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United States v. Villalobos-Macias

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

November 29, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Plaintiff,
v.
JUAN CARLOS VILLALOBOS-MACIAS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          M. CHRISTINA ARMIJO Chief United States District Judge

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Count One of the Indictment for Improper Venue [Doc. 16]. The Court has considered the parties' submissions and the relevant law, and is otherwise fully informed. For the following reasons, the Court DENIES Defendant's Motion.

         I. Background

         Defendant was charged in a four-count Indictment with carjacking (Count 1) and attempted carjacking (count 2), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2119, and with using, carrying, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (Counts 3 and 4). [Doc. 2] Counts 1 and 3 allege conduct that occurred in Pueblo County, Colorado, and Counts 2 and 4 allege conduct that occurred in Mora County, New Mexico. [Doc. 2]

         The Government that Defendant engaged in the following conduct. On December 28, 2016, Defendant approached P.J. at the Pinon Rest Stop, which is at mile marker 112 off of southbound Interstate 25 outside of Pueblo, Colorado. [Doc. 16; Doc. 20] Defendant pointed a revolver at P.J., then fired the weapon. [Doc. 16; Doc. 20] Either with the shot or by using the gun as a club, Defendant shattered the driver's side window. [Doc. 16; Doc. 20] As P.J. fled, she threw her purse near the back of the vehicle. [Doc. 16; Doc. 20] Defendant picked up the purse and drove P.J.'s vehicle out of the parking lot and south on Interstate 25. [Doc. 16; Doc. 20]

         The Government further alleges that sometime later[1] and while still in possession of P.J.'s vehicle, Defendant used the same revolver to attempt to carjack a second vehicle on Interstate 25 near Wagon Mound, New Mexico. [Doc. 20; Doc. 2 (Count 2)] During this encounter, Defendant fired the revolver and injured J.K. in the hand. [Doc. 20] He then drove away in P.J.'s car. [Doc. 20] He was intercepted and arrested on Interstate 25 after a brief chase. [Doc. 20; Doc. 16 (stating that Defendant was arrested “approximately three hours” after the incident in Colorado)]

         The carjacking statute (§ 2119) provides that:

Whoever, with the intent to cause death or serious bodily harm takes a motor vehicle that has been transported, shipped, or received in interstate or foreign commerce from the person or presence of another by force and violence or by intimidation, or attempts to do so, shall--
(1) be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both,
(2) if serious bodily injury . . . results, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 25 years, or both, and
(3) if death results, be fined under this title or imprisoned for any number of years up to life, or both, or sentenced to death.

18 U.S.C. § 2119 (footnote omitted). Count 1 of the Indictment charges Defendant with carjacking as follows:

On or about December 28, 2016, in Pueblo County, in the District of Colorado, and elsewhere, the defendant, JUAN CARLOS VILLALOBOS-MACIAS, with the intent to cause death and serious bodily harm, did take a motor vehicle, a white Toyota RAV4, bearing Colorado license plate number 113VGK, that had been shipped, transported, and received in interstate commerce, from the person and presence of another, by force, violence, and intimidation, resulting in serious bodily injury, a bullet wound to the hand that caused extreme physical pain and impairment of the function of a bodily member to J.K.
In violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2119.

[Doc. 2] Thus, Count 1 of the Indictment charges Defendant with violation of § 2119(2) by taking a vehicle by force from P.J. which resulted in bodily injury to J.K.

         Defendant now moves to dismiss Count 1 of the Indictment on the ground that New Mexico is not the proper ...


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