Defendant’s post-arrest, pre-presentment confession was admissible

Oscar Cantu-Ramirez (“Cantu-Ramirez”), Raul Cantu-Ramirez (“Raul”), and Lauro Abel Grimaldo (“Grimaldo”) appeal their sentences and convictions relating to their alleged roles in a 16-person conspiracy to distribute tens of thousands of pounds of drugs throughout the United States. ​

The court held that the confession was voluntary under the totality of the circumstances to be considered under 18 U.S.C. § 3501(b), including the nature of the interrogation and the fact that officers did delay presentment for the purpose of interrogation. Furthermore, introduction of post-arrest statements of brother/co-defendant in joint trial with the defendant did not violate the defendant’s Confrontation Clause rights. The statements were redacted to eliminate any reference to the defendant, and the redacted statements were read to the jury in a way that did not reveal that there had been any redactions. Also, the jury was instructed the statements were to be considered only against co-defendant, and not against defendant.

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