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United States v. Manso-Cepeda

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

January 20, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee,
v.
LUIS ÁNGEL MANSO-CEPEDA, Defendant, Appellant

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO. Hon. Francisco A. Besosa, U.S. District Judge.

Víctor González-Bothwell, Assistant Federal Public Defender, with whom Eric A. Vos, Federal Public Defender, and Vivianne M. Marrero-Torres, Assistant Federal Public Defender, were on brief, for appellant.

Nicholas Warren Cannon, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney, Nelson Pérez-Sosa, Assistant United States Attorney, Chief, Appellate Division, and Carmen M. MÁrquez-Marín, Assistant United States Attorney, were on brief, for appellee.

Before Torruella, Hawkins,[*] and Barron, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 847

TORRUELLA, Circuit Judge.

Following a jury trial, Luis Ángel Manso-Cepeda (" Manso" ) was convicted for aiding and abetting a convicted felon, Lisander Casillas-Sánchez (" Casillas" ), in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 922(g)(1) and 2. He directly appeals the district court's denial of his motion for acquittal under Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. He asserts that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction in light of the advance knowledge requirement for aiders and abettors articulated in Rosemond v. United States, __U.S. __,134 S.Ct. 1240, 188 L.Ed.2d 248 (2014). For the reasons discussed herein, we affirm.

I.

We recite the facts in the light most favorable to the prosecution. United States v. Ofray-Campos, 534 F.3d 1, 11 (1st Cir. 2008). At about 11:40 p.m., on the evening of January 26, 2014, Officer Onil Tejeda-Jiménez (" Tejeda" ) was patrolling in his police car in the El Hobo and Honduras sectors of Loíza, Puerto Rico. Sergeant

Page 848

Gadiel Bonilla-Álamo (" Bonilla" ) sat as a passenger in Tejeda's car. At that time, Tejeda was accompanied by two other patrol cars, one of which was driven by Officer José Cruz-Cervera (" Cruz" ).

Tejeda observed a gray Mazda Protegé (the " Mazda" ) with windows that appeared to be tinted beyond the level permitted under Puerto Rico law traveling in the opposite direction. Tejeda attempted to initiate a traffic stop, turning on his vehicle's rotating lights and sirens and motioning for the vehicle to halt by sticking his hand out the driver's side window. The Mazda did not comply, instead passing Tejeda.

When Cruz saw that the Mazda had failed to obey Tejeda, he turned on his vehicle's rotating lights and moved into the Mazda's lane to block the car. The Mazda drove onto the sidewalk to avoid Cruz's vehicle and continued driving away from the patrol cars. The officers immediately pursued the Mazda, with Cruz following Tejeda and Bonilla.

The Mazda turned onto another street and briefly stopped during the chase. Tejeda and Bonilla observed one of the rear passenger doors open. Tejeda, who was positioned directly behind the Mazda, observed an individual (later identified as Casillas) throw a firearm onto the grass alongside the road. The Mazda then accelerated " [a]s fast as it could" away from Tejeda and Bonilla. At that moment, Cruz, who was somewhat behind the ...


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