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United States v. Bradley

January 22, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOSEPH BRADLEY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Veronica L. Duffy United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS FOR SEVERANCE

INTRODUCTION

Defendant Joseph Bradley has moved to sever the trial of his charges from that of his co-defendant, Lindsey Potratz. See Docket No. 178.

Mr. Bradley also seeks a separate trial on the money laundering charge which he faces from the trial on his drug conspiracy and drug distribution charges. See Docket No. 181. The government resists the motions. These motions were referred for decision to this magistrate judge by the Chief District Court Judge, the Honorable Karen E. Schreier pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A).

FACTS

Mr. Bradley was initially charged in an indictment filed with the court on May 19, 2009, with the crimes of conspiracy to distribute cocaine (Count I), and distribution of cocaine (Count VI). See Docket No. 1. The cocaine conspiracy count was alleged to have been joined in by Mr. Bradley and his co- defendant, Ben Stockman, as well as other unnamed co-conspirators. The conspiracy was alleged to have taken place in the District of South Dakota and elsewhere. The time frames alleged in the indictment are from October, 2005, through May 19, 2009, the date of the indictment, for the conspiracy count. The distribution count is alleged to have taken place in August, 2008, in Rapid City, South Dakota.

On September 22, 2009, a superseding indictment was filed. That new charging document added a third co-defendant, Lindsey Potratz, also known as Nate Tchida. See Docket No. 100. The three defendants were charged jointly in Count I with conspiracy to distribute cocaine in the District of South Dakota beginning in October, 2005, and continuing up to the date of the indictment. Count IV against Mr. Bradley remained the same, asserting that he distributed cocaine in Rapid City, South Dakota in August, 2008.

On November 18, 2009, a second superseding indictment was filed against the same three co-defendants. See Docket 135. Counts I and IV against Mr. Bradley remained the same as in the September indictment. However, Count VII in the second superseding indictment asserted a new charge of money laundering against Mr. Bradley and Mr. Potratz in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(A)(i), and (B)(I), and (2). Count VII alleged that the two defendants knowingly conducted a financial transaction affecting interstate commerce by transferring $87.85 via MoneyGram from Joseph Bradley to Lindsey Potratz, and that those funds involved the proceeds of illegal drug trafficking. The second superseding indictment alleges that the defendants effectuated the transaction with the intent of promoting or carrying on the drug conspiracy as charged in Count I of the indictment and that both defendants knew that the property involved in the transaction represented the proceeds of an unlawful activity.

Previously, before the September superseding indictment was filed, Mr. Bradley filed a motion seeking a separate trial from Ben Stockman. See Docket No. 63. This court denied that motion [Docket No. 80], and the district court adopted that decision. See Docket No. 99.

Mr. Bradley now seeks a separate trial from his new co-defendant, Lindsey Potratz. See Docket No. 178. He also seeks to separate the trials on the drug charges from the money laundering charge. See Docket 181. The government resists both motions. As more fully discussed below, the court denies both motions.

DISCUSSION

A. Severance of Mr. Bradley's Trial from that of Mr. Potratz's

Mr. Bradley argues that joinder of his case with that of Mr. Potratz's is improper under both Rule 8(b) and Rule 14(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. ...


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