Jose Morales sentencing hearing transcript-2

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Transcript of Jose Morales sentencing hearing transcript-2

Case 7:08-cr-01242 Document 81

Filed in TXSD on 07/29/10 Page 1 of 40

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS McALLEN DIVISION

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, vs. JOSE JOAQUIN MORALES, Defendant.

) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

CASE NO:

M-08-CR-1242

CRIMINAL McAllen, Texas Monday, March 8, 2010 (3:25 p.m. to 4:12 p.m.)

SENTENCING BEFORE THE HONORABLE RANDY CRANE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Appearances: Court Recorder: Transcribed by:

See Next Page Richard Cortez Exceptional Reporting Services, Inc. 14493 S. Padre Island Drive Suite A-400 Corpus Christi, Texas 78418-5940 361 949-2988

Proceedings recorded by electronic sound recording; transcript produced by transcription service.EXCEPTIONAL REPORTING SERVICES, INC

Case 7:08-cr-01242 Document 81

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APPEARANCES FOR:

Plaintiff:

CAROLYN FERKO, ESQ. Assistant United States Attorney 1701 W. Business Hwy. 83 Suite 600 McAllen, Texas 78501 Special Agent Garrett Huling JOHN R. TEAKELL, ESQ. Milner & Finn 2828 N. Harwood Street, Suite 1950 Dallas, TX 75201 Karla Webb 1701 W. Business Hwy. 83 Suite 729 McAllen, Texas 78501

Also present: Defendant:

U.S. Probation:

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McAllen, Texas; Monday, March 8, 2010; 3:25 p.m. Call to Order THE COURT: Morales. MS. FERKO: Government's present and ready, your Okay, 08-1242, USA versus Jose Joaquin

MR. TEAKELL: THE COURT:

John Teakell for Mr. Morales, present. Okay. Mr. Morales there was a

Presentence Report prepared about you in your case as well. Have you had the opportunity to review and discuss your Presentence Report with your lawyer? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: Yes, sir.

And did you have any questions about your

Presentence Report that your lawyer could not answer for you? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: No, he answered. And was everything factually

Okay.

correct about you in the report? THE DEFENDANT: THE COURT: issues first. I assume the Government will move for the third acceptance point? MS. FERKO: Your Honor, I move for that point at this I believe so, yes, sir. Let's deal with some of the easier

Okay.

THE COURT:

Okay.

And so we had -- you had a lot of

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Case 7:08-cr-01242 Document 81

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issues about the career offender, but I guess they come -- they come out only with respect to the criminal history issues with the role enhancement he was given it comes out to 37 either way. MS. FERKO: THE COURT: That's correct, your Honor. So -- and I did receive your request for

a downward departure based on assistance which didn't quite rise to the level of the Government's filing a motion. And so

I need to kind of hear about what that was, which I don't know anything about. Anything you'd like to begin with, Mr. Teakell? MR. TEAKELL: Yes, your Honor, if I may. I'd like to

just make a couple -- state a couple of things for the record -THE COURT: MR. TEAKELL: Uh-huh. -- if I can.

Well, here in the relatively recent past Mr. Morales had spoken about trying to withdraw his plea, but it's my understanding he's abandoned that -THE COURT: MR. TEAKELL: Uh-huh. -- that issue or that thought. And

we're here to go forward. In regard to the career offender status is it my understanding that the Court has ruled or is ruling that the career offender status does apply regarding -EXCEPTIONAL REPORTING SERVICES, INC

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THE COURT:

No, I'm just saying it's not something I

had to directly reach on the base Offense Level because he -it's academic, it comes out to the same and his Criminal History points bring him to a V. bumps him to the VI. The career offender is what

So it does matter because it's one

criminal history level -MS. FERKO: THE COURT: MS. FERKO: Right. -- difference. And your Honor, I just want to be clear.

