United States v. Jeri

869 F.3d 1247 (2017)

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United States v. Jeri

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
869 F.3d 1247 (2017)

Facts

Max Jeri (defendant) was charged with importing and possessing cocaine with intent to distribute. Jeri was found to have 7.95 kilograms of cocaine in his luggage when he arrived in Miami on a flight from Peru. Jeri’s defense was that he was unaware that the cocaine was in his luggage. At trial, the prosecution (plaintiff) called federal agent Escobar as a lay witness. Escobar had several years of experience interviewing drug couriers as a law-enforcement agent and had interviewed Jeri prior to trial. The prosecution asked Escobar if, based on his experience, he thought that Jeri was telling the truth in his interview. Escobar replied, over Jeri’s objection, that he did not. The interview had included questions about where Jeri picked up the luggage, what he did with it, and who owned it. Jeri was convicted, and he appealed, arguing that Escobar was improperly permitted to opine on an ultimate issue in the case.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Marcus, J.)

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