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US v. Montes, No. 08-10932

By FindLaw Staff on March 29, 2010 4:25 PM

In US v. Montes, No. 08-10932, the court of appeals affirmed defendants' bank robbery convictions and sentences, holding that 1) because defendant did not clearly invoke his right to counsel, as required, his post-arrest statements made after his ambiguous request for an attorney were admissible; 2) the district court's jury instructions correctly stated the law and simply instructed the jury to convict on each and every firearm count that it found defendant guilty of in the corresponding odd-numbered bank robbery count; 3) the evidence presented by the government was more than ample to establish defendant's identity as the culprit and therefore sufficient to sustain the verdict; and 4) the district court had no authority to impose a sentence below the statutory minimum on defendant's 18 U.S.C. section 924(c) convictions.

As the court wrote:  "In a scene reminiscent of the long ago days of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jason Montes ("Montes") and Margarito Armijo ("Armijo") were involved in a bank robbery spree. Much like the now infamous characters, their careers as bank robbers were short-lived and came to an end when they were captured by authorities. They now appeal their convictions and Montes also appeals his sentence. Finding no reversible error, we affirm."

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