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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Ind. Decisions - Four 7th Circuit opinions today involving Indiana cases

U.S. v. Garcia (SD Ind., Judge Tinder) - Judge Kanne writes:

Paula Alvarez, Dustin Decker, and Saul Garcia were part of a widespread drug conspiracy that stretched from Chicago to Indianapolis. On June 20, 2007, a grand jury returned a four-count second superseding indictment charging twenty-one individuals with a variety of crimes, including conspiracy to distribute in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine. See 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 846. A jury found both Alvarez and Garcia guilty of participating in the conspiracy; Decker pled guilty. We consolidated the defendants’ cases for appeal.

Because the defendants each played a different role in the conspiracy, we will analyze their arguments separately. Alvarez’s arguments represent the bulk of this appeal, and she challenges both her conviction and her sentence; Decker challenges only his sentence; and Garcia’s counsel filed an Anders brief in support of a motion to withdraw. In the end, we find no error below and affirm Alvarez’s conviction and the sentences of both Alvarez and Decker. We also grant Garcia’s counsel’s motion to withdraw, and we dismiss Garcia’s appeal.

U.S. v. Zahursky (ND Ind., Judge Lozano) - Judge Tinder writes:
A jury convicted Erik D. Zahursky of attempting to coerce or entice a minor under the age of eighteen to engage in sexual activity in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b). The district court sentenced him to 262 months’ imprisonment and 20 years’ supervised release. Zahursky appeals his conviction and sentence. He challenges the denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained pursuant to a warrantless search of his vehicle, the admission at trial of certain evidence under Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b), and the application of a two-level enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 2G1.3(b)(2)(B) for unduly influencing a minor. We affirm Zahursky’s conviction, but vacate his sentence and remand for resentencing.
U.S. v. Winbush (ND Ind., Judge Simon) - Judge Kanne writes:
James Winbush is a drug dealer, and he was caught red-handed plying his trade. Police watched as Winbush sold crack cocaine to a confidential informant, after which Winbush brandished a handgun and fled his vehicle. A jury convicted Winbush of five federal crimes, and he now challenges both his conviction and his sentence. Despite the commendable and zealous advocacy of his appointed appellate counsel, we find no merit to Winbush’s challenges.
U.S. v. Monroe (SD Ind., Judge McKinney) - Judge Ripple writes:
John Q. Monroe pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than fifty grams of cocaine base. The district court accepted Mr. Monroe’s plea. Applying a departure from the mandatory minimum sentence as permitted by U.S.S.G. § 5K1.1 and 18 U.S.C. § 3553, the court sentenced Mr. Monroe to 168 months’ imprisonment. Mr. Monroe later filed a motion for a reduction in the length of his sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). The district court denied the motion, and Mr. Monroe subsequently filed an appeal from that decision. For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we affirm the judgment of the district court.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 1, 2009 12:15 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions