Argued: March 30, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Western
District of North Carolina, at Charlotte. Max O. Cogburn,
Jr., District Judge. (3:15-cr-00040-MOC-DSC-1)
William Robinson Heroy, GOODMAN, CARR, LAUGHRUN, LEVINE &
GREENE, PLLC, Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellant.
Elizabeth Ray, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY,
Asheville, North Carolina, for Appellee.
Greene, GREENE & ASSOCIATES, INC., Charlotte, North
Carolina, for Appellant.
Westmoreland Rose, United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Charlotte, North Carolina, for
SHEDD, DUNCAN, and AGEE, Circuit Judges.
DUNCAN, Circuit Judge:
Gregory Garcia appeals his conviction on two counts of
unlawful procurement of naturalization, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 1425(a). On appeal, Garcia argues that the
district court erred by (1) denying his post-trial motions
for judgment of acquittal and a new trial, and (2) taking
judicial notice of a portion of the U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services' ("USCIS") website. For
the reasons that follow, we affirm.
jury convicted Garcia for giving false and misleading
statements about his criminal history during the
naturalization process, on or about November 9, 2006 (Count
1) and August 14, 2007 (Count 2). Garcia's appeal turns
on the sequence of the following relevant events, which we
recount in detail below: (1) on May 31, 2006, Garcia first
met with a USCIS officer; (2) on August 23, 2006 and
September 15, 2006, Garcia was indicted on and arrested for
federal fraud charges; (3) on November 9, 2006, Garcia
appeared for a follow-up meeting with a second USCIS officer;
and (4) on August 14, 2007, Garcia took his naturalization
immigrated to the United States in 1993 and became a lawful
permanent resident. In early 2005, he filed an application to
become a naturalized citizen. The naturalization process
required Garcia to submit a standardized application form
("Form N-400"), appear in person for questioning,
and pass tests designed to elicit his knowledge of U.S.
history and government, as well as written and spoken
31, 2006, Garcia appeared for an in-person meeting with USCIS
Officer Jason Rucienski. During the meeting, Officer
Rucienski tested Garcia on his civics and English knowledge,
and reviewed Garcia's criminal history. Garcia passed the
civics examination, but failed the language test. Officer
Rucienski provided Garcia with an "interview
results" form, explaining that Garcia had failed the
language test and would have a second chance to take it. J.A.
685. He also ...