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United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
February 16, 2016, Decided
[*712] SUMMARY ORDER
UPON DUE CONSIDERATION WHEREOF, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the judgment entered by the District Court on April 9, 2015, is AFFIRMED.
Following a jury trial, Defendant-Appellant Edgar Encarnacion-Lafontaine ("Encarnacion") was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841, 846; conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841, 846; conspiracy [*713] to commit extortion in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; extortion in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 875(b); and conspiracy to commit witness tampering in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1512(k). Encarnacion was sentenced principally to concurrent terms of 60 months' imprisonment on the extortion conspiracy count and 180 months' imprisonment on all other counts, as well as concurrent five-year terms of supervised release on all counts. We assume the parties' familiarity [**2] with the underlying facts and the procedural history of this case, to which we refer only as necessary to explain our decision to affirm.
Encarnacion challenges several of the District Court's evidentiary rulings. ] We review evidentiary challenges for abuse of discretion. United States v. Nektalov, 461 F.3d 309, 318 (2d Cir. 2006). Any such error will be disregarded if it is harmless. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 52(a).
Encarnacion first contends that threatening Facebook messages and a letter left at Rafael Goris's mother's house should not have been admitted because they were (1) hearsay and (2) inadequately authenticated. His hearsay challenge is easily dismissed because the messages and the letter were not admitted for the truth of the matters asserted in them. See Fed. R. Evid. 801(c)(2); see also United States v. Bellomo, 176 F.3d 580, 586 (2d Cir. 1999) ("Statements offered as evidence of . . . threats . . . rather than for the truth of the matter asserted therein, are not hearsay.").
His authentication contentions are also unavailing. ] Evidence may be admitted on a showing "sufficient to support a finding that the item is what the proponent claims it is." Fed. R. Evid. 901(a). "The ultimate determination as to whether the evidence is, in fact, what its proponent claims is thereafter a matter for the jury." United States v. Vayner, 769 F.3d 125, 130 (2d Cir. 2014).
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
639 Fed. Appx. 710 *; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 2597 **
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee, v. EDGAR ENCARNACION-LAFONTAINE, Defendant-Appellant.
Notice: PLEASE REFER TO FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE RULE 32.1 GOVERNING THE CITATION TO UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS.
Subsequent History: Decision reached on appeal by United States v. Betancourt, 645 Fed. Appx. 66, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 6399, 2016 WL 1392256 (2d Cir. N.Y., Apr. 8, 2016)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. (Rakoff, J.).
United States v. Rodriguez-Perez, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117203 (S.D.N.Y., Aug. 16, 2012)
conspiracy, messages, challenges, maps, marijuana, distribute, extortion
Criminal Law & Procedure, Standards of Review, Harmless & Invited Error, Evidence, Abuse of Discretion, Evidence, Authentication, Substantial Evidence, Sufficiency of Evidence, Inchoate Crimes, Conspiracy, Elements