United States v. Enrique Valencia-Lopez (9th Cir. August 2020)
Appellate Procedure, Drug Offenses, Expert Witnesses, Ninth Circuit|
The Ninth Circuit vacated a defendant’s conviction for transporting marijuana and remanded for a new trial because the district court did not properly assess the reliability of the government’s expert witness, an ICE agent, who testified that the cartel does not employ unwilling couriers. The Court held that this was harmful error because it directly undercut the defendant’s credibility and duress defense.