USA v. Quinonez-Soto et al
Criminal

Middle District of Florida, flmd-8:2017-cr-00355-339530

MOTION for Forfeiture of an Order of Forfeiture by USA as to Brian Quinonez-Soto.

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PageID 287 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA TAMPA DIVISION UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. Case No. 8:17-cr-355-T-35TGW BRIAN QUINONEZ-SOTO UNITED STATES' MOTION FOR ORDER OF FORFEITURE Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 853 and Rule 32.2(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the United States of America hereby files this motion for an order of forfeiture against the defendant in the amount of $33,214.00, representing the amount of proceeds he obtained as a result of his participation in the drug trafficking conspiracy charged in Count One of the Indictment. The United States further asks that, in accordance with his Plea Agreement (Doc. 46, p. 10), the order of forfeiture become final as to the defendant at the time it is entered. In support of its motion, the United States submits the following memorandum of law. MEMORANDUM OF LAW I. Statement of Facts A. Allegations Against the Defendant 1. The defendant was charged in an Indictment, in relevant part, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or PageID 288 more of methamphetamine (actual), in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(b)(1)(A)(viii) and 846. Doc. 1. 2. The Indictment also contained forfeiture allegations putting the defendant on notice that, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 853, the United States would seek to forfeit approximately $33,214.00, representing the proceeds obtained as a result of the offenses. Id., p. 4. B. Finding of Guilt and Admissions of Fact 3. On February 12, 2018, the defendant pled guilty to Count One (conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine) before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas G. Wilson, who recommended that the defendant's guilty plea be accepted. Docs. 49, 50. On March 1, 2018, United States District Judge Mary S. Scriven accepted the defendant=s plea and adjudicated him guilty. Doc. 54. The defendant=s sentencing is currently set for May 24, 2018. 4. On pages 19 through 22 of his Plea Agreement (Doc. 46), the defendant admitted, among other things, that from at least October 2016 to July 2017, he led a methamphetamine-trafficking organization that distributed well in excess of 4.5 kilograms of ICE-quality methamphetamine in numerous shipments to lower-level distributors in the Middle District of Florida. Among 2 PageID 289 these distributors, at least six have identified the defendant as their source of supply. In all, the defendant or his designees received at least $33,214.00 in proceeds from the methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy. C. Admissions Relating to Forfeiture 5. In paragraph 12 of his Plea Agreement, the defendant agreed, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 853, to an order of forfeiture in the amount of $33,214.00 representing the proceeds the defendant admits he obtained as a result of the drug trafficking conspiracy. The defendant further acknowledged and agreed that as a result of the acts and omissions of the defendant, the proceeds have otherwise been transferred to third parties and cannot be located by the United States upon the exercise of due diligence. Doc. 46, p. 9. II. Applicable Law The United States is entitled to an order of forfeiture against the defendant, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 853, which provides for the forfeiture of any proceeds obtained, directly or indirectly, as a result of violations of the Controlled Substances Act. See 21 U.S.C. § 853(a)(1). For cases in which a defendant no longer has the actual dollars or property traceable to proceeds in his possession, or the government cannot locate those assets, the obligation to forfeit simply takes the form of an order of 3 PageID 290 forfeiture in favor of the United States. See United States v. Padron, 527 F.3d 1156, 1161-62 (11th Cir. 2008). Rule 32.2(b)(1) provides that, where the government seeks an order of forfeiture, the Court must determine the amount of money that the defendant will be ordered to pay. The defendant has dissipated the criminal proceeds that he obtained from his offense. Because the United States could not locate the specific property constituting or derived from the proceeds the defendant obtained from the drug trafficking conspiracy, the United States seeks an order of forfeiture against the defendant in the amount of $33,214.00, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.2(b)(2). As the defendant has agreed, $33,214.00 represents the amount of proceeds he obtained as a result of his participation in the drug trafficking conspiracy. If the Court finds that at least $33,214.00 was obtained by the defendant, and that he has dissipated those proceeds, then it is appropriate for the Court to enter an order of forfeiture against the defendant in that amount pursuant to Rule 32.2(b)(2). III. Conclusion For the reasons stated above, the United States requests that, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 853 and Rule 32.2(b)(2), the Court enter an order of forfeiture 4 PageID 291 against the defendant in the amount of $33,214.00, for which he will be held liable. The United States further requests that, because the $33,214.00 was dissipated by the defendant, the United States may seek, as a substitute asset, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 853(p), forfeiture of any of the defendant's property up to the value of $33,214.00. The United States further requests that, in accordance with his Plea Agreement (Doc. 46, p. 10), the order of forfeiture become final as to the defendant at the time it is entered. As required by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.2(b)(4)(B), the United States requests that the Court include the forfeiture when orally pronouncing the sentence and in the judgment. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.2(b)(4)(B) and United States v. Kennedy, 201 F.3d 1324, 1326 (11th Cir. 2000). The United States further requests that the Court retain jurisdiction to address any third party claim that may be asserted in these proceedings, to enter any further order necessary for the forfeiture and disposition of such property, 5 PageID 292 and to order any substitute assets forfeited to the United States up to the amount of the order of forfeiture. Respectfully submitted, MARIA CHAPA LOPEZ United States Attorney By: s/Suzanne C. Nebesky SUZANNE C. NEBESKY Assistant United States Attorney Fla. Bar No. 59377 400 N. Tampa Street, Suite 3200 Tampa, Florida 33602 Tel: (813) 274-6000 E-mail: suzanne.nebesky@usdoj.gov CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that on April 19, 2018, I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of the Court by using the CM/ECF system which will send a notice of electronic filing to counsel of record. s/Suzanne C. Nebesky SUZANNE C. NEBESKY Assistant United States Attorney 6