804 F.2d 847 (5th Cir. 1986), 86-3055, United States v. Fulbright

Docket Nº:86-3055.
Citation:804 F.2d 847
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Roy FULBRIGHT, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:November 12, 1986
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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804 F.2d 847 (5th Cir. 1986)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Roy FULBRIGHT, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 86-3055.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

November 12, 1986

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Bryan Pedeaux, Richard B. Stricks, New Orleans, La., for Fulbright.

Cynthia R. Hawkins, Asst. U.S. Atty., John P. Volz, U.S. Atty., Thomas Watson, Harry W. McSherry, Jr., Asst. U.S. Attys., New Orleans, La., for the U.S.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Before GARZA, DAVIS and JONES, Circuit Judges.

GARZA, Circuit Judge.

This appeal arises from appellant Roy Fulbright's challenge of his conviction for

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perjury before a federal grand jury pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1623. 1 Fulbright was found guilty after a trial by jury and, upon his conviction, was sentenced to a prison term of three years. Fulbright now argues that the evidence was legally insufficient to sustain his conviction and that the district court improperly considered his past activities in arriving at a sentence. This Court's review of the record reveals that the evidence was sufficient to sustain the conviction for perjury. The answers given by Fulbright before the federal grand jury were materially false and the knowingly false declarations were proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial by the prosecution. Moreover, the district court acted within the bounds of the law in considering Fulbright's past activities while determining an appropriate sentence of incarceration. For the reasons herein stated we affirm the conviction below.

The record discloses that in March of 1985, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) received information from sources that Roselia Fajardo, Norris Anderson and Carmella Herrera would be travelling to New Orleans, Louisiana from Belize, Central America to pick up proceeds from a previous drug smuggling transaction. Based on intelligence reports, the DEA learned that one of these persons would leave New Orleans with a large amount of currency. On March 19, Fajardo gave Anderson cash and cashier's checks and told him to take it to Belize without declaring it to United States Customs agents. Customs and DEA agents set up surveillance at the New Orleans International Airport for persons illegally transporting United States funds. Anderson and Herrera filled out the requisite Customs forms, stating that they did not have in excess of $10,000 on their persons. They were detained, consented to a search, and it was determined that Anderson had approximately $61,000 in cash and negotiable instruments on his person. Anderson was arrested and he subsequently agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and cooperate with the Government. Anderson and Herrera offered the following information regarding appellant Fulbright's role in the venture.

While in New Orleans, Fajardo stayed at a friend's home, while Anderson and Herrera stayed at the Rodeway Inn in Kenner, Louisiana. On March 17, Fajardo told Anderson that she was expecting a visitor and had arranged to meet him in Anderson's room at the Rodeway Inn. That morning, an individual, later identified as Fulbright, arrived at Anderson's room. Fulbright had flown into New Orleans International Airport earlier that day. When Anderson asked Fulbright if he was supposed to meet Fajardo, Fulbright acknowledged that he was.

Fajardo arrived shortly after Fulbright and she told Anderson and Herrera that she wished to speak to Fulbright alone. Anderson and Herrera went to the motel coffee shop, and were summoned back to the motel room by Fajardo approximately thirty minutes later. When they returned, Fajardo told Anderson that there was $9,500 in cash on the bed and asked Anderson to count it. Anderson did so after he drove Fulbright to the airport where Fulbright returned to Arkansas. Anderson and Herrera testified that the money was not theirs and was not in the room before Fulbright's visit.

On March 18, Fajardo and Anderson went to five New Orleans banks and converted the cash into cashier's checks. Fajardo then told Anderson that she would be meeting Fulbright again at Anderson's motel room. Fajardo and Fulbright met in the motel room alone for about fifteen minutes

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while Anderson and Herrera went to the same coffee shop. When Anderson and Herrera returned there was a brown paper bag on the bed that was not there before Fulbright's visit. Fajardo then left with the bag. The following day, Fajardo gave Anderson the cash and cashier's checks and instructed him to carry the funds to "Michael" in Belize, without declaring it at Customs. On March 19, Anderson was arrested at the airport.

On July 12, pursuant to an investigation, Fulbright appeared before a federal grand jury in New Orleans. Fulbright admitted going...

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