United States v. Hernandez-Escobar, No. 17-50134 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the denial of a petition under 21 U.S.C. 853(n) to set aside an order forfeiting $73,000 in cash and denial of petitioner's motion for relief from judgment. The cash was connected to the guilty plea of petitioner's son. Petitioner argued that he was the bailor whose title to the cash was superior to the government's.
The panel held that the district court did not clearly err when it found as a factual matter that the cash was drug proceeds. In this case, the money was found in the son's bedroom along with drugs, guns, and pay-owe sheets showing that the son had bought and sold methamphetamine in large amounts. Furthermore, the son signed a forfeiture agreement stating that the money constituted proceeds of narcotics trafficking and also signed a plea agreement incorporating the forfeiture agreement. The panel also held that there was no due process violation in the AUSA's communications with the son.