United States v. Asfour

FILED United States Court of Appeals UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS Tenth Circuit FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT December 8, 2017 _________________________________ Elisabeth A. Shumaker Clerk of Court UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, No. 16-6231 v. (D.C. No. 5:15-CR-00246-R-2) (W.D. Okla.) PATRICK SAMIR ASFOUR, Defendant - Appellant. _________________________________ ORDER AND JUDGMENT* _________________________________ Before HARTZ, PHILLIPS, and MORITZ, Circuit Judges. _________________________________ Defendant Patrick Samir Asfour claims that he was denied his rights under the federal Speedy Trial Act. His problems began when he and a companion were driving their two vehicles on an interstate highway. A traffic stop by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) led to the discovery of firearms and drugs in the companion’s vehicle. The two drivers were arrested and placed in county jail. A few days later an information was filed in state court charging them with eight violations of Oklahoma law. The state preliminary hearing was postponed or continued multiple times until finally, nine months * This order and judgment is not binding precedent, except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, and collateral estoppel. It may be cited, however, for its persuasive value consistent with Fed. R. App. P. 32.1 and 10th Cir. R. 32.1. after the traffic stop, the two men were indicted in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Under the Speedy Trial Act a federal arrestee must be charged by federal indictment or information within 30 days of arrest. See 18 U.S.C. § 3161(b). Defendant moved in federal court to dismiss the indictment against him for failure to comply with that requirement, arguing that his true federal arrest occurred at the time of the traffic stop. He contended that the state arrest and confinement were merely a ruse to avoid the 30-day requirement and give federal authorities extra time to pressure the drivers to cooperate with the prosecution. After an evidentiary hearing the district court denied the motion, ruling that Defendant had not shown a ruse. Defendant then entered into a plea bargain, agreeing to plead guilty to three counts of the indictment but reserving the right to appeal his motion to dismiss. Exercising jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we hold that his appeal is without merit. The district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Defendant’s motion. I. BACKGROUND On January 30, 2015, Defendant and Ben Issa Saoud were driving on Interstate 40 in separate vehicles. Katelyn Worstell, a pregnant 18-year old woman, was riding with Defendant. When OHP Trooper Clint Painter attempted to pull Saoud over, Defendant’s vehicle struck Painter’s patrol car. The government contends that Defendant intentionally hit Painter’s vehicle to draw attention away from Saoud, as he was carrying more than 100 pounds of marijuana and two firearms. After all three vehicles came to a 2 stop, another OHP trooper arrived to assist Painter, and they discovered the drugs and guns in Saoud’s vehicle. Defendant, Saoud, and Worstell were arrested. Sam Ward, a special agent with the federal ...

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