United States v. Matos-Luchi

627 F.3d 1 (2010)

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United States v. Matos-Luchi

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
627 F.3d 1 (2010)

AR

Facts

The United States Coast Guard saw a plane drop several bales of drugs into the ocean. Matos-Luchi (defendant) and two other men approached the drop point in a yola, a small fishing boat, and started to collect the drugs. United States officers descended upon the scene in a helicopter. The crew fled in the yola, and the United States Coast Guard gave chase. Eventually, the yola had engine trouble and the crew and yola were picked up by the Dominican Coast Guard. Later that evening, United States officers boarded the Dominican Coast Guard boat to interview Matos-Luchi and the other yola crewmembers. The yola had no visible flag or insignia, and Matos-Luchi and the other crewmembers refused to claim any nationality for the yola. Eventually, Matos-Luchi and the others admitted that the yola had come from the Dominican Republic. Matos-Luchi and the other crewmembers were charged with violating the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act. Matos-Luchi and the others were convicted. Matos-Luchi and the others appealed, arguing that the United States did not have jurisdiction over the yola. The United States responded that the yola was stateless and thus subject to United States jurisdiction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Boudin, J.)

Dissent (Lipez, J.)

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