMAYOR, Circuit Judge:

Defendants-appellants Makene Jacobs and Daniel Herredia appeal from judgments entered in the District Court for the District of Connecticut (Underhill, J.) sentencing both defendants to mandatory terms of life imprisonment for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute heroin in excess of 1000 grams, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), and 846. In a concurrently filed summary order, we address the appellants' challenges to the district court's rulings on evidentiary matters, a trial motion for severance, the appellants' claims of ineffective assistance of counsel at trial, lack of a fair trial, and various sentencing issues. Here, we hold that prior convictions that trigger a mandatory minimum lifetime sentence under § 841(b)(1)(A), but which do not affect the statutory maximum sentence, need not be charged in the indictment or proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

BACKGROUND

Appellants were charged in a multi-count indictment with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute in excess of 1000 grams of heroin, in violation of 21...

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