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United States v. Fitz

317 F.3d 878 (2003)

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United States v. Fitz

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

317 F.3d 878 (2003)

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Facts

Edwardo Fitz (defendant) traveled with Jose Vega and Jorge Preciado from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Grand Forks, Michigan, in a Honda Civic and a Nissan Pathfinder. The Pathfinder concealed drugs in a hidden compartment. While in Grand Forks, Preciado met with a police informant in a restaurant parking lot to discuss the sale of the drugs. Preciado and Fitz then left the parking lot in the Honda Civic and were subsequently arrested. The United States (plaintiff) charged Fitz with conspiracy and distribution of methamphetamine. At trial, the evidence showed that the police informant never spoke to Fitz. There was no evidence that Fitz knew there were drugs in the Pathfinder’s hidden compartment, that he had ridden in the Pathfinder, or that he understood English, the language in which Preciado communicated with the informant. Finally, there was no evidence that the informant knew Fitz or had previously met or spoken to him. Fitz was convicted on all counts and he appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Heaney, J.)

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