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United States v. Coime-Aguno

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

November 21, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
LUIS ALBERTO COIME-AGUNO.

          ORDER

          ELIZABETH A. KOVACHEVICH, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This cause is before the Court on:

         Dkt. 105 Construed Motion to Vacate Sentence

         Defendant Luis Alberto Coime-Aguno, pro se, has filed a Motion to Vacate which the Court construes as a Motion to Vacate Sentence entered without jurisdiction. The Court understands Defendant's Motion to assert that the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act, 46 U.S.C. Sees. 70503(a) and (b) exceeds the power of Congress under the Constitution, and to assert that the United States had no jurisdiction over the vessel, even though it was located in international waters, because drug trafficking is not a violation of "customary international law."

         The Court has reviewed Defendant's Motion and the record as required by Rule 4(b), Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings. It is plain from the record that Defendant is not entitled to relief.

         1. Background

         Defendant Coime-Aguno entered into a Plea Agreement in which Defendant Coime-Aguno admitted the following facts:

Defendant is pleading guilty because defendant is in fact guilty. The defendant certifies that defendant does hereby admit that the facts set forth below are true, and were this case to go to trial, the United States would be able to prove those specific facts beyond a reasonable doubt.

         FACTS

In February 2017, the defendants named in the Indictment were knowing and willing participants in a plan to smuggle more than five kilograms of cocaine by sea.
On or about February 23, 2017, after receiving a tip from a Maritime Patrol Aircraft, a United States Coast Guard (USCG) helicopter located a go-fast vessel ("GFV") with three people on board in international waters, approximately 360 nautical miles from the Galapagos Islands in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. A USCG boarding team then arrived in a small boat and approached the GFV, which had three crew members: Marco Antonio Mero-Hernandez, who claimed to be the captain, Luis Alberto Coime-Aguno, and Ramon Fabricio Barreiro-Vera.
The captain made no claim of nationality for the vessel to the USCG boarding team, and there was no flag or other indicia of nationality. The captain represented someone gave him the GFV but he did not know where it was from. The Eleventh Coast Guard District granted a Statement of No. Objection to enforce U.S. Law and treat the vessel as a vessel without nationality.
The USCG boarding team searched the vessel and found 34 bales of suspected contraband on the approximately 36-foot GFV. The bales contained cocaine, and the weight of the cocaine was more than 450 kilograms.
Post-Miranda, the defendant admitted to being paid or promised payment for delivery of ...

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