United States v. Deleon

Decision Date27 January 2020
Docket NumberNo. CR 15-4268 JB,CR 15-4268 JB
Citation437 F.Supp.3d 955
Parties UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff, v. Angel DELEON, Joe Lawrence Gallegos, Edward Troup, a.k.a. "Huero Troup," Leonard Lujan, Billy Garcia, a.k.a. "Wild Bill," Eugene Martinez, a.k.a. "Little Guero," Allen Patterson, Christopher Chavez, a.k.a. "Critter," Javier Alonso, a.k.a. "Wineo," Arturo Arnulfo Garcia, a.k.a. "Shotgun," Benjamin Clark, a.k.a. "Cyclone," Ruben Hernandez; Jerry Armenta, a.k.a. "Creeper," Jerry Montoya, a.k.a. "Boxer," Mario Rodriguez, a.k.a. "Blue," Timothy Martinez, a.k.a. "Red," Mauricio Varela, a.k.a. "Archie," a.k.a. "Hog Nuts," Daniel Sanchez, a.k.a. "Dan Dan," Gerald Archuleta, a.k.a. "Styx," a.k.a. "Grandma," Conrad Villegas, a.k.a. "Chitmon," Anthony Ray Baca, a.k.a. "Pup," Robert Martinez, a.k.a. "Baby Rob," Roy Paul Martinez, a.k.a. "Shadow," Christopher Garcia, Carlos Herrera, a.k.a. "Lazy," Rudy Perez, a.k.a. "Ru Dog," Andrew Gallegos, a.k.a. "Smiley," Santos Gonzalez; Paul Rivera, Shauna Gutierrez, and Brandy Rodriguez, Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — District of New Mexico

Fred Federici, Attorney for the United States, Acting Under Authority Conferred by 28 U.S.C. § 515, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Maria Ysabel Armijo, Randy M. Castellano, Matthew Beck, Assistant United States Attorneys, United States Attorney's Office, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Attorneys for the Plaintiff.

Susan M. Porter, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sarah M. Gorman, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Angel DeLeon.

Richard Sindel, Sindel, Sindel & Noble, P.C., Clayton, Missouri, Brock Benjamin, Benjamin Law Firm, El Paso, Texas, Attorneys for Defendant Joe Lawrence Gallegos.

Patrick J. Burke, Patrick J. Burke, P.C., Denver, Colorado, Cori Ann Harbour-Valdez, The Harbour Law Firm, P.C., El Paso, Texas, Attorneys for Defendant Edward Troup.

Russell Dean Clark, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Attorney for Defendant Leonard Lujan.

James A. Castle, Castle & Castle, P.C., Denver, Colorado, Robert R. Cooper, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Billy Garcia.

Douglas E. Couleur, Douglas E. Couleur, P.A., Santa Fe, New Mexico, Attorney for Defendant Eugene Martinez.

Joseph E. Shattuck, Marco & Shattuck Law Firm, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jeffrey C. Lahann, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Allen Patterson.

Eduardo Solis, El Paso, Texas, John L. Granberg, Granberg Law Office, El Paso, Texas, Orlando Mondragon, El Paso, Texas, Attorneys for Defendant Christopher Chavez.

Nathan D. Chambers, Nathan D. Chambers, Attorney at Law, Denver, Colorado, Noel Orquiz, Deming, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Javier Alonso.

Laura E. Udall, Cooper & Udall Law Offices, Tucson, Arizona, Scott Moran Davidson, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Billy R. Blackburn, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Arturo Arnulfo Garcia.

Stephen E. Hosford, Stephen E. Hosford, P.C., Arrey, New Mexico, Jerry Daniel Herrera, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Benjamin Clark.

Pedro Pineda, Las Cruces, New Mexico, León Encinias, León Felipe Encinias, Attorney at Law, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Ruben Hernandez.

Gary Mitchell, Mitchell Law Office, Ruidoso, New Mexico, Attorney for Defendant Jerry Armenta.

Larry A. Hammond, Osborn Maledon, P.A., Phoenix, Arizona, Margaret Strickland, McGraw & Strickland, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Jerry Montoya.

Steven M. Potolsky, Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Santiago D. Hernandez, Law Office of Santiago D. Hernandez, El Paso, Texas, Attorneys for Defendant Mario Rodriguez.

Steven Lorenzo Almanza, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Ray Velarde, El Paso, Texas, Attorneys for Defendant Timothy Martinez.

Joe Spencer, El Paso, Texas, Mary Stillinger, El Paso, Texas, Attorneys for Defendant Mauricio Varela.

Lauren Noriega, The Noriega Law Firm, Los Angeles, California, Richard Jewkes, El Paso, Texas, Amy E. Jacks, Law Office of Amy E. Jacks, Los Angeles, California, Attorneys for Defendant Daniel Sanchez.

George A. Harrison, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Kimberly S. Bruselas-Benavidez, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Gerald Archuleta.

B.J. Crow, Crow Law Firm, Roswell, New Mexico, Attorney for Defendant Conrad Villegas.

Theresa M. Duncan, Duncan Earnest LLC, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Marc M. Lowry, Rothstein Donatelli LLP, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Anthony Ray Baca.

Charles J. McElhinney, CJM Law Firm, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Attorney for Defendant Robert Martinez.

Marcia J. Milner, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Attorney for Defendant Roy Paul Martinez

Christopher W. Adams, Charleston, South Carolina, Amy Sirignano, Law Office of Amy Sirignano, P.C., Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Christopher Garcia.

William R. Maynard, El Paso, Texas, Carey Corlew Bhalla, Law Office of Carey C. Bhalla, LLC, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Carlos Herrera.

