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United States v. Delgado

364 Fed. Appx. 876 (2010)

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United States v. Delgado

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

364 Fed. Appx. 876 (2010)

Facts

Border-patrol agents inspected Juan Antonio Delgado’s (defendant) tractor trailer after a dog alerted to it. Agents discovered 15 undocumented immigrants hidden under a blue tarp inside the trailer. Two of the immigrants, sisters Eusebia and Luisa Aviles-Vences, became material witnesses. The agents brought each sister separately to view Delgado; Luisa identified Delgado as the driver of the tractor trailer, but Eusebia was unable to say whether Delgado was the driver. Both sisters provided general identifying information for the driver that matched Delgado (e.g., average height, baseball cap, moustache), but it is unclear whether the sisters gave descriptions before or after police brought them to identify Delgado. The sisters claimed that they initially saw Delgado when they entered the trailer in Mexico, and they saw Delgado again a day or so later when the tractor trailer stopped due to maintenance issues. Delgado was charged with crimes related to transporting undocumented immigrants. Delgado moved to suppress the sisters’ pretrial identifications, arguing that the identification procedure was unduly suggestive and violated his due-process rights. The district court denied Delgado’s motion, and both sisters testified at trial that they were sure that Delgado was the driver. The jury convicted Delgado, and he appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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