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United States v. Recio

United States Supreme Court
537 U.S. 270 (2003)


Facts

The police seized a large amount of drugs from a truck. The truck drivers cooperated with the police and agreed to continue on to the truck’s destination and meet Francisco Jimenez Recio and Adrian Lopez-Meza (defendants), so they could pick up the drugs as planned. The truck drivers did so and transferred the drugs to the defendants, who were subsequently pulled over and arrested. The defendants were charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute drugs. A jury convicted the defendants. The trial judge ordered a new trial, and the second jury also convicted the defendants. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that a conspiracy terminates when the government intervenes, defeating the conspiracy’s objective. The court concluded that there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to show that the defendants had joined the conspiracy before the government seized the drugs. The United States petitioned the United States Supreme Court for certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Breyer, J.)

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