United States District Court, D. Nebraska
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
M. BAZIS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant Kimberly Santiago
Robinson's ("K. Robinson") motion to transfer
this case to the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of California (Filing No. 267.) Defendants
Brian Robinson ("B. Robinson"), Cue Thi Schaeffer
("Schaeffer"), John Acosta ("Acosta") and
Antonio Benitez Gonzalez ("Gonzalez") have joined
K. Robinson's motion (Filing Nos. 273,
276, 278, 287), asserting similar
grounds for reliefThe arguments of each Defendant are
considered within this Findings and Recommendation. For the
reasons expressed below, the undersigned will recommend that
K. Robinson's motion to transfer (Filing No.
267), along with the other Defendants' respective
motions, be granted.
November 19, 2015, Defendants were charged in a Second
Superseding Indictment (Filing No. 70) with
conspiracy to possess and distribute marijuana in violation
of 21 U.S.C. § 846. K. Robinson and B. Robinson were
also charged with conspiracy to launder money in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 1956. B. Robinson was further charged with
interstate travel with regard to a racketeering enterprise in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1952. The Second Superseding
Indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation referencing
$380, 050 in funds that were seized from B. Robinson during a
traffic stop in Seward County, Nebraska.
Robinson and the government entered into a joint stipulation
(Filing No. 268-2) for purposes of K. Robinson's
motion to transfer. Without objection from the government,
the other defendants rely upon this stipulation to support
their respective motions. K. Robinson and the government
generally stipulated, or otherwise agree, as follows:
1. This case is the result of an investigation into B.
Robinson and his alleged movement of marijuana from the area
of Sacramento, California to Pennsylvania, and his alleged
movement of marijuana proceeds from Pennsylvania back to
California. Those travels, at times, caused B. Robinson to
travel through Nebraska.
2. K. Robinson, Schaeffer, Acosta, and Gonzalez are named in
this case because of their alleged involvement in a marijuana
distribution conspiracy with B. Robinson. K. Robinson is also
charged due to her alleged involvement in a money laundering
conspiracy with her husband, B. Robinson.
3. All Defendants live in California. Other than their
alleged association with B. Robinson in the marijuana
conspiracy, Schaeffer, Acosta, and Gonzalez have no
association with Nebraska. Likewise, other than her marriage
to B. Robinson and her alleged association with B. Robinson
in the marijuana and money laundering conspiracies, K.
Robinson has no association with Nebraska.
4. The majority of the governments' law enforcement
witnesses reside and work in the Sacramento, California area.
There are three Nebraska officers involved in this case: one
case agent, one K-9 officer involved in B. Robinson's
traffic stop, and another deputy who assisted in the search
of B. Robinson's truck. There are approximately ten
California officers involved, including a case agent, three
K-9 officers, one or two transporting/post-arrest statement
officers, officers who participated in searches, and evidence
5. There will be some phone company and cell tower witnesses
at trial. They are expected to testify to cell tower data
obtained describing the use of a cell phone belonging to B.
Robinson. The parties do not know where they reside or work.
There will also be chain of custody witnesses. The parties do
not know where these witnesses reside or work. These
individuals processed and tested the seized controlled
6. There will be some United States Postal Services employees
called as witnesses. The relevant postal workers live and
work in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and California. All of these
witnesses have no connection to the District of Nebraska and
would have to travel for trial.
7. This case involves bank, credit union, and Edward Jones
financial records custodians from PNC Bank, Wells Fargo Bank,
USAA, and Edward Jones. PNC Bank's corporate headquarters
are located in Wilmington, Delaware; Wells Fargo Bank's
corporate headquarters are located in San Francisco,
California; USAA's corporate headquarters are located in
San Antonio, Texas and Edward Jones's corporate
headquarters are located in St. Louis, Missouri. The parties
do not know if each branch maintains a records custodian for
transactions made through the individual branch.
8. Travis Credit Union records custodians may be called as
witnesses. These credit union employees live and work in
9. K. Robinson expects to call a bank records custodian from
the bank where she has her business and personal accounts as
a trial witness. The bank and its custodian are located in
10. The expert for the prosecution is a CB&P dog training
expert who lives and works in El Paso, Texas. K.
Robinson's dog training expert is expected to travel to
wherever the trial is held.
11. The majority of K. Robinson's witnesses are not
willing to travel to Nebraska to testify. Witnesses Valerie
Temple and Kimberlee Tran have indicated that they are
willing to travel to Nebraska. Theresa Borrego, Jenn Burch,
Stephanie Giorgi, Kelly Lamb, Tracy Franklin, Tierra Lewis,
Terri Franklin, Angie Tran, Jasmyn Ruth, and Trinette Nastor
have indicated they are not willing to travel to Nebraska.
12. The majority of documents the government anticipates it
will offer in its case-in-chief were generated outside
13. The lead investigator has custody of some of the
potential exhibits. The seized currency has been
photographed, indexed and returned to the United States