10th Circuit Court to Hear Cases at Law School

08-2165 NM United States v. Flores, Appellant

Reproduced below are excerpts from each brief that summarize the issues.

United States v. Flores, Appellant - APPELLEE'S ANSWER BRIEF

On March 22, 2007, a grand jury in the District of New Mexico returned a four-count indictment against defendant/appellant Max Menriquez Flores. The grand jury accused Flores of possessing more than five grams of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it, carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 and being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Flores was tried by a jury before United States District Judge William P. Johnson beginning June 5, 2007. The jury returned guilty verdicts on all four counts. On December 14, 2007, Flores filed a motion for a new trial. The district court denied the motion on May 16, 2008.

The district court conducted a sentencing hearing on July 17, 2008. It remanded Flores to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons to be imprisoned for concurrent terms of imprisonment of 120 months on counts 1, 3, and 4. The district court imposed a term of imprisonment of 60 months on count 2, and ordered that term of imprisonment to run consecutively to the terms imposed on the other counts for a total term of imprisonment of 180 months. The court entered a judgment memorializing the announced sentence on July 22, 2008, and Flores filed a notice of appeal the next day.

United States v. Flores, Appellant - APPELLANT’S REPLY BRIEF

The argument is as follows: Flores did not waive any error associated with the court's erroneously allowing the jury to hear about Flores' probation status at the time of the alleged offense; The United States' qualitatively weak list of ostensible inferences cannot save a conviction devoid of a sufficient evidentiary basis on the issue of knowing possession.