United States v. Zelaya, No. 16-4752 (4th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Fourth Circuit affirmed Defendants Zelaya, Ordonez-Vega, Sosa, and Gavidia's convictions of participating in a racketeering conspiracy under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO); Zelaya, Ordonez-Vega, and Sosa's conviction of committing violent crimes in aid of racketeering (VICAR) and using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence; and Gavidia's sentence.
The court held that the district court did not err by denying defendants' motions for acquittal under Rule 29; the district court correctly defined the "purpose" element in its jury instructions regarding the VICAR offense; there was no error in the admission of testimony from two New York police officers; the district court did not err by refusing to sever Sosa and Gavidia's trials from the trials of Zelaya and Ordonez-Vega; Sosa and Gavidia were not entitled to mistrials; and Gavidia's sentence was substantively and procedurally reasonable.