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United States v. Chicago

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division

July 11, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
MANILA CHICAGO, Defendant.

          ORDER ON MOTION FOR RETURN OF PROPERTY

          CALLIE V. S. GRANADE, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on a motion for return of property pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g) filed by Defendant Manila Chicago (“Chicago”) (Doc. 123) and the Government's response in opposition (Doc. 126). For the reasons stated below, Defendant's motion is denied.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         In July 2015, the grand jury returned a sixteen-count indictment against Chicago. (Doc. 1). Within the Indictment, the Government declared that it would seek criminal forfeiture of any property “constituting or derived from” any criminal proceeds or any property used to facilitate or commit the statutory violations outlined in the Indictment. Id. at 7-9. Criminal forfeiture was sought pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 853 and 18 U.S.C. § 982. The Government supplemented its forfeiture notice in a bill of particulars to include specific additional property. (Doc. 27). An Amended Bill of Particulars was filed adding more specific property. (Doc. 32). Like the Indictment, the Bill of Particulars and Amended Bill of Particulars specified that any forfeiture would be pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 853 and/or 18 U.S.C. § 982. In June 2016, Chicago and the Government entered into a plea agreement; Chicago pleaded guilty to three counts in the Indictment. (Doc. 70). In the Plea Agreement, Chicago agreed to “confess the forfeiture to the United States of all properties which represent proceeds of his criminal activities or which facilitated any aspect of these illegal activities ….” Id. at 6.

         Upon Chicago's plea, the Government moved for a preliminary order of forfeiture. (Doc. 77). The Court entered a Preliminary Order of Forfeiture (Doc. 78) and Amended Preliminary Order of Forfeiture (“APOF”) (Doc. 80). Within the APOF, the Court found Chicago's interest in the following property forfeited to the Government:

1. The contents of PNC Bank Account No. XXXXXX7406, a joint checking account held in the names of Manila Chicago and/or Loan Nguyen;
2. The contents of PNC Bank Account No. XXXXXX1595, a checking account held in the name of Loan Nguyen;
3. The residence of real property at 13915 Sprinkle Avenue, Mobile Alabama, 36509;
4. The real property identified as Mobile County Parcel # R021309320000107.02 containing approximately 5.41 acres and legally described as following:
COMG AT THE INT OF THE N/L OF THE S1/2 PF SEC 32, R2W, 7 THE E ROW/L OF U.S. HWY 45 RUN 06 DEG 08MIN 58 SEC W ALG S.D. E ROY/L 441.77 FT TO THE POB OF THE PARCEL HEREIN DESC.;
5. One black 2014 Ford Mustang Coupe, VIN 1ZVBP8CF7E5280204; 6. One Husqvarna lawn tractor, Model M-ZT61, Serial No. 042514B002339, including Kawasaki engine with Serial No. FS691VA29169; and 7. $14, 769.00, more or less, in United States Currency.

(Doc. 80, pp. 2-3).

         On September 27, 2016, the Court sentenced Chicago to 111 months imprisonment. (Doc. 95). The Court incorporated the APOF in the Judgment and Commitment Order. Id. Now, Chicago moves the Court for return of the items contained within the APOF because, as he argues, the Government failed to provide him sufficient notice of the forfeiture proceedings.[1] Thus, he continues, his right to due process under the Fifth Amendment has been violated.

         II. ...


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