United States v. Alcorta, No. 15-3129 (10th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Defendant Raymond Alcorta was charged with conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine with Javier Vega, Karmin Salazar, Adrienne Lopez, and Angela Lopez, who acted as drug couriers. They all lived in California; the drugs were delivered to Kansas City. Vega and Salazar pleaded guilty, while Defendant, Adrienne, and Angela proceeded to a joint trial in Kansas. All three were found guilty of conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, and the couriers were also convicted of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute. After review, the Tenth Circuit reversed the convictions of Adrienne and Angela because the search of their vehicle violated the Fourth Amendment. But because Defendant had no standing to complain about that search and did not complain about it, the Court could consider on this appeal the evidence obtained in that search. Defendant challenged the sufficiency of the evidence and the admission of recorded jailhouse conversations of coconspirators. The Tenth Circuit concluded defendant’s conviction was supported by sufficient evidence, and his arguments challenging the admission of the conversations were unpersuasive.