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United States v. Zepeda-Gonzalez

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division

November 29, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
SAMUEL ZEPEDA-GONZALEZ, Defendant.

          PRELIMINARY ORDER OF FORFEITURE

          R. Bryan Harwell United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on the Motion of the United States for a Preliminary Order of Forfeiture as to Defendant Samuel Zepeda-Gonzalez (“Zepeda-Gonzalez”, “Defendant”), based upon the following:

         1. On March 28, 2017, a multi-count Indictment was filed charging Zepeda-Gonzalez with drug trafficking, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841.

         2. Pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.2(a), the Indictment contained a notice of forfeiture providing that upon Zepeda-Gonzalez's conviction, certain properties enumerated therein, or equivalent substitute assets, would be subject to forfeiture to the United States. As specified, such assets include, but are not limited to the following:

(1) Total Cash Proceeds:[1]
A sum of money equal to all property the Defendants obtained, directly or indirectly for, or used to facilitate, the Title 21 offenses charged in the Indictment, that is, a minimum of approximately $177, 989.00 in United States currency and all interest and proceeds traceable thereto, in that such sum in the aggregate constitutes proceeds the Defendants obtained directly or indirectly as the result of such violations of Title 21, United States Code or were used to facilitate such violations.
(2) Cash/Currency Seized:[2]
(a) $177, 989.00 of currency seized on March 8, 2017, from 3538 Alex Drive, Galivants Ferry, South Carolina Asset ID: 17-ICE-001560
(3) Firearms and Ammunition Seized:[3]
(a) Kassnar Imports MBK-9HP 9mm pistol (serial number OR0805); Glock 42 .380 caliber pistol (serial number ACEK278); Various rounds of 9mm ammunition, and .380 caliber ammunition, all seized on March 8, 2017, from 3538 Alex Drive, Galivants Ferry, South Carolina Asset ID: 17-ICE-001561

         3. On October 24, 2017, Zepeda-Gonzalez pled guilty pursuant to a written plea agreement to Count 1 to possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and agreed to the entry of a forfeiture money judgment.

         4. Based on Defendant's conviction, the Court has determined that the government has established the requisite nexus between the amount of proceeds Defendant obtained and the offense for which Defendant has been convicted; therefore the United States is entitled to a preliminary order of forfeiture, subject to the provisions of U.S.C. § 853 governing third party rights. The Court has determined that the property described above is subject to forfeiture, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. §§ 853 and 881 and 28 U.S.C. § 2461(c). Therefore, it is ORDERED THAT all property, real or personal, which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to the possession with intent to distribute violations of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841 are forfeited to the United States.

         5. The Court further finds that one or more of the conditions set forth in Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(p), exists.

         6. It is, therefore, ORDERED that the United States is entitled to forfeit substitute assets equal to the value of the proceeds in the drug trafficking by Defendant as a result of his violations of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841, and that such substitute assets ...


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