United States v. Pelletier, No. 08-1167 (1st Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Defendant was sentenced to life in prison after conviction for his role in importing and distributing marijuana. The First Circuit affirmed. Defense counsel's cross examination of government witnesses opened the door to defendant's prior criminal history and that history was relevant to defendant's knowledge of the presence of contraband and intent to distribute it. Limiting instructions eliminated any potential prejudice. Hearsay testimony about jailhouse statements made by one of defendant's associates was admissible as a statement against penal interests with adequate corroboration and did not violate the confrontation clause. Any error in jury instructions did not affect the outcome.