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United States v. Perez-Valencia

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

March 3, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
MAYEL PEREZ-VALENCIA, AKA Santos Irizarry Castillo, AKA Miguel Martinez, AKA Miguel Angel Martinez-Marquez, AKA Miguelito, AKA Mayel Valencia Perez, Defendant-Appellant

Argued and Submitted: February 4, 2013.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. D.C. No. 2:11-cr-00442-PA-2. Percy Anderson, District Judge, Presiding. Limited Remand July 16, 2013.

Carlton F. Gunn, Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt, LLP, Pasadena, California, for Defendant-Appellant.

Jennie L. Wang, Assistant United States Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Violent and Organized Crime Section, Los Angeles, California, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Before: Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, Stephen S. Trott, and Richard R. Clifton, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Trott.

OPINION

Page 601

TROTT, Circuit Judge:

I

After we heard oral argument in this case, we remanded it to the district court for further proceedings. United States v. Perez-Valencia, 727 F.3d 852 (9th Cir. 2013). Specifically, we asked the district court to examine and to determine the precise nature of District Attorney Michael Ramos's delegation of authority in his absence to Assistant District Attorney Christy. We were principally concerned that Christy might have been acting with only the limited authority to apply for a wiretap order. We were also concerned that the three persons on Ramos's delegation list might each have simultaneously had the power to apply for wiretaps in Ramos's absence. We no longer have these reservations. Thus, we affirm.

II

After conducting a plenary hearing as we requested, the district court memorialized its findings of fact and conclusions of law.[1] United States v. Perez-Valencia, No. CR 11-442 PA, 2013 WL 6385264 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 6, 2013). The following is a quotation from those findings of fact.

1. On March 30, 2010, government authorities obtained a state wiretap from a San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge. The state wiretap was obtained by application of San Bernardino County Assistant District Attorney (" ADA" ) Dennis Christy, who declared under penalty of perjury that " Michael Ramos is the District Attorney of San Bernardino County,

Page 602

and I am the person designated to act in his absence pursuant to Penal Code section 629.50(a)." The state court judge signed the order authorizing the March 30, 2010, wiretap, finding that " Dennis Christy, Assistant District Attorney, who is the designee of Michael Ramos, District Attorney for the County of San Bernardino, State of California, made application to this Court requesting authorization to intercept [wire and electronic communications]." The state court found that " The Assistant District Attorney, who is the designee of ...


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