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United States v. Rodriguez-Restrepo

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

June 3, 1982, Argued ; June 4, 1982, Decided

No. 1191, Docket 81-1467

Opinion

 [*920]  This is an appeal from the judgment entered by Judge Nickerson, after a guilty  [*921]  plea, convicting Gloria Rodriguez-Restrepo of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846. Ms. Rodriguez-Restrepo contends that the indictment should have been dismissed on the grounds that her right to a speedy trial pursuant to the [**2]  Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 3161 et seq. ("Act"), and the Eastern District Plan for the Prompt Disposition of Criminal Cases ("Eastern District Plan"), and her constitutional rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendment had been violated. We disagree and accordingly affirm the judgment of conviction.

A brief review of the facts will serve to place appellant's claims in context. On November 10, 1979, appellant Gloria Rodriguez-Restrepo was arrested along with five other persons in New Jersey in connection with the seizure of thirteen pounds of cocaine. On November 20, she and five co-defendants were indicted in the District of New Jersey, but on the motion of the United States Attorney, the indictment was dismissed on December 20, 1979. Ms. Rodriguez-Restrepo, an illegal alien, then left the country.

Subsequently, on February 22, 1980, appellant, along with seven co-defendants, was indicted in the Eastern District of New York for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846. The indictment was based on the same facts and evidence as the previously dismissed New Jersey indictment. [**3]  Since the Government did not know where she was, and despite efforts to locate her in three states and Colombia, South America, her arraignment on this indictment did not take place until January 14, 1981. She was directed to appear for trial before Judge Nickerson on February 6, 1981.

Rodriguez-Restrepo asserts that the district court should have dismissed the indictment for violations of the Act. ] The Act provides that the trial of a defendant must begin within seventy days either from the date of the filing of the indictment or information or from the date the defendant appeared before "a judicial officer of the court in which the charge is pending, whichever date occurs last." 18 U.S.C. § 3161(c)(1).

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680 F.2d 920 *; 1982 U.S. App. LEXIS 18665 **

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee, v. GLORIA RODRIGUEZ-RESTREPO, Defendant-Appellee.

Prior History:  [**1]  Appeal from a judgment of conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846 entered in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Eugene H. Nickerson, Judge.

Disposition: Affirmed.

CORE TERMS

indictment, speedy trial, arraignment, judgment of conviction, conspiracy to possess, sixth amendment right, distribute cocaine, first appearance, judicial officer, sixth amendment, take place, ten days, co-defendants, re-indictment, violations, contends, charges, grounds, Cases

Criminal Law & Procedure, Trials, Defendant's Rights, Right to Speedy Trial, Governments, Courts, Court Personnel, Commencement of Criminal Proceedings, Initial Appearances, General Overview