Monday, March 09, 2009

Alien Using Alias Not "Found" While In State Custody

US v. Uribe-Rios: Uribe-Rios was convicted of illegal reentry following deportation. After his reentry, he was arrested and convicted, under an alias, in North Carolina state court on drug charges in 2001. While serving his state sentencing, ICE lodged a detainer with NC authorities under the alias's name. Once released from state custody, Uribe-Rios admitted to ICE agents who he really was and was charged with illegal reentry. Uribe-Rios moved to dismiss the indictment, arguing that (1) he was "found" for purposes of the illegal reentry statute when arrested by NC officials, therefore the statute of limitations had run; (2) venue in the WDNC was improper because when the ICE detainer was lodged he was in custody in a facility in the EDNC; and (3) the time between his state arrest and conviction amounted unwarranted pretrial delay. The motion was denied, Uribe-Rios pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 70 months in prison.

On appeal, the Fourth Circuit affirmed Uribe-Rios's conviction and sentence. The court rejected Uribe-Rios's argument about when he was "found," holding that being in state custody is not the same thing as being in federal custody, particularly when the person in custody is using an alias. The court also rejected the venue argument, noting that since Uribe-Rios wasn't "found" until turned over to ICE officials in the WDNC, venue was proper there. With regards to pretrial delay, the court concluded that Uribe-Rios was not prejudiced by not being able to serve his state and federal sentence concurrently, as no such right exists (it also seems to me that the proper time from which to measure "delay" would start with when he was "found" in 2006).

No comments: