United States v. Troup

Decision Date03 October 2019
Docket NumberNo. CR 15-4268 JB,CR 15-4268 JB
Citation426 F.Supp.3d 1072
Parties UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff, v. Edward TROUP, a.k.a. "Huero Troup," Defendant.
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 --and-- 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.

Sarah M. Gorman, Law Offices of Robert D. Gorman, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorney 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, 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.

Phillip A. Linder, The Linder Firm, Dallas, Texas --and-- Joseph E. Shattuck, Marco & Shattuck, Albuquerque, New Mexico --and-- Jeffrey C. Lahann, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Allen Patterson.

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

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

Scott Moran Davidson, Albuquerque, New Mexico --and-- Billy R. Blackburn, 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.

Jacqueline K. Walsh, Walsh & Larranaga, Seattle, Washington --and-- Ray Velarde, El Paso, Texas, 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. Brusuelas-Benavidez, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorney 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 --and-- Marc M. Lowry, Rothstein Donatelli, LLP, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Anthony Ray Baca.

Charles J. McElhinney, McElhinney Law Firm, LLC, 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 --and-- Amy Sirignano, Law Office of Amy Sirignano, P.C., Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Christopher Garcia.

William R. Maynard, El Paso, Texas --and-- Carey Corlew Bhalla, Law Office of Carey C. Bhalla, LLC, Albuquerque, New Mexico --and-- Ryan J. Villa, Albuquerque, New Mexico --and-- Michael V. Davis, Michael V. Davis, Attorney & Counselor at Law, P.C., Corrales, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Carlos Herrera.

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

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

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

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

Jerry A. Walz, Walz and Associates, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Attorneys for Defendant Brandy Rodriguez.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 1

James O. Browning, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE THIS MATTER comes before the Court on: (i) Defendant Edward Troup's Objections to the Presentence Investigation Report (Doc. 2591) and Motion to Strike Paragraphs 6-13, 17, 18, 20, 21, 26-31, and 65 of the Presentence Investigation Report and Motion to Order the Government to Include These Objections in the Materials Sent to the Bureau of Prisons BOP, filed April 26, 2019 (Doc. 2621)("Objections"); and (ii) Edward Troup's Conditional Motion for Downward Variance, filed May 10, 2019 (Doc. 2648)("Motion"). The primary issues are: (i) whether, under § 2E1.3 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines Manual (U.S. Sentencing Comm'n 2018)("U.S.S.G."),2 the underlying crimes are first-degree murder for Defendant Edward Troup's conviction of two Counts under 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1), establishing a base offense level of 43 pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2A1.1 ; (ii) whether the 2-level enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 3A1.1(b)(1) for a vulnerable victim applies to both Counts, because the two victims were incarcerated; (iii) whether the 2-level enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 3A1.3 for restraint of victim applies to both Counts, because the victims were killed in close quarters in their prison cells; (iv) whether a 2-level reduction under U.S.S.G. § 3B1.2(b) is appropriate for both Counts, because Troup maintains that his role in both homicides was minor; (v) whether a downward departure under U.S.S.G. § 4A1.3 is warranted, because the Presentence Investigation Report, filed March 20, 2019 (Doc. 2591)("PSR"), having calculated his criminal history level at VI from 25 criminal history points overrepresents Troup's criminal history; (vi) whether the Court should strike the PSR's paragraphs 6-13, 17-18, 20-21, and 26-31, because the United States Probation Officer ("USPO") relied on the prosecutors' files to find the facts in these paragraphs rather than the trial transcripts, or the PSR's paragraph 65, because the USPO could not find details of the offense contained in this paragraph; and (vii) whether a downward variance is appropriate, because the Guidelines' range is harsher than necessary to achieve 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)'s sentencing objectives. The Court held a sentencing hearing on May 15, 2019. The Court concludes that: (i) there is evidence to find, by a preponderance, that the underlying crimes for the 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1) offenses are first-degree murder, establishing a base offense level of 43 pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2A1.1, so the Court overrules this Objection; (ii) the homicide victims' status as prisoners and as targets of the Syndicato de Nuevo Mexico ("SNM") for hits establishes them as vulnerable under U.S.S.G. § 3A1.1(b)(1), so the Court overrules this Objection; (iii) the victims were physically restrained in small, enclosed areas, which establishes that they were restrained under U.S.S.G. § 3A1.3, so the Court overrules this Objection; (iv) there is not a preponderance of the evidence to find that Troup's role in the murders was minor, so the Court overrules this Objection; (v) the PSR does not overrepresent Troup's criminal history because the PSR presents an accurate representation of the seriousness of Troup's criminal history and Troup's likelihood of recidivism, so no downward departure is warranted, and the Court overrules this Objection; (vi) the USPO should not rely on prosecutors' notes to find facts where there has been a trial, but because the Second Addendum to the Presentence Report, filed May 14, 2019 (Doc. 2654)("Second Addendum") maintains that these facts are accurate and cites to the trial transcripts, and because the USPO verified conviction and information contained in paragraph 65, the Court overrules these Objections; and (vii) the Guidelines' range of life is adequate and necessary to promote 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)'s sentencing objectives, so a downward variance is not warranted. Accordingly, the Court overrules the Objections and denies the Motion.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Troup is one of many 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 commerce." Indictment ¶ 2, at 2-3. The Court has provided background information on the SNM in a number of prior opinions, including in its Memorandum Opinion and Order, 287 F. Supp. 3d 1187, filed March 7, 2018 (Doc. 1882)(" MOO"). The Court provides this information, which is garnered from the Indictment, purely to provide background information on this case and recognizes that this information reflects largely Plaintiff United States of America's version of events:

SNM is a
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