USA v. Brady Rodriguez-Cruz
UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [16-10282 Affirmed] Judge: WED, Judge: EBC, Judge: GJC. Mandate pull date is 03/28/2017 for Appellant Brady Rodriguez-Cruz [16-10282]
Date Filed: 03/07/2017
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
United States Court of Appeals
March 7, 2017
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Lyle W. Cayce
Plaintiff - Appellee
BRADY RODRIGUEZ-CRUZ, also known as Marcos Antonio RodriguezMejia,
Defendant - Appellant
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Texas
USDC No. 3:15-CR-51-2
Before DAVIS, CLEMENT, and COSTA, Circuit Judges.
Brady Rodriguez-Cruz appeals his jury conviction for conspiracy to
commit sex trafficking of children in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1591(a), (b)(1)
and 1594(c). He contends that the district court erred in instructing the jury
on the “in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce” element of § 1591(a).
Because the challenged language tracks this circuit’s pattern jury instruction
Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not
be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH
CIR. R. 47.5.4.
Date Filed: 03/07/2017
for violations of § 1591(a) and is a correct statement of the law, Rodriguez-Cruz
has failed to show any error on the district court’s part. 1
Further, Rodriguez-Cruz contends that the evidence was insufficient to
satisfy the “in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce” element of § 1591(a).
We have held that cell phones constitute facilities of interstate commerce and
that their use, even if wholly intrastate, is sufficient to establish the “in or
affecting interstate or foreign commerce” element for federal crimes. 2 The
evidence presented at trial showed that a co-conspirator contacted RodriguezCruz by cell phone to advertise that he had girls available for sex in exchange
for money. A series of cell phone calls and text messages followed to coordinate
the exchange. Rodriguez-Cruz does not dispute these facts. Thus, the evidence,
when viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, was sufficient to allow
a rational jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Rodriguez-Cruz and
his co-conspirator used facilities of interstate commerce as part of their
conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children. 3 Accordingly, the district
court’s judgment is AFFIRMED.
See United States v. Phea, 755 F.3d 255, 266 (5th Cir. 2014); United States v.
Richardson, 676 F.3d 491, 507-08 (5th Cir. 2012); Fifth Circuit Pattern Jury Instructions
(Criminal) § 2.68.
2 See Phea, 755 F.3d at 266; United States v. Marek, 238 F.3d 310, 318-19 & n.35 (5th
Cir. 2001) (en banc).
3 See Phea, 755 F.3d at 263; United States v. Pruneda-Gonzalez, 953 F.2d 190, 193
(5th Cir. 1992).
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?