Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,400+ case briefs...

United States v. Contento-Pachon

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
723 F.2d 691 (1984)



Juan Manuel Contento-Pachon (defendant) was a taxi driver in Bogota, Colombia. One of his passengers (Jorge) offered to hire him as a private driver. Contento-Pachon agreed to meet him to discuss the details. Rather than discussing the job, Jorge asked Contento-Pachon to transport cocaine-filled balloons to the United States. When Contento-Pachon refused, Jorge recited details about Contento-Pachon’s private life that Contento-Pachon had never divulged to him. Jorge threatened Contento-Pachon that if he refused to cooperate, his wife and child would die. Contento-Pachon agreed to cooperate. About three weeks later, Contento-Pachon swallowed 120 balloons of cocaine and arranged to land first in Panama and then the United States. He was told that he would be watched at all times, and that his failure to follow directions would lead to the deaths of him and his family. Prior to the trip, Contento-Pachon did not go to the police because he feared they were corrupt. He did not go to police in Panama for the same reason, and because he feared for his family’s safety. Upon arriving in the United States, customs x-rayed Contento-Pachon’s stomach and found the cocaine. Contento-Pachon was charged with unlawful possession of narcotics with intent to distribute. Contento-Pachon attempted to submit the defenses of duress and necessity. The trial court excluded both.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Boochever, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Coyle, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 497,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 497,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,400 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial