United States v. Martinez, No. 14-2759 (2d Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Defendants Martinez, Rodriguez, Fiorentino, and Tejada appealed their convictions stemming from their involvement in a conspiracy, spanning at least a decade, in which more than two dozen persons were alleged to have committed more than 200 robberies of drug traffickers. The Second Circuit held that the evidence was sufficient to prove that Fiorentino was a member of the conspiracy within the statute-of-limitations period; his sentence was substantively reasonable; and the court rejected his remaining challenges. Because Rodriguez did not raise his statute-of-limitations contention until long after his trial, the district court properly denied his motion for acquittal. The court held that the evidence as a whole was sufficient to support Tejada's convictions for obstruction of justice; if it was error to admit the out-of-court description of the attempted robbers, it was harmless beyond any reasonable doubt; and the court rejected challenges to the Government's summation. Martinez's motion for new counsel was properly denied, and there was no plain error in the district court's acceptance of Martinez's plea of guilty to aiding and abetting others in brandishing in furtherance of the Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy. Finally, the court rejected Fiorentino and Tejada's challenges to their sentences.