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United States v. Lorenzo-Lucas

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

December 30, 2014

United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
Lorenzo Pedro Lorenzo-Lucas, Defendant - Appellant

Submitted December 11, 2014.

Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Nebraska - Omaha.

For United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee: Frederick D. Franklin, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Omaha, NE.

Lorenzo Pedro Lorenzo-Lucas, Defendant - Appellant, Pro se, Omaha, NE.

For Lorenzo Pedro Lorenzo-Lucas, Defendant - Appellant: Richard Haile McWilliams, Assistant Federal Public Defender, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE, Omaha, NE.

Before LOKEN, BRIGHT, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1009

BRIGHT, Circuit Judge.

Appellant Lorenzo Pedro Lorenzo-Lucas (" Lorenzo-Lucas" ) was convicted by jury of one count of illegal reentry into the United States in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a). Over Lorenzo-Lucas's objection, the Government introduced at trial a form I-205, also known as a warrant of deportation, to establish that Lorenzo-Lucas had been previously deported in 2005. On appeal, Lorenzo-Lucas argues that the district court's[1] admission of the warrant violated his Sixth Amendment right to be confronted by adverse witnesses. We disagree and therefore affirm.[2]

I. Background

On January 9, 2014, Lorenzo-Lucas was arrested on suspicion that he had reentered the United States illegally. As part of the developing investigation, the arresting officer requested Lorenzo-Lucas's alien file (A-file) which contained a signed warrant of deportation. " A warrant of deportation is a document that commands an immigration official to take custody of the deportee and to remove him from the United States." United States v. Torres-Villalobos, 487 F.3d 607, 612 (8th Cir. 2007). " A signed warrant indicates that the attesting witness observed the deportee leaving the country." Id.

The district court denied Lorenzo-Lucas's pretrial motion to suppress the warrant. At trial, the Government sought to

Page 1010

admit the contents of Lorenzo-Lucas's A-file into evidence, including the warrant of deportation which indicated that Lorenzo-Lucas had been deported on May 4, 2005, pursuant to an order of removal. Lorenzo-Lucas objected on the ground that the admission of the warrant violated his Sixth Amendment confrontation rights. ...


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