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United States v. Vallodolid

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

August 15, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Plaintiff,
v.
DARRICK VALLODOLID, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Andrew P. Rodovich, United States Magistrate Judge.

         This matter is before the court on the Second Motion for Bill of Particulars [DE 909] filed by the defendant, Darrick Vallodolid, on July 19, 2017. For the following reasons, the motion is DENIED.

         Background

         The defendant, Darrick Vallodolid, has been charged in the Second Superseding Indictment and the Third Superseding Indictment. The Third Superseding Indictment was filed on January 19, 2017. He is currently charged with conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine and marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846.

         Count 1 of the Third Superseding Indictment has alleged that Vallodolid along with twenty-five co-defendants were members of the “Almighty Latin Kings Nation” and that they conspired and participated both directly and indirectly in the acts of murder, attempted murder, robbery, intimidation, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, sex trafficking, and narcotics distribution. The indictment set forth fifty overt acts that were committed in furtherance of the conspiracy.

         On June 13, 2017, the Government filed the Notice of Intent to Introduce Enterprise Evidence [DE 824]. The Notice indicated that the Government intends to introduce as evidence at trial that on April 12, 2009, Vallodolid shot and killed Victor Lusinski, who he believed was a rival gang member. Also, on July 7, 2017, the Government filed a second Notice of Intent to Introduce Enterprise Evidence [DE 875] and the Supplemental Notice of Enhanced Sentencing [DE 876], which included additional overt acts regarding Vallodolid.

         The pending motion has requested that the Government identify all overt acts committed by Vallodolid that it intends to introduce at trial. Also, the motion has requested that the Government provide the particulars regarding each alleged overt act, including but not limited to the act itself, the location, time, and date that it occurred, and any individuals other than Vallodolid who allegedly were involved or witnessed the act. The Government filed a response in opposition to Vallodolid's motion on July 25, 2017. Vallodolid has not filed a reply and the time to do so has passed.

         Discussion

         Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 7(f) provides:

The court may direct the government to file a bill of particulars. The defendant may move for a bill of particulars before or within 10 days after arraignment or at a later time if the court permits. The government may amend a bill of particulars subject to such conditions as justice requires.

         In determining whether to grant the bill of particulars, “[t]he standard is whether the government's indictment sufficiently apprises the defendant of the charges to enable him to prepare for trial.” United States v. Canino, 949 F.2d 928, 949 (7th Cir. 1991). See also United States v. Vaughn, 722 F.3d 918, 927 (7th Cir. 2013); United States v. Fassnacht, 332 F.3d 440, 446 (7th Cir. 2003); United States v. Glecier, 923 F.2d 496, 501 (7th Cir. 1991); United States v. Andrus, 775 F.2d 825, 843 (7th Cir. 1985). A defendant only is entitled to know the offense with which he is charged, not all the evidence of how it will be proved. See United States v. Kendall, 665 F.2d 126, 135 (7th Cir. 1981). The indictment is not required to “detail every factual nugget necessary for conviction”, nor is it required to “allege in detail the factual proof that will be relied on to support the charges.” United States v. Smith, 230 F.3d 300, 306 (7th Cir. 2000).

         The Seventh Circuit has held that a bill of particulars is not necessary when an indictment lays out the elements of the charged offenses, gives sufficient notice of the charges to allow the defendant to prepare a defense, gives the time and place of the accused's allegedly criminal conduct, and cites the applicable statute or statutes. Vaughn, 722 F.3d at 927; See also United States v. Hernandez, 330 F.3d 964, 975 (7th Cir. 2003); Fassnacht, 332 F.3d at 446. The defendant's constitutional right is to know the offense with which he is charged, not to know the details of how it will be proved. Fassnacht, 332 F.3d at 466 (quoting United States v. Kendall, 665 F.2d 126, 135 (7th Cir. 1981)). The key question is whether the defendant was sufficiently apprised of the charges against him in order to enable adequate trial preparation. Vaughn, 722 F.3d at 927 (quoting United States v. Blanchard, 542 F.3d 1133, 1140 (7th Cir. 2008)).

         In making this determination, the court is not required to consider only the indictment. The information may be provided to the defendant through “some other satisfactory form.” Canino, 949 F.2d at 949 (the government had maintained an “open-file” policy); Fassnacht, 332 F.3d at 447 (“the government in this case provided the defendants with extensive pretrial discovery, giving them full access to all documentary evidence in the government's possession, thus further obviating the need for a bill of particulars”); Glecier, 923 F.2d at 501-02 (a “volume of documents and records” had been provided by the government during discovery). Adequate discovery can “satisfy the need for a bill of particulars.” Vaughn, 722 F.3d at 928.

         For a RICO conspiracy, the Government “need only charge -- after identifying a proper enterprise and the defendant's association with that enterprise -- that the defendant knowingly joined a conspiracy the objective of which was to operate that enterprise through an ...


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