Monday, June 25, 2018

US v. Vera, No. 16-50364 (6-25-18)(Owens w/Wardlaw & Nguyen). 

The 9th vacated and remanded a drug conspiracy sentence because the court relied upon evidence of questionable value in determining drug quantities attributable to each conspirator. Specifically, the district court relied primarily upon plea agreements of the co-conspirators, who pointed fingers at co-conspirators.

This was a second remanding. The first time the 9th remanded because the Court relied upon a FBI agent’s so-called expert testimony as to what wiretapped conversations meant. The evidence there was unreliable.

This time, the use of co-conspirators plea agreements were questionable. The statements were not self-inculpatory; they were products of negotiation and the government had an interest in skewing.  The government could have called the co-conspirators or provided other corroborating evidence besides the pleas or complaints or reports.

The decision is here:


Post a Comment

<< Home