United States District Court, D. New Mexico
Charles E. Knoblauch Paul Mysliwiec Attorney for
Robertson Assistant United States Attorney
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
VÁZQUEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Dashawn
Robertson's Motion for Bill of Particulars. Doc. 40. The
government filed a timely Response in opposition. Doc. 44.
Having considered the Motion, the relevant law, and being
otherwise fully informed, the Court finds that the Motion is
well-taken and accordingly will be GRANTED.
Robertson moves the Court for a bill of particulars to
provide additional information about the allegations
contained in Count 3 of the indictment in this case. Doc. 40
at 1. Count 3 charges him with Felon in Possession of a
Firearm and Ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1). Doc. 2 at 1. It alleges:
about September 12, 2017, in Bernalillo County, in the
District of New Mexico, the defendant, DASHAWN
ROBERTSON, having been convicted of at least one of
the following felony crimes punishable by imprisonment for a
term exceeding on year:
(1) possession of a controlled substance (two counts),
(2) trafficking of a controlled substance (possession with
intent to distribute), and (3) trafficking of a controlled
substance (by manufacture), knowingly possessed, in and
affecting commerce, a firearm and ammunition.
Id. at 3.
Robertson requests a bill of particulars to provide
additional details about: (1) how the allegations in Count 3
“relate to this jurisdiction;” (2) the specific
firearm and ammunition alleged in the indictment; and (3) the
evidence proposed by the government to demonstrate Mr.
Robertson's knowledge of his status. Doc. 40 at 1-2. In
support, he cites to caselaw establishing the need for a
defendant to be adequately apprised of the charges against
him so he can investigate the relevant facts and prepare a
defense; the need for an indictment to be “sufficiently
specific to satisfy the Fifth Amendment guarantee against
double jeopardy;” and the fact that Rule 7(f) of the
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure was amended to eliminate
the requirement that a defendant make a showing of cause as a
prerequisite to the granting of a bill of particulars. Doc.
40 at 2-3.
government makes two primary arguments in response. It first
argues that the Court should deny Mr. Robertson's motion
under Rule 7(f) because he submitted his request almost two
years after the indictment was filed in this case. Doc. 44 at
1-2. It additionally argues that Mr. Robertson's motion
is meritless because the indictment is facially sufficient
and he has been apprised of “everything to which he is
entitled” to learn through discovery and a Form 13
Presentence Investigation Report. Id. at 2-6.
the indictment, the government argues that it “provides
enough information for [Mr. Robertson] to avoid surprise and
to bar the risk of double jeopardy” because it
generally tracks the language of the respective statutes and
includes the dates of the illegal activity, the place where
the crime occurred, and the allegation of the murder Mr.
Robertson attempted, as well as his alleged motive for that
murder. Id. at 4.
discovery, the government argues that the discovery Mr.
Robertson has received in this case obviates his need for a
bill of particulars. Id. at 5. It represents that it
has provided the defendants with “all relevant and
material evidence it possesses, ” including police
reports, audio recordings, transcripts of audio recordings,
and photographs. Id. On Mr. Robertson's request
for information about the basis for jurisdiction, the
government responds that he knows the charged conduct took
place within the District of New Mexico from his alleged
participation in the offenses and from discovery.
Id. at 2. On Mr. Robertson's request for
information about his alleged knowledge of his status as a
felon, the government responds that he has three prior felony
convictions and that these convictions were listed in the
Form 13 Presentence ...