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United States v. De Leon-Ramirez

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

May 29, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
DELFINO NATALIO DE LEON-RAMIREZ, a/k/a Enrique Roblero Escobar, a/k/a Alejandro Pablo Hernandez, a/k/a Delfino Puac-Deleon, a/k/a Delfino Deleon-Ramerez, a/k/a Delfino De Leonfino-Ramirez, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued: January 31, 2019

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Richmond. Henry E. Hudson, Senior District Judge. (3:17-cr-00089-HEH-DJN-1)

         ARGUED:

          Mary Elizabeth Maguire, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellant.

          Stephen David Schiller, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Richmond, Virginia, for Appellee.

         ON BRIEF:

          Geremy C. Kamens, Federal Public Defender, Caroline S. Platt, Appellate Attorney, OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Alexandria, Virginia, for Appellant.

          G. Zachary Terwilliger, United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Alexandria, Virginia, for Appellee.

          Before WYNN, DIAZ, and RICHARDSON, Circuit Judges.

          DIAZ, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         Delfino Natalio De Leon-Ramirez was indicted for illegal reentry more than 10 years after the government learned that he had unlawfully reentered the United States. Although the limitations period for this offense was five years, the district court refused to dismiss the indictment as untimely because it found that De Leon-Ramirez was "fleeing from justice," which tolled the statute of limitations. See 18 U.S.C. § 3290. De Leon-Ramirez challenges that finding on appeal. But, as it was not clearly wrong, we affirm.

         I.

         A.

         In 2005, De Leon-Ramirez pleaded guilty to making counterfeit immigration documents. He served about seven months of a 15-month sentence before being deported to his native Guatemala in March 2006. Unbeknown to authorities, however, De Leon-Ramirez reentered the United States some time later.

         Then, in February 2007, De Leon-Ramirez walked into an auto parts store in Chesterfield County, Virginia, and asked to exchange an old clutch. The store clerk obliged, but De Leon-Ramirez was unsatisfied with the replacement part and soon returned demanding a different model. When the store clerk this time refused, an argument erupted. The police were called, and De Leon-Ramirez was arrested.

         Upon his arrest, De Leon-Ramirez gave the police sergeant, Bradford Connor, a Mexican ID showing the name "Enrique Roblero Escobar." J.A. 109. After taking De Leon-Ramirez into custody, Connor had the booking department run his fingerprints, which produced an FBI record under the name "Delfino Puac-Deleon" and a Virginia record under "Alejandro Hernandez." Id. The birth date on the Mexican ID, like the name, didn't line up with those in the database.

         De Leon-Ramirez was charged with larceny and trespassing and released on bond nine days later. The paperwork accompanying his release, all completed under the name "Delfino Puac-Deleon," lists an address in Richmond, a telephone number, and a defense attorney's name and telephone number. J.A. 114-119. The papers also note a hearing scheduled for April 30, 2007, in Chesterfield County district court. The only document that De Leon-Ramirez signed, however, sets a hearing date for March 30, 2007. De Leon-Ramirez didn't appear on April 30, but ...


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