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United States v. Ramirez

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

June 10, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
EDDI RAMIREZ, Defendant-Appellant

Argued: February 25, 2015.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. No. 2:12-cr-20068-MPM-DGB-5 -- Michael P. McCuskey, Judge.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Timothy A. Bass, Attorney, Office of The United States Attorney, Springfield, IL; Jason M. Bohm, Attorney, Office of The United States Attorney, Urbana Division, Urbana, IL.

For Eddi Ramirez, Defendant - Appellant: Daniel P. Albers, Attorney, Barnes & Thornburg Llp, Chicago, IL.

Before BAUER, FLAUM, and MANION, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 733

Bauer, Circuit Judge.

On October 4, 2012, a federal grand jury indicted Eddi Ramirez for conspiracy to sell or distribute cocaine and for possession with intent to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 21 U.S.C. § 846. On December 11, 2013, Ramirez filed a motion to dismiss the indictment for lack of a speedy trial under the Speedy Trial Act (" STA" ), 18 U.S.C. § § 3161-74, which the district court denied. Ramirez now seeks review of that decision. Because we conclude that the district court erred in denying Ramirez's motion to dismiss, we reverse.

I. BACKGROUND

Ramirez was arrested for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to sell cocaine on August 31, 2012. He and ten co-defendants were indicted on October 4, 2012.

Ramirez was arraigned on October 15, 2012. At the arraignment he pleaded not guilty and the court set the trial date for December 10, 2012. On Ramirez's motion, the district court continued the matter for status to January 24, 2013, making a § 3161(h)(7)(A) ends of justice finding that delay was appropriate due to the complexity of the case. At the status conference on January 24, 2013, the court continued the case to April 5, 2013, making another ends of justice finding to allow counsel additional time to prepare for trial. At the status conference on April 5, 2013, Ramirez indicated that he " want[ed] a trial date now" and would file a motion to sever his case from his codefendants. In response, the court set a briefing schedule for the motion to sever and rescheduled the trial for June 3, 2013. Again, the court made an ends of justice finding that this was a

Page 734

complex case, excluding the time from April 5, 2013, to June 3, 2013, from the speedy trial clock.

Ramirez filed his first motion to sever on April 10, 2013. On May 3, 2013, the court held a hearing on the motion and denied it in the interest of judicial economy. The court then vacated the June 3 trial date and set a status conference for June 17, 2013, making ...


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