United States v. Ramos-Gonzalez, No. 10-1318 (1st Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
After attempting to stop defendant for driving with illegal tinted windows, police gave chase and stopped his truck. Inspecting the interior of the abandoned truck, police found two wrapped blocks of what was later found to be cocaine. The chemist who tested the blocks was not available for trial, due to mental illness, and the officers had not observed the testing. Testimony was supplied by another chemist. Defendant was convicted of possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine (21 U.S.C. 841). The First Circuit vacated and remanded for a new trial, citing the Confrontation Clause. There were several questions about the reliability of the testing that the witness was unable to answer; the error was not harmless.