Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Archuleta

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

July 3, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MIKE Y. ARCHULETA, and CODY DAVIS Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         On May 5, 2018, the Court entered an Memorandum Opinion and Order (“Order”) (Doc. 89) denying Plaintiff United States' (“Government”) motion[1] to admit five text messages as coconspirator statements under Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)(E). On May 15, 2018, the Government responded to the Court's Order with a motion[2] asking the Court to reconsider and reverse its Order and/or to clarify findings in the Order. Alternatively, the Government asked the Court to consider admitting the five text messages as nonassertive utterances. On May 25, 2018, Defendants Mike Y. Archuleta and Cody Davis responded[3] to the Government's Motion, arguing that the Court's analysis was correct and that the evidence is not admissible under any other theory or that the Government's failure to argue earlier the admissibility of the text messages under another theory forecloses that argument here. The Government replied[4] on June 1, 2018, stating that it had previously asked for the five text messages to be admitted as non-hearsay.

         After considering the arguments in the Government's Motion, the Defendants' Response and the Government's Reply, as well as all evidence and arguments presented before and during the James hearings, the Court denies the Motion.

         BACKGROUND

         Facts Leading to Defendants' Indictment [5]

         In December 2015, United States Fish and Wildlife Services (“USFW”) and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (“NMDGF”) began conducting surveillance on Defendant Cody Davis for an alleged violation of the Lacy Act.[6]

         On March 26, 2016, NMDGF executed a search warrant at the home of Mr. Davis's brother. A lapel video of this event shows Mr. Davis threatening NMDGF officers that he would have their jobs. On the day of the execution of the warrant, Mr. Davis took photos and videos of NMDGF officers and their vehicles. Before and after Mr. Davis took the photos and videos, he had several telephonic conversations with Defendant Mike Y. Archuleta. The frequency of the calls between the two Defendants on March 26, 2016 were unusual when compared to the number of calls in the days preceding the execution of the search warrant, March 23 through March 25, 2016, and the days following the execution of the search warrant, March 27 through April 1, 2016.

         On June 8, 2016, as part of an ongoing investigation of Mr. Davis, USFW and NMDGF continued to conduct surveillance of Mr. Davis. Officer S.C., who was employed by NMDGF and cross-commissioned by USFW, surveilled Mr. Davis using his personal vehicle. While Officer S.C. was in his vehicle following Mr. Davis, he observed Mr. Davis taking pictures and possibly filming him.

         On June 8, 2016 at 9:23 a.m., Mr. Davis sent a text message to Mr. Archuleta stating, “call me asap”. Phone records show that Mr. Davis tried to call Mr. Archuleta. At 9:52 p.m., Mr. Davis texted Mr. Archuleta “793stn”, which was the license plate number of Officer S.C.

         Telephone records indicate that on June 9, 2016, at 8:46 a.m., Mr. Davis called NMDGF and spoke with investigator Officer Darrell Cole. Mr. Davis told Officer Cole that a Toyota was following him and that the plate indicated that the car was associated with NMDGF. Mr. Davis asked Officer Cole why NMDGF was following him. Officer Cole told Davis he did not know who was following him.

         At 10:11 a.m., Mr. Archuleta contacted a Quick MVD office in Española. A few minutes later, Mr. Archuleta sent a text message to Mr. Davis with the home address of Officer S.C.

         Between 12:49 p.m. and 3:26 p.m. on June 9, 2016, Mr. Davis drove by the home of Officer S.C. multiple times. During that same period, he approached the front entrance of the home three times, took photos of the home, and spoke on the phone with Mr. Archuleta four times. Mr. Davis and Mr. Archuleta spoke on the phone twice more during the day. At 5:34 p.m., Mr. Davis sent Mr. Archuleta a text stating, “How do you spell the GW name”? At 5:35, Mr. Archuleta replied with the full name of Officer S.C.

         On October 24, 2017, a Grand Jury indicted Mike Y. Archeleta and Cody Davis for knowingly and willfully conspiring and agreeing together and with each other on June 8, 2016 through June 9, 2016 to prevent by intimidation S.C., a law enforcement officer with NMDGF and cross-deputized with USFW, from discharging the duties of the USFW in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 372.

         On April 5, 2018, the Court began a James hearing on the admissibility of the five text messages as coconspirator statements. The hearing was continued to April 9, and to May 2, 2018. On April 10, 2018, the day following the second day of the James hearing, the Government filed a superseding indictment that revised the beginning date of the charged conspiracy to March 2016.

         The Court's May 5, 2018 Order

         On May 5, 2018, the Court entered an Order denying the Government's motion to admit the five text messages as coconspirator statements. In the Order, the Court stated that it had considered evidence the Government introduced through witness Officer Roper. The evidence included the following:

the five text messages at issue, timelines Officer Roper prepared that document phone calls between the Defendants in March 2016 and in June 2016, videos taken from Mr. Davis' phone on March 26, 2016, a USFW Officer's lapel video of the March 25, 2016 execution of a search warrant at the home of Mr. Davis' brother, maps detailing the Defendants' movement on June 9, 2016 and photos, some of which were taken from Mr. Davis' phone, some of which were taken from a camera in Officer S.C.'s front yard and some of which were taken by the Government. (Doc. 89, pp. 4-5).

         In the Order, the Court summarized the Government's argument as follows:

(1) the two Defendants exchanged several phone calls between March 23, 2016 and April 1, 2016 and because Mr. Davis took pictures and videos following the calls, and because Mr. Davis threatened to have USFW officers' jobs when on March 25, 2016 USFW officers executed a search warrant at the home of the brother of Mr. Davis, it is a reasonable inference that at or about that time, the two Defendants agreed to enter into a conspiracy to impede USFW officers in the performance of their duties;
(2) the evidence shows that in June 2016 the two Defendants agreed to obtain USFW Officer S.C.'s address and they could only want a USFW officer's address for an unlawful purpose;
and
(3) the evidence shows that the Defendants were friends who exchanged several phone calls, which means that Mr. Archuleta must have known and agreed that Mr. Davis would go to Officer ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.