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United States v. Welch

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF SOUTH DAKOTA SOUTHERN DIVISION


July 28, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LAURA WELCH, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: John E. Simko United States Magistrate Judge

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON DEFENDANT'S CHANGE OF PLEA

This matter came before the court for a change of plea hearing on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. The Defendant, Laura Welch, appeared in person and by her counsel, Rich Engels, while the United States appeared by its Assistant United States Attorney, John Haak.

The defendant consented in open court to the change of plea before a United States magistrate judge. This court finds that the defendant's consent was voluntary and upon the advice of counsel. The government also consented to the plea hearing before a magistrate judge. Further, the parties waived their right to object to the report and recommendation.

Defendant has reached a plea agreement wherein she intends to plead guilty to Count 1 of the Fourth Superseding Indictment which charges her with Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846. At the hearing, the defendant was advised of the nature of the charges to which the defendant would plead guilty and the maximum penalties applicable, specifically: mandatory minimum 10 years imprisonment; maximum life imprisonment; a $4 million fine; or both; mandatory minimum 5 years supervised release; 5 additional years imprisonment if supervised release is revoked; and a $100 special assessment.

Upon questioning the defendant personally in open court, it is the finding of the court that the defendant is fully competent and capable of entering an informed plea, that the defendant is aware of the nature of the charges and the consequences of the plea, and that her plea of guilty to Count 1 of the Fourth Superseding Indictment is a knowing and voluntary plea supported by an independent basis in fact containing each of the essential elements of the offense. The defendant's guilty plea to Count 1 of the Fourth Superseding Indictment is accepted. It is my report and recommendation that the defendant be adjudged guilty of that offense.

20100728

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