United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
SMITH CAMP CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the Findings and Recommendation
(F&R), ECF No. 292, issued by Magistrate Judge Susan M.
Bazis recommending that the Court grant the Motions to Change
Venue to the Eastern District of California, filed by
Defendants Kimberly Santiago Robinson, ECF No. 267; Brian
Robinson, ECF No. 273; Cuc Thi Schaeffer, ECF No. 276; and
Anito Benitez Gonzalez, ECF No. 278. The Government filed an
Objection to the Findings and Recommendation, ECF No. 295, as
allowed by 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) and NECrimR 59.2(a).
Defendants K. Robinson and Schaeffer responded to the
Objection. ECF Nos. 297, 298. For the reasons set forth
below, the F&R will be adopted, the Objection will be
overruled, and the Motions to Change Venue will be granted.
November 19, 2015, Defendants were charged in a Second
Superseding Indictment (Filing No. 70), with conspiracy to
distribute marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846
(Count I) and conspiracy to launder money in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 1956 (Count III). B. Robinson was also charged
with interstate travel regarding a racketeering enterprise,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1952 (Count II). The Second
Superseding Indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation
against the $380, 050.00 in United States currency seized
from B. Robinson during a traffic stop in Seward County,
Nebraska, in April 2014.
move to transfer venue to the Eastern District of California,
arguing that transfer favors the convenience of the parties,
the witnesses, and the interests of justice. The parties
entered a joint stipulation of facts that may be considered
true for purposes of the motion to transfer. ECF No. 268-2.
The F&R contains a more detailed recitation of the
stipulated facts. The Court includes a summary of the
following stipulated facts as relevant to the
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. For purposes of this Motion, the
parties stipulate that the transportation of money through
Nebraska from east to west could constitute a sufficient
overt act by a co-conspirator to permit venue in Nebraska
under the Constitution.
Robinson, Schaeffer, Gonzalez, and John Acosta 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.
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.
parties agreed that the potential witnesses they identified
in their stipulation would not limit any party's
discretion to call witnesses at trial. Of the
Government's law enforcement witnesses identified in the
stipulation, three are Nebraska officers. Approximately ten
officers live and work in California. K. Robinson identified
several witnesses who live in California and who are not
willing to travel to Nebraska voluntarily to testify.
parties stipulated they intend to call phone company and cell
tower witnesses for trial. These witnesses 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 the witnesses reside or work. The Government identified
a dog training expert who lives and works in El Paso, Texas.
parties also stipulated that they intend to call several
chain-of-custody witnesses. The parties do not know where
these witnesses reside or work. The parties identified United
States Postal Services employees as witnesses. The relevant
postal workers live and work in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and
of the allegations of financial crimes, the parties have
identified potential witnesses who are financial records
custodians, or otherwise employed by banks, credit unions, or
other financial institutions. Of such institutions, at least
three are in California. The others are headquartered in
Delaware, Texas, and Missouri. None of the institutions or
financial records witnesses identified is in Nebraska.
than the traffic stop in Seward County, Nebraska, the
relevant locations in this case are all in California and
Pennsylvania. The parcels of real estate on which the
marijuana was allegedly grown, and which are implicated in
the Government's evidence, are in the Sacramento,
California, area. Schaeffer, Acosta, and Gonzalez are
included in the alleged marijuana conspiracy partly because
of their association/involvement with these California