United States District Court, S.D. New York
June 29, 2005.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
GUIDO CUEVAS and ISIDRO RUIZ, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEWIS KAPLAN, District Judge
These defendants were convicted by a jury of conspiracy to
distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms and
more of cocaine, attempting to distribute and possess with intent
to distribute 5 kilograms and more of cocaine, conspiracy to
commit robbery, and possessing a handgun in furtherance of the
robbery conspiracy. Each has moved for judgment of acquittal and
for a new trial pursuant to Fed.R.Crim.P. 29 and 33,
The motions are denied, substantially for the reasons set forth
in the government's letter brief dated May 23, 2005. The Court
adds the following comments.
First, Ruiz's motion depends almost entirely on the premise
that the testimony of Calixto Ibarguen, the cooperating witness
who testified to Ruiz's joinder in the conspiracy, was not
credible. There may be a case in which a witness' testimony is so
patently incredible as to be unworthy of consideration in
determining whether the government offered proof legally
sufficient to justify a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt, but
this is not it. Ruiz's counsel ably attacked Ibarguen's
testimony, but it ultimately was within the province of the jury
to determine whether and to what extent to believe him. Nor is
the Court so persuaded by Ruiz that it regards a new trial as
Second, Cuevas, against whom the evidence of guilt was
compelling, relies heavily on evidentiary rulings in support of
his motion for a new trial. At least two of the instances, the
Court contrary to the implication of his motion ruled in his
favor at trial. There is no substantial basis for his motion.
The motions of defendants Cuevas and Ruiz for judgments of
acquittal or for new trials are denied.
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