United States District Court, D. New Mexico
Justine Fox-Young, Attorney for Ms. Vianey-Ramirez
Alexander M. M. Uballez Elaine Y. Ramirez Assistant United
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
VÁZQUEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Yantse
Vianey-Ramirez's Motion to Compel Rule 16 and
Brady Materials. Doc. 71. The government filed a
Response in opposition [Doc. 72] and then an Amended Response
without objection [Doc. 76]. Having considered the motion,
the relevant law, and being otherwise fully informed, the
Court finds that the motion is not well-taken and accordingly
will be DENIED.
Vianey-Ramirez is charged in this case in two counts of a
nine-count Superseding Indictment with conspiracy to
distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 500
grams and more of a mixture and substance containing a
detectable amount of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§ 846; and distributing 500 grams and more of a mixture
and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine, in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B)
and 18 U.S.C. § 2. Doc. 84 at 2-3. The alleged
conspiracy began no later than November 2016 and continued
until around June 2017. Id. at 2. Ms.
Vianey-Ramirez's alleged distribution occurred on or
about December 22, 2016. Id. at 3.
February 4, 2019, Ms. Vianey-Ramirez filed the instant Motion
to Compel Rule 16 and Brady Materials. Doc. 71. She
asks the Court to compel the production of two categories of
1. The post-arrest statements of all defendants charged in
this case and in United States v.
2. The identities of the confidential informants who have
provided the government information regarding her and any and
all reports documenting the receipt of that information.
regard to the post-arrest statements, Ms. Vianey-Ramirez
argues that because the government decided to charge the six
defendants in this case together in a single indictment, it
should not deny her the Rule 16 evidence of the conspiracy
that it has produced to her co-defendants. Id. at 5.
She further argues that timely disclosure of her
co-defendants' post-arrest statements would promote
judicial economy by allowing her to review the statements and
“make any necessary motions to suppress or to sever
based upon Bruton v. United States, 391 U.S. 123,
136-137 (1968).” Id.
regard to the identities of confidential informants, Ms.
Vianey-Ramirez argues that in order to properly test the
government's evidence, it is critical she know the
identities of the confidential informants “who have
provided information regarding the scope and duration of the
conspiracy which the Government alleges [her] to have
participated in.” Id. at 7. She points to the
fact that the government has referred to “multiple
potentially overlapping conspiracies” in this case as
well as in Cabrales and argues that she needs to
review the claims made by cooperators in order to
“disentangle the facts and to defend against the
Government's implied claim that [she] has engaged in one
unbroken conspiracy dating back eight or more years.”
Id. Ms. Vianey-Ramirez also points to the fact that
the government referred to a particular confidential
informant, CS-4, in its response to her Motion for Release on
Conditions. Id. at 6. She argues that she is
entitled to know CS-4's identity in order to explore the
information CS-4 provided the government and its reliability,
regardless of whether they have since absconded and will be
unavailable as a witness at trial. Id.
government filed its Amended Response on March 5, 2019. Doc.
76. It first argues that the requested information is not
“material” within the meaning of Rule 16 or
Brady v. Marlyand, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) because it
does not intend to call any confidential informants or any of
the defendants in this case or Cabrales in its
case-in-chief. Doc. 76 at 4. The government then specifically
addresses the two categories of requested information.
regard to Ms. Vianey-Ramirez's request for the
post-arrest statements of charged defendants, the government
responds that because no such statements will be offered in
its casein-chief, there is nothing Ms. Vianey-Ramirez needs
to review for the purpose of suppression. Id. at 6.
It further represents that should a defendant become a
witness in its case-in-chief, it will provide Ms.
Vianey-Ramirez with the relevant statement, and there would
be no issues under Bruton because she ...