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United States v. Ortega

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
44 F.3d 505 (1995)


Facts

Jesus Villasenor and Mario Gomez made a deal to sell heroin to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent and an FBI informant. The heroin was in Villasenor’s van, and the four men went to the van to complete the sale. Agustin Ortega (defendant) was waiting in the van. Villasenor asked Ortega “where is it?” and Ortega reply “over there” while pointing to a place on the floor of the van. Villasenor picked up a bag from that spot and opened the bag. The informant tasted the substance in the bag and stated that it was heroin. Ortega may have replied to the informant’s statement that the product was heroin with the comment “the best.” Ortega also commented on the smell of the heroin coming from the opened bag. Ortega was charged and convicted of aiding and abetting the possession of heroin with the intent to distribute. Ortega appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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