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UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED.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]

Download PDF
Case: 16-10282 Document: 00513901503 Page: 1 Date Filed: 03/07/2017 IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT No. 16-10282 United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit FILED March 7, 2017 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Lyle W. Cayce Clerk Plaintiff - Appellee v. 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. PER CURIAM:* 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 R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR.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. * Case: 16-10282 Document: 00513901503 Page: 2 Date Filed: 03/07/2017 No. 16-10282 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). 1 2

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?