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United States v. Cruz

363 F.3d 187 (2004)

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United States v. Cruz

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

363 F.3d 187 (2004)

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Facts

An individual offered to pay Tommy Cruz (defendant) $200 to assault several men. Cruz agreed and was instructed to attend several follow-up meetings to finalize the matter. Cruz attended the final meeting with Carlos Medina (defendant) who told Cruz that he needed to watch Medina’s back as he finalized a business deal at a local restaurant. At that time, agents with the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had Medina under surveillance for a pending drug transaction between Medina and a confidential informant named Enrique Ramos. Cruz and Luis Rodriguez (defendant) entered the restaurant together, ordered food, and sat at a table. Medina arrived at the restaurant and sat at a table alone with Ramos. Ramos and Medina discussed the narcotics transaction. Neither Cruz nor Rodriguez had any contact with Medina or Ramos while inside the restaurant. After their discussions, all parties left the restaurant separately. Shortly thereafter, Medina returned to the restaurant in a vehicle driven by Cruz. Medina directed Ramos to the car’s back seat where the drugs were located. After obtaining the drugs, DEA agents arrested Cruz and Medina. The United States (plaintiff) charged Cruz with possession with intent to distribute heroin. During a jury trial, a DEA agent testified that Cruz denied knowing anything about the drug deal, only knowing that it was a deal that Medina had initiated. Cruz was convicted. Cruz appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Meskill, J.)

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