United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
LYNN WINMILL, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
before the Court is Gregory Frank Sperow's
(“Sperow”) Motion for Order to Stay the Sale of
Santa Rosa Creek Road Property and Emergency Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (Dkt.
1282). Having reviewed the Motion, the Government's
Response (Dkt. 1283), Sperow's Reply (Dkt. 1284), the
underlying criminal record, and the record in the related
§ 2255 proceeding (No. 1:12-cv-00158-BLW), the Court
enters the following Order denying the Motion.
Court has recited the factual and procedural background of
this case in numerous prior decisions. However, in order to
provide context for consideration of the pending Motion, the
Court provides an abbreviated factual summary but a more
detailed procedural summary regarding the forfeiture issues.
19, 2006, Sperow was indicted by a federal grand jury in the
District of Idaho along with eleven other individuals and
charged with drug trafficking, money laundering, and related
forfeitures. Indictment, Dkt. 1. Sperow and five
others were also charged with operating a continuing criminal
enterprise from 1975 through June 16, 2006, in over twenty
states. Id. The 196-page indictment included 98
predicate acts in connection with the criminal enterprise
his approximately thirty years of criminal activity, Sperow
was convicted of drug trafficking charges in the districts of
New Mexico, Southern California, and Oregon and sentenced to
terms of incarceration in each case. Prior to the Oregon
conviction, he had been a fugitive for eight years living
under an assumed identity. His drug trafficking and money
laundering activities continued during his fugitive years. He
was arrested on May 26, 2004, in Orinda, California, on a
District of Oregon warrant. The prosecution of the Idaho case
commenced after the Oregon case was concluded.
many unsuccessful pre-trial challenges, Sperow ultimately
pleaded guilty to certain charges in the Second Superseding
Indictment in return for several concessions by the
Government. He pleaded guilty pursuant to a Federal Rule of
Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C) binding Plea Agreement to
conspiracy to distribute/possess with intent to distribute
controlled substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and 846 (Count Two); conspiracy to
launder money in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h) (Count
Three); drug forfeiture pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §
853(a)(1) and (2) (Count Seven); and money-laundering
forfeiture pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 982(a)(1) (Count
Eight). Plea Agreement, Dkt. 666. Counts Seven and
Eight sought forfeiture of cash proceeds of $16, 000, 000 and
the property described in Count Six which included thirteen
parcels of real property, thirteen bank accounts, six
conveyances including motor vehicles and aircraft, currency,
computer and hard drive, and the property and proceeds of ten
Plea Agreement contained a waiver of the right to appeal any
non-reserved issues, including forfeiture issues. Plea
Agreement at 15. It also contained provisions whereby
Sperow agreed not to contest any forfeiture. Plea
Agreement at 10-11.
relevant to the pending Motion, the Plea Agreement contained
two provisions conditionally placing limitations on the
forfeiture of certain properties. First, it provided that
“in consideration for the defendant's complete and
truthful cooperation, ” the Government would not seize,
seek a final order of forfeiture, or sell three specifically
identified properties. The Santa Rosa property was not among
those identified. Plea Agreement at 8-9. Second, the
Plea Agreement provided that the Government would not seize
or sell two other identified properties, one of which
was the Santa Rosa property, during the pendency of
Sperow's direct appeal on two reserved issues. Plea
Agreement at 9.
reflected in the Judgment, on June 25, 2009, the Court
imposed a sentence of 181 months on each of Counts Two and
Three to run concurrently. Judgment, Dkt. 883. The
following day, the Court entered a Preliminary Order of
Forfeiture covering, inter alia, the subject Santa Rosa
property, forfeiture of which was “to be handled as
described in the Plea Agreement.” Preliminary Order
of Forfeiture, Dkt. 872 at 20. Included in the written
Judgment entered July 1, 2009, was a provision that Sperow
would forfeit to the United States his interest in
“[a]ll properties set out in the Preliminary Order of
Forfeiture” which had, in turn, referenced the Plea
Agreement provision regarding the Santa Rosa property.
Judgment, Dkt. 883 at 6.
December 26, 2010, the Ninth Circuit affirmed this
Court's decisions on the reserved issues on appeal.
USCA Mem. Dec., Dkt. 1130. On March 30, 2015, the
Court dismissed Sperow's timely filed § 2255 Motion
on the merits and declined to issue a certificate of
appealability. Mem. Dec. and Order, No.
1:12-cv-00158-BLW, Dkt. 61. Among the numerous issues the
Court rejected was Sperow's claim that at the time of the
change of plea hearing, the Government had agreed to return
the Santa Rosa property. Id. at 24; 55-56. On July
9, 2015, the Ninth Circuit denied Sperow's request for a
certificate of appealability. USCA Order, Civ. Dkt.
65. On September 18, 2015, the Ninth Circuit denied his
motion for ...