United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
ELIZABETH A. KOVACHEVICH, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT
cause is before the Court on:
105 Construed Motion to Vacate Sentence
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
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.
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.
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 ...