District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto


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In a 23-count July 26 indictment, Curanovic, Veliu and Noterile were charged under Counts Two, Three and Four, for extortionate collection of credit conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and money laundering. Counts 22 and 23 charged Curanovic, Veliu and Lum with distribution of, and conspiracy to distribute, marijuana. Veliu was charged in Count One with conspiracy to transport 14 AK-47 assault rifles and an anti-tank rocket launcher equipped with one rocket. On Aug. 4, all defendants except Lum and Sejdija pleaded not guilty. In addition to granting the government exclusion of speedy trial time as to Curanovic from Aug. 4 to Oct. 2, the court denied Curanovic’s motion to sever his trial from his codefendants. He was properly joined under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 8(b) and did not show prejudice warranting severance under Rule 14(a). Although Veliu’s codefendants were not charged in the weapons trafficking count, such conduct occurred in the same timeframe, and in conjunction with the same individuals involved in the transactions for which Veliu’s codefendants were charged. That Curanovic was charged with a crime of violence countered his concerns about undue spillover prejudice arising from the weapons trafficking count.