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United States v. Mejia

545 F.3d 179 (2008)

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United States v. Mejia

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

545 F.3d 179 (2008)

Facts

Ledwin Castro and David Vasquez (defendants) were indicted for various crimes relating to alleged criminal activity of the MS-13 gang, including racketeering involving murder. At trial, the prosecution (plaintiff) called police officer Hector Alicea as an expert witness. Alicea testified about MS-13’s history, structure, and activities in New York. Alicea testified that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had seized 15 to 25 guns from MS-13 members, that MS-13 members had been arrested for dealing drugs, and that MS-13 members had committed at least 18 murders. In forming his testimony, Alicea relied on a combination of custodial interrogations of MS-13 members, statements made by police officers, recorded telephone conversations, and personal research. Alicea was unable to specify which parts of his testimony were based on custodial interrogations and which were based on other sources. The defendants were convicted, and they appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hall, J.)

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