USA v. Jose Lara
OPINION filed : We VACATE the district court s sentence with respect to Lara s money-forfeiture judgment and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. The judgment of the district court is otherwise AFFIRMED for the reasons given in our prior opinion. Decision not for publication. John M. Rogers, Jeffrey S. Sutton, and Deborah L. Cook (AUTHORING), Circuit Judges.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 17a0390n.06
Case No. 15-5874
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
JOSE ALBERTO LARA,
Jul 03, 2017
DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk
ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED
STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF
BEFORE: ROGERS, SUTTON, and COOK, Circuit Judges.
COOK, Circuit Judge. In a previous opinion, we held in abeyance the issue of whether
defendant Jose Alberto Lara could be found jointly and severally liable for the proceeds of a drug
conspiracy in which he had participated. United States v. Lara, No. 15-5874, 2017 WL 527912,
at *4 (6th Cir. Feb. 8, 2017). We did so because the Supreme Court had recently granted
certiorari in a separate case to address “whether, under [21 U.S.C.] § 853, a defendant may be
held jointly and severally liable for property that his co-conspirator derived from the crime but
that the defendant himself did not acquire.” Honeycutt v. United States, --- S. Ct. ---, No. 16142, 2017 WL 2407468, at *3 (June 5, 2017).
The Court now has resolved that question, holding that “[Congress] authorized the
Government to confiscate assets only from the defendant who initially acquired the property and
who bears responsibility for its dissipation.” Id. at *8; see also id. at *7–9 (rejecting the
Case No. 15-5874, United States v. Jose Alberto Lara
application of Pinkerton v. United States, 328 U.S. 640 (1946), (i.e., conspiracy liability) to §
853). Because the district court held Lara liable under § 853 for $162,211—the sum of the drug
proceeds attributed to the conspiracy as a whole—without making factual findings about what
portion (if any) Lara “actually acquired” or whether he received “substitute property” derived
from the proceeds, see id. at *7–9, we VACATE the district court’s sentence with respect to
Lara’s money-forfeiture judgment and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this
opinion. The judgment of the district court is otherwise AFFIRMED for the reasons given in our
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