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United States v. Gonzalez-Sanchez

United States District Court, D. Idaho

June 27, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
EDUARDO ERNESTO GONZALEZ-SANCHEZ, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          B. Lynn Winmill U.S. District Court Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court is Defendant Eduardo Ernesto Gonzalez-Sanchez's Motion to Dismiss the Indictment (Dkt. 21). For the reasons explained below, the Court will grant the motion and dismiss the indictment.

         BACKGROUND

         Gonzalez-Sanchez is charged with a single count of illegal reentry. The indictment alleges that Gonzalez-Sanchez was removed from the United States in 2015, but the motion focuses on a 2006 removal proceeding. As defendant explains, the 2015 removal proceeding was a reinstatement of the 2006 removal and as such “is only as good as the 2006 removal; it cannot independently sustain an illegal reentry prosecution . . . .” See Motion, Dk. 21 at 2 n.2 (citing United States v. Arias-Ordonez, 597 F.3d 972, 978 (9th Cir. 2010)).

         The 2006 removal proceedings began on January 14, 2006, when immigration authorities served Gonzalez-Sanchez with a Notice to Appear. The notice ordered Gonzalez-Sanchez to appear before an immigration judge in El Centro, California at a date and time “to be set.” The removal hearing took place roughly three weeks later, on February 6, 2006.

         Gonzalez-Sanchez's hearing began as a group session. The Immigration Judge (IJ) addressed several individuals who had been arrested and charged with entering the United States illegally. The IJ explained the charges and advised the group as to the purpose of the hearing:

The purpose of today's hearing is very simple. It's to decide if this charge is true or false. If the charge is false and you are entitled to be in the United States, I'll terminate the proceedings and I'll dismiss the case. On the other hand, if the charge is true, I will consider you for any type of relief or permission available to let you stay here.”

Feb. 6, 2006 Tr., Dkt. 27-1, at 4:19-25. The IJ then explained three fundamental rights to the group - the right to an attorney, the right to submit evidence, and the right to appeal.

         After concluding the group session, the IJ conducted a series of individual hearings. When it was Gonzalez-Sanchez's turn, the IJ asked if he understood the purpose of the hearing and if he wanted to proceed that day. Gonzalez-Sanchez answered affirmatively and then admitted that he was a citizen and native of Mexico. Responding to further questioning, Gonzalez-Sanchez told the IJ he was married; his wife had a green card; he and his wife had two young children (both born in the United States); his father lived in the United States as a permanent resident; and his mother lived in Mexico.

         After ascertaining this information, the IJ engaged in this exchange with the government's lawyer and Gonzalez-Sanchez:

COURT: What's the government have regarding cancellation for non- permanent residence, adjustment of status. It depends on if the marriage is valid if he can immigrate through the father (inaudible) voluntary return. Any evidence you have?
KATAVIO: Other than it looks like he's been arrested three times by border patrol and he has a conviction up in Idaho for careless driving.
COURT: Mr. Sanchez, have you been arrested by immigration authorities three times?
GONZALEZ: Yes.
COURT: And each time, were you returned to ...

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