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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decided two Indiana cases yesterday, re sentencing

In U.S. v. KENNETH JONES, RAMONE MOCKABEE,DEVON YOUNG and ELISHA DRAKE (SD Ind., Barker), a 64-page opinion, Judge Tinder writes:

Beginning in August of 2009, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) and the FBI conducted a coordinated investigation of a suspected cocaine-distribution organization operating in the Indianap-olis area. The two law enforcement agencies employed a variety of investigative techniques, including interviews of confidential informants and suspects, surveillance, staged or controlled drug purchases, and consensual (on one side) re-cording of telephone conversations. In addition, the investigation utilized court-authorized pen registers of telephone traffic, wiretaps of telephone conversations, and interdiction stops of selected individuals, which were often initiated on the basis of information gleaned from those wiretaps.

This coordinated law enforcement operation continued until January 20, 2010, when a series of searches and arrests were effectuated. A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Indiana then issued an indictment (and subsequently, a superseding indictment) that leveled charges related to the distribution of drugs against twenty defendants, including the appellants in this case, Ramone Mockabee, Kenneth Jones, Elisha Drake, and Devon Young. Jones, Drake, and Young contested the charges against them at a jury trial, but were all convicted. Mockabee pleaded guilty.

We will discuss the particulars of the counts of conviction and the penalties imposed later. For now, we note that all appellants individually raise a variety of pretrial, trial, and sentencing issues, and we have consolidated their appeals. Ultimately, we affirm the convictions that Jones, Drake, and Young now appeal, but we vacate the sentences of Mocka-bee, Jones, and Drake, and remand their cases for resentenc-ing. Before we tackle the multitude of separate issues raised by each appellant, however, we will first discuss the evi-dence and procedures common to all of them, and then dis-cuss specific facts relating to each one in turn. * * *

V. Conclusion

For the foregoing reasons, Jones’s convictions on Count Eleven and Count Twelve are AFFIRMED, and his sentence is VACATED and REMANDED for resentencing consistent with Dorsey; Drake’s conviction is AFFIRMED and her sentence is VACATED and REMANDED for resentencing consistent with Alleyne; Young’s conviction is AFFIRMED; and Mockabee’s sentence is VACATED and REMANDED for resentencing consistent with Peugh.

In U.S. v. JUAN CARLOS ADAME-HERNANDEZ (SD Ind., Barker), a 26-page opinion, Judge Tinder writes:

This appeal arises from the same underlying criminal case that we address in another opinion issued today, United States v. Kenneth Jones, Ramone Mockabee, Devon Young, and Elisha Drake, Nos. 11-2267, 11-2288, 11-2535 & 11-2687. Defendant-Appellant Juan Carlos Adame-Hernandez (Adame) sold cocaine to Dominic Robinson and was thereby an upstream source for the cocaine distributed by the Mockabee organization discussed at length in that opinion. Adame’s appeal had been consolidated with the others but because his appeal arises from substantially dif-ferent circumstances that are unique to him, we have with-drawn the consolidation of his appeal to address it separate-ly in this opinion. Adame’s appeal focuses exclusively on a plea bargain gone awry, and we will therefore recite only the facts relevant to his plea.

CONCLUSION. For the foregoing reasons, we VACATE Adame’s convic-tions and REMAND with instructions to allow Adame to maintain his guilty plea and be sentenced under the terms of the parties’ written plea agreement executed on January 3, 2011. Circuit Rule 36 shall apply on remand.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 19, 2014 09:26 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions