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United States v. Baker

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division

December 29, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ANNA BAKER, Defendant

For Levon Varne Dean, Sr., aka: Lee Dean, Defendant: Matthew Reed Metzgar, LEAD ATTORNEY, Rhinehart Law, P.C. ECF, Sioux City, IA USA.

For Steffan Dean, Defendant: Patrick Thomas Parry, LEAD ATTORNEY, Forker & Parry, Sioux City, IA USA.

For Kimberly Smith, Defendant: Rees Conrad Douglas, LEAD ATTORNEY, Sioux City, IA USA.

For Monica Rocha-Contreras, Defendant: Priscilla Elizabeth Forsyth, LEAD ATTORNEY, Attorney at Law, Sioux City, IA USA.

For Evette Morris-Hernandez, Defendant: Pamela A Wingert, LEAD ATTORNEY, ECF, Spirit Lake, IA USA.

For Anna Baker, Defendant: Bradley Ryan Hansen, LEAD ATTORNEY, Federal Public Defender's Office, Sioux City, IA USA.

For Ingmar Hernandez, Defendant: John P Greer, LEAD ATTORNEY, Greer Law Office, Spencer, IA USA.

For U.S. Probation, Interested Party: usp Notify, LEAD ATTORNEY.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON MOTION TO DISMISS

LEONARD T. STRAND, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

Defendant Anna Baker (Baker) has filed a motion (Doc. No. 29) to dismiss Count 1 of the indictment as against her. Plaintiff (the Government) has filed a resistance (Doc. No. 42). The Honorable Mark W. Bennett, United States District Judge, has referred the motion to me for preparation of a report and recommended disposition. Because the motion has been well-briefed by both sides, I find that oral argument is not necessary and would cause undue delay. See N.D. Ia. L.R. 7(c). The motion is fully submitted and ready for decision.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On November 20, 2014, the Grand Jury returned a seventeen-count indictment (Doc. No. 9) naming eight defendants. Baker is charged only with regard to Count 1, which alleges conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing or interfering with governmental functions in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 (Section 371). The indictment describes a series of events that allegedly took place after Jamal Dean (Dean) shot a Sioux City police officer on April 29, 2013. Basically, the indictment tells the story of Dean's flight and efforts to evade capture after the shooting. Each defendant is alleged to have known that Dean was a fugitive and, despite such alleged knowledge, to have played a part in assisting his escape while obstructing the efforts of local and federal authorities to capture him. According to the indictment, an Iowa arrest warrant was issued for Dean shortly after the shooting and a variety of local, state and federal law enforcement authorities commenced a manhunt. Doc. No. 9 at 3. The federal authorities are alleged to have included Deputy United States Marshals and Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. Id. The indictment states that Dean was apprehended in Texas on May 5, 2013, while accompanied by two of the other defendants. Id. at 4.

The indictment contains the following allegations that relate to Baker:

10. On April, 29, 2013, LEVON VARNE DEAN SR., (A/K/A LEE DEAN), STEFFAN DEAN, KIMBERLY SMITH, MONICA ROCHA-CONTRERAS, EVETTE MORRIS-HERNANDEZ, ESTEBAN HERNANDEZ, ANNA BAKER, and INGMAR HERNADEZ, all learned federal authorities were searching for Jamal Dean before they completed their interaction with Jamal Dean on or about April 29, 2013.
***
THE OBJECTS OF THE CONSPIRACY
13. From on or about April 29, 2013, and continuing until about September 1, 2013, within the Northern District of Iowa and elsewhere, Jamal Dean and defendants, LEVON DEAN SR., (A/K/A LEE DEAN), STEFFAN DEAN, KIMBERLY SMITH, MONICA ROCHA-CONTRERAS, EVETTE MORRIS-HERNANDEZ, ESTEBAN HERNANDEZ, ANNA BAKER, and INGMAR HERNADEZ, and others known and unknown to the grand jury, knowingly and willfully conspired and agreed together and with each other, (and with other persons both known and unknown to the grand jury), to defraud the United States of and concerning its governmental functions and rights, hereafter described, that is: they conspired to interfere with and obstruct legitimate governmental activities of the United States Department of Justice (e.g., the United States Marshals Service (" USMS") and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (" ATF")) by interfering with and obstructing the federal investigation into the events of April 29, 2013, and the federal effort to assist in the apprehension of Jamal Dean, by deceit, craft, trickery, and by means that were dishonest.
THE MANNER AND MEANS OF THE CONSPIRACY
14. It was a part of the conspiracy that the defendants would by deceit, craft, trickery and dishonest means, defraud the United States by interfering with and obstructing the lawful governmental functions of the United States Department of Justice (e.g., the USMS and ATF) in that the defendants would receive, relieve, comfort, assist, and conceal Jamal Dean in his attempt to avoid capture and questioning.
15. It was further a part of the conspiracy that the defendants would make materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements or representations to the United States Department of Justice (e.g., the United States Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives).
16. It was still further a part of the conspiracy that the defendants would alter, destroy, mutilate, conceal, cover up, falsify, or make false entry in any record, document, or tangible object.
OVERT ACTS
17. In furtherance of the conspiracy and to affect the objects of the conspiracy, the following overt acts, among others, were committed in the Northern District of Iowa and elsewhere:
Before Arrest of ...

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