United States v. Deleon

Decision Date15 December 2021
Docket NumberCR 15-4268 JB
PartiesUNITED 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”; 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

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”; 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.

No. CR 15-4268 JB

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

December 15, 2021


Counsel:

Fred J. Federici, Acting United States Attorney United States Attorney's Office Albuquerque, New Mexico -- and -- Maria Ysabel Armijo Randy M. Castellano Ryan Ellison, Assistant United States Attorneys United States Attorney's Office Las Cruces, New Mexico, Attorneys for the Plaintiff.

Sarah M. Gorman, Law Offices of Robert D. Gorman, Albuquerque, New Mexico -- and -- Heather M. LeBlanc, Bailey, LeBlanc & Lane, P.C., Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Angel DeLeon.

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

Patrick J. Burke Patrick J. Burke, P.C. Denver, Colorado -- and -- 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 -- and -- Robert R. Cooper Robert R. Cooper Law Firm 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 -- and -- Jeffrey C. Lahann Las Cruces, New Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Allen Patterson.

Eduardo Solis, Law offices of Eduardo Solis El Paso, Texas -- and -- John L. Granberg Granberg Law Office El Paso, Texas -- and -- Orlando Mondragon The Law Office of Orlando Mondragon, El Paso, Texas, Attorneys for Defendant Christopher Chavez.

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

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

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

Pedro Pineda Las Cruces, New Mexico -- and -- 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 -- and -- Margaret Strickland McGraw & Strickland Las Cruces, New Mexico Attorneys for Defendant Jerry Montoya.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Theresa M. Duncan Duncan Earnest LLC Albuquerque, New Mexico -- and -- 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 Marcia J. Milner Attorney at Law Las Cruces, New Mexico Attorney for Defendant Roy Paul Martinez.

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

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

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

Donavon A. Roberts Donavon A. Roberts Attorney at Law Albuquerque, New Mexico -- and -- Lisa Torraco Lisa Torracco Attorney at Law 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 Angela Arellanes Attorney at Law 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

THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant Angel DeLeon's Objections to Presentence Report and Response to Addendum to Presentence Report, filed December 9, 2021 (Doc. 3521)(“Objections”). The primary issues are: (i) whether Defendant Angel DeLeon has aliases; (ii) whether Defendant Benjamin Clark testified that DeLeon admitted to Clark that

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DeLeon participated in Frank Castillo's murder; (iii) whether the Court can apply United States Sentencing Guidelines (“U.S.S.G.”) § 3A1.1(b)(1)'s 2-level sentencing enhancement, because the victim, Frank Castillo, was a vulnerable victim; and (iv) whether DeLeon wants to live in Texas. The Court concludes that: (i) DeLeon has at least one alias; (ii) Clark did not testify that DeLeon admitted his participation in Castillo's murder; (iii) Castillo was a vulnerable victim, because there was a hit on him, he was outnumbered in his prison cell, he was intoxicated with heroin, and he had a limited ability to defend himself or escape from the surprise attack in his prison cell; and (iv) DeLeon wants to be incarcerated at a prison facility in Texas, but does not want to live in Texas if he is not incarcerated. Accordingly, the Court will overrule DeLeon's first and third Objections, but will sustain his second and fourth Objections.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The Court takes its facts from the Presentence Investigation Report, filed November 15, 2021 (Doc. 3510)(“PSR”), the Addendum to the Presentence Investigation Report, filed December 6, 2021 (Doc. 3519)(“First Addendum”), the Objections, and the Second Addendum to the Presentence Investigation Report, filed December 10, 2021 (Doc. 3522)(“Second Addendum”). The Court makes its findings of fact by a preponderance of the evidence. See United States v. Williams, No. CR. 17-2556 JB, 2020 WL 4016108, at *6 (D.N.M. July 16, 2020)(Browning, J.)(citing United States v. Olsen, 519 F.3d 1096, 1105 (10th Cir. 2008)). Accord United States v. Zapata, 546 F.3d 1179, 1192 (10th Cir. 2008). The Court may rely on hearsay if the hearsay is reliable.[1] See United States v. Banda, 168 Fed.Appx. 284, 289 (10th Cir. 2006)

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(unpublished)(“[T]here is no prohibition on considering hearsay testimony at sentencing, provided it bears indicia of reliability.”).[2] The evidence and information upon which the Court

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relies must have sufficient indicia of reliability. See U.S.S.G. § 6A1.3 (“In resolving any dispute concerning a factor important to the sentencing determination, the court may consider relevant information without regard to its admissibility under the rules of evidence applicable at trial, provided that the information has sufficient indicia of reliability to support its probable accuracy.”).

1. SNM Background.

2. The Syndicato de Nuevo Mexico (“SNM”) is a “powerful and violent prison gang” that was formed in February, 1980, after a large prison riot at the Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe, New Mexico. PSR ¶ 6, at 8.

3. Soon after SNM formed, “prison gangs such as the SNM and Los Carnales began to emerge within” the New Mexico Corrections Department (“NMCD”). PSR ¶ 6, at 8.

4. These prison gangs “began to organize themselves and focused primarily on gaining their own status within the correctional institutions by employing violence upon the inmate population to assume a position of leadership and control.” PSR ¶ 6, at 8.

5. Since the 1980s, there have been over 500 SNM members. See PSR ¶ 6, at 8.

6. SNM “operates under a ‘panel' or ‘mesa' (Spanish for [‘]table[']) of leaders who issue orders to subordinate gang members.” PSR ¶ 7, at 8 (no citation for quotation).

7. “Despite being imprisoned and being...

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