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United States v. Amaya

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

April 10, 2014

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Angel Amaya, Defendant - Appellant

Submitted March 25, 2014

Petition for certiorari filed at, 07/08/2014

Page 722

Appeal from United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa - Sioux City.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Timothy T. Duax, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Northern District of Iowa, Sioux City, IA.

Angel Amaya, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Oxford, WI.

For Angel Amaya, Defendant - Appellant: Richard Scott Rhinehart, RHINEHART LAW, Sioux City, IA.

Before LOKEN, BYE, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 723

BENTON, Circuit Judge.

After two mistrials, a jury convicted Angel Amaya of conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana. He moved to dismiss, invoking double jeopardy. He also sought sanctions for the government's failure to disclose its GPS surveillance. The district court[1] denied the motion to dismiss and declined to impose sanctions. Amaya appeals. Having jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this court affirms.

I.

Amaya's first trial began in October 2011. Before trial, the district court partially granted Amaya's motion in limine, ruling that " witnesses will not be allowed to opine that the defendant is a 'drug dealer.'" Due to a " docketing snafu," the parties did not receive the sealed order, which was emailed, rather than posted publicly on CM/ECF. The parties learned of the order at a pretrial conference the first day of trial. The government's first witness, DEA Special Agent David Jensen, testified:

GOVERNMENT: Very broadly, how did that investigation begin?
SPECIAL AGENT JENSEN: Well, we received information about a cash seizure on the interstate. We also received information from the Kansas City Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms also known as the ATF about a drug dealer in Sioux City named Angel Amaya.

The court instructed the jury to disregard the statement. Amaya moved for a mistrial. The government opposed. The court declared a mistrial.

Amaya's second trial began in December 2011. At trial, Special Agent Jensen again testified as the first witness. On cross-examination, he said:

We had a hidden camera in the public right-of-way aimed at his house, so anything on the outside of the front of his house outside of the curtilage which is anybody who driving by could see, we could see that 24 hours a day. We also had an electronic device on his vehicle that we legally put on, and everywhere his vehicle went for the most part we were aware of where he was at whether it be public parking lots, certain locations.

Amaya moved for a mistrial, asserting that the government never disclosed the GPS surveillance. The government opposed. The district court declared a mistrial. Amaya also moved for dismissal with prejudice, arguing a retrial would violate ...


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