I believe the last time we were here when we were dealing with the base Offense Level, the Defendant -- probation held him to the statements he made in a proffer -- in his proffer, in which he was under a proffer letter for. So as far as -- it's up to The

the Court obviously what the Court wants to assess.

Government was going to just state that we are -- in that he's definitely accountable for the six kilos of the cocaine and I think that drops him from a 32 or 34 to -- and I just want to be clear -- I'm trying to pull up the amount. I think he goes

to a level from a 34 to a 32, but I don't want to misspeak. THE COURT: and some -MS. FERKO: THE COURT: Yeah, your Honor, Ms. --- somebody else, I mean, it's not like Wasn't all this corroborated by Ms. Frey

MS. FERKO:

-- Tiffany Frey, it's actually Ms. Frey.

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THE COURT: MS. FERKO:

Frey. She actually was independently approached She gave a

after Mr. Morales debriefed by ICE in Baltimore. full statement. suit.

She did confess that -- to wearing a maternity

I had advised Counsel regarding Ms. Frey that, you know,

if his client was going to proceed to trial we were going to consider charges here in our district against her even though it was what's normally looked at like as a dry conspiracy. We

didn't have her on this trip, but we did have a full statement from out of Baltimore. Because, you know, based upon his plea

we never had it -- I never reached that decision, I never had to make any decisions regarding Ms. Frey, but you know, she still faces, you know, whatever in whatever jurisdiction outside of Texas. As far as -- and as I said, we were -- that was corroborated, she couldn't exactly give us a number but her statement did say there was a number of trips and there was packages being delivered from Texas, mailing packages. aware he was picking them up. THE COURT: MS. FERKO: Uh-huh. She believed it contained narcotics, but She was

how much she did not know. THE COURT: These were going to her grandmother or

MS. FERKO:

I believe your Honor, the statement was

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her grandmother and then a house that he was being -- that he was rehabbing and then there was another -- like somehow or another family member or a friend was somehow also involved. (Pause) THE COURT: Okay. So we have Ms. Frey corroborating We have the

or we have her information on the 12 kilo load.

actual 6 kilo loads, that's 18 kilos, maybe just under that. So with just those two -MS. FERKO: THE COURT: this Defendant. MS. FERKO: No, your Honor, it does not. And -- but But since Right. -- again, require no corroboration by

as I said he was under a proffer letter at the time.

your Honor, this -- while this is open court there was no one else in this courtroom related to this case. I don't know if

Counsel wants to speak afar or he can speak here. Initially he -- Mr. Morales was under a proffer letter because he alleged that his attorney in Baltimore and I'd asked this section -THE COURT: MS. FERKO: THE COURT: MS. FERKO: Right. -- be sealed -That's all in the Presentence Report. -- related to Mr. Needleman (phonetic) We contacted Baltimore U.S.

and that's why we were concerned.

Attorneys' Office, they sent an AUSA along with an ICE agentEXCEPTIONAL REPORTING SERVICES, INC

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and like we spent four days debriefing Mr. Morales only just basically to realize that he'd been lying almost the entire time. So -THE COURT: MS. FERKO: THE COURT: MS. FERKO: About this Mr. Needleman stuff? Yes. Okay. Yes, I mean, there was no -- there was

not one -- not one corroborating fact to Mr. Morales's about any statements of Stanley Needleman. We tried to make phone

calls, you know, if you just tell us when and where's the money, where's the receipt, who heard you, what did you say to somebody else and you know going back in time and it was just not -THE COURT: MS. FERKO: And he was just playing games. It was just playing games, your Honor. And then afterwards we were

So that was four days of that. just ready to proceed. THE COURT: Okay.

Let's deal with the career

offender stuff because if there's an issue about quantity the base Offense Level that I should have looked at -- it was less than 34, then the career offender really is implicated here based on the statements of Ms. Frey and the amounts actually seized. I conclude that's in excess of 15 kilos of cocaine and

therefore the base Offense Level of 34 is applicable.EXCEPTIONAL REPORTING SERVICES, INC

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