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United States v. Oviedo

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
525 F.2d 881 (5th Cir. 1976)


An undercover narcotics agent contacted Oviedo (defendant) to purchase heroin at a predetermined place and time. After Oviedo handed over the substance to the agent, a field test was performed on it with a positive result. Oviedo was then arrested. After his arrest, a search warrant was issued for Oviedo’s house where agents found two additional pounds of the substance hidden in a television set. Thereafter, chemical analysis performed on the substance revealed that it was not heroin, but in fact procaine hydrochloride, an uncontrolled substance. Oviedo was charged with attempted distribution of heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C.A. § 846. At trial, Oviedo testified that he was aware that the substance was not heroin and was simply trying to “rip off” the agent in an effort to make a few thousand dollars. The jury, however, did not believe Oviedo and convicted him. Oviedo appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Dyer, J.)

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