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State v. Blanco

Florida District Court of Appeal, Fourth District
896 So.2d 900 (2005)


The State of Florida (plaintiff) prosecuted Julio Blanco (defendant) on illegal drug-related charges. The trial judge held a hearing on Blanco's pretrial motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that he was entrapped as a matter of law. Both the state and Blanco agreed that an undercover police officer investigating illegal drug activity entered a bar and sat down next to Blanco, one of the bar's customers. The officer had no particular reason to select Blanco as a companion, rather than some other customer, and Blanco had no prior history of illegal drug activity. The officer initiated a conversation with Blanco, and the encounter culminated in Blanco going into a storeroom, retrieving some drugs, and selling the drugs to the officer. Blanco testified that he misinterpreted the officer's behavior and speech during their conversation. The judge ruled that the evidence made out a prima facie showing of a baseless encounter that violated Blanco's due process rights, and that the state failed to rebut that showing by introducing any evidence that Blanco was predisposed rather than induced to commit a crime. The judge dismissed the case and the state appealed to the Florida District Court of Appeals. The district court initially upheld the judge's action, but granted the state's motion for rehearing en banc.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (May, J.)

Dissent (Farmer, C.J.)

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