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United States v. Pimentz

September 27, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
ARTURO JAIMES PIMENTZ, A/K/A ARTURO JAIMES PIMENTEL



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Baylson, J.

MEMORANDUM

The Defendant in this case was convicted of one count of conspiracy and two counts of possession: Count I, charging conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and 50 grams or more of cocaine base ("crack"), Count II, charging possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base ("crack"), and Count IV, charging possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The Defendant was acquitted of Count III, charging possession with intent to distribute heroin. Defendant filed a Motion for Judgment of Acquittal (Doc. No. 126) and the Court held oral argument on September 20, 2010.

The facts in this case are fairly simple, but present a close case of sufficiency of the evidence. The Defendant was brought to a house by an individual, Nelson Acosta, who had previously pled guilty. Once inside the house, it became evident that a drug cutting and packaging operation was underway. The Defendant initially sat in the living room and had nothing to do with the operation of the drugs. However, subsequently, testimony showed that he moved to the kitchen and sat at the kitchen table where the active cutting and packaging of the drugs was underway.

The incriminating testimony against the Defendant was provided by a young woman, Ms. De Jesus, who was involved in a romantic relationship with one of the Defendants, Wilson Castro,a/k/a Jose Velazquez, who was pregnant with his child. She testified that she entered this house and went upstairs to be with Mr. Castro. She recognized Defendants, Luis Perez and Nelson Acosta, in the room and also identified the Defendant. When she entered the house, she saw Nelson Acosta at the table "putting white drugs into a small bag." (N.T. 6/7/10, p. 57). Afterwards, coming downstairs to cook a meal for Wilson Castro, she saw a third person at the table whom she identified as the Defendant. Her testimony was as follows:

Q: What did you see when you went downstairs? We touched on that earlier.

A: The three people were working.

Q: What do you mean by working, would you please describe specifically what you saw?

A: One of them was like cutting the drugs, and the other was putting them inside the bags, and the other one was counting them.

Q: Okay. So, Luis Perez, what was he doing?

A: He was cutting the things.

Q: He was cutting the things. What do you mean by cutting the things, please describe what thing is?

A: It's drugs, it's a white thing, like --

Q: Could you describe it for us?

A: It's like a slice of cheese and ...


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