United States v. Mojica, No. 16-2985 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The FBI investigated a large-scale Chicago cocaine-trafficking organization operated by “Gallo,” with court-authorized wiretaps on Gallo’s phones and charged 40 individuals, including Mojica, with various drug-trafficking crimes. Gallo had been robbed at gunpoint outside of his residence where he kept drugs and money. Concerned that the robbers would return, he looked for new storage space. He learned that Mojica, one of Gallo’s regular customers, had an apartment to rent. Mojica agreed to rent the second floor of his home as a stash house. After Mojica;s arrest, he was transported outside, while agents executed a search warrant for both floors of Mojica’s two-story residence. During the search, agents found $113,991.60, 86 grams of cocaine, scales, a cutting agent, and cell phones. Agents learned from Mojica’s wife that Mojica possessed the only keys to their detached garage, located near the rear of the property. Those keys were obtained from Mojica; Mojica’s wife gave the agents written consent to search the garage; the agents found cell phones, papers, several boxes of baggies, and two baggies containing cocaine. The Seventh Circuit affirmed Mojica’s conviction and 121-month sentence, upholding the denial of his motion to suppress cocaine and other evidence and a finding that he was jointly accountable for 18.084 kilograms of cocaine.