Justine Fox-Young, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ryan J. Villa, Law Office of Ryan J. Villa, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Rudy Perez.

Donavon A. Roberts, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Lisa Torraco, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Andrew Gallegos.

Erlinda O. Johnson, Law Office of Erlinda Ocampo Johnson, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorney for Defendant Santos Gonzalez.

Keith R. Romero, Keith R. Romero, Attorney and Counselor at Law, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorney for Paul Rivera.

Angela Arellanes, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorney for Defendant Shauna Gutierrez.

Jerry A. Walz, Alfred D. Creecy, Samuel Winder, Walz and Associates, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Brandy Rodriguez.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JAMES O. BROWNING, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

THIS MATTER comes before the Court on: (i) the Defendant's Objections to the Presentence Report (PSR), filed April 11, 2019 (Doc. 2614)("J. Gallegos Objections"); (ii) the Defendant's Objections to the Presentence Report (PSR), filed April 18, 2019 (Doc. 2617)("A. Gallegos Objections"); and (iii) the Defendant's Sentencing Memorandum, filed April 19, 2019 (Doc. 2618)("A. Gallegos Sentencing Memo."). The Court held a sentencing hearing for Defendant Andrew Gallegos on May 10, 2019, see Clerk's Minutes at 1, filed May 10, 2019 (Doc. 2722), and for Defendant Joe Lawrence Gallegos on June 11, 2019, see Clerk's Minutes at 1, filed June 11, 2019 (Doc. 2700). The primary issues are: (i) whether the 2-level adjustment for obstruction of justice under § 3C1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines Manual (U.S. Sentencing Comm'n 2018)("U.S.S.G." or "Guidelines")1 applies to J. Gallegos' and A. Gallegos' convictions for Counts 4 and 5, where J. Gallegos and A. Gallegos burned Adrian Burns' body after murdering Burns; (ii) whether the 2-level adjustment under § 3A1.1(b)(1) of the Guidelines for a vulnerable victim applies to J. Gallegos' conviction for Count 1, where Castillo was incarcerated at the time of his death and the Syndicato de Nuevo Mexico ("SNM") intended to kill him; (iii) whether the 2-level adjustment under U.S.S.G. § 3A1.3 of the Guidelines for physical restraint of the victim applies to J. Gallegos' conviction for Count 1, because J. Gallegos held down Frank Castillo in his prison cell when J. Gallegos and others murdered Castillo; (iv) whether J. Gallegos and A. Gallegos owe restitution to Amber Sutton, Burns' girlfriend, for the incineration of her car, lost income or wages, and transportation costs; (v) whether, if J. Gallegos and A. Gallegos owe restitution, the restitution amount should be offset by funds that A. Sutton and her insurance provider received from Federal or State sources; and (vi) whether A. Gallegos is entitled to a downward departure, because he suffered psychological abuse as a child. The Court concludes that: (i) the obstruction-of justice-adjustment is appropriate, because there is evidence to find by a preponderance that J. Gallegos and A. Gallegos incinerated Burns' body and car to impede law enforcement; (ii) the vulnerable-victim adjustment is appropriate, because a preponderance of the evidence shows that Castillo was incarcerated with fellow SNM members who had a "greenlight" out for Castillo's murder -- meaning that SNM intended to kill Castillo -- and Castillo had just injected heroin at the time of his attack; (iii) the physical-restraint adjustment is appropriate, because a preponderance of the evidence shows that J. Gallegos and Defendant Angel DeLeon held Castillo's arms and body while witness Michael Jaramillo strangled him; (iv) J. Gallegos and A. Gallegos do not owe restitution for A. Sutton's losses, because A. Sutton is not a victim under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act of 1996, 18 U.S.C. § 3663A ; (v) the restitution offset objection is moot, because the Court will not order restitution; and (vi) A. Gallegos is not entitled to a downward departure, because the Court cannot consider the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors to depart below the statutory minimum sentence. Accordingly, the Court overrules J. Gallegos' and A. Gallegos' obstruction-of-justice adjustment objection, overrules J. Gallegos' vulnerable-victim adjustment objection, overrules J. Gallegos' physical-restraint adjustment objection, sustains J. Gallegos' and A. Gallegos' restitution objection, and denies A. Gallegos' request for a downward departure.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

J. Gallegos and A. Gallegos are two Defendants named in a sixteen-Count indictment charging "members/prospects/associates of the" SNM with "acts of violence and other criminal activities, including[ ] murder, kidnapping, attempted murder, conspiracy to manufacture/distribute narcotics, and firearms trafficking." Second Superseding Indictment ¶ 1, at 2, filed March 9, 2017 (Doc. 949)("Indictment"). The Indictment alleges that the SNM constitutes an enterprise "as defined in Title 18, United States Code, Section 1959(b)(2), that is, a group of individuals associated in fact that engaged in, and the activities of which affected, interstate and foreign...

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2 cases
  • United States v. Martinez
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of New Mexico
    • December 2, 2021
    ...if he was not killed, those tasked with killing him would be killed.” 403 F.Supp.3d at 1194-95. Similarly, in United States v. DeLeon, 437 F.Supp.3d 955 (D.N.M. 2020)(Browning, J.), the Court applied the vulnerable victim enhancement where the victim was a member of the SNM gang, had a gree......
  • United States v. Deleon
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of New Mexico
    • December 15, 2021
    ...is a vulnerable victim. See United States v. Troup, 426 F.Supp.3d 1072, 1133 (D.N.M. 2019)(Browning, J.); United States v. DeLeon, 437 F.Supp.3d 955, 1020 (D.N.M. 2020)(Browning, J.). In United States v. Troup, the Court determined that Castillo was a vulnerable victim, because “the SNM had......

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