United States v. Bresil, No. 13-1066 (1st Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Defendant was one of seventeen passengers in an open boat that was intercepted by Coast Guard and Border Patrol officials twenty-three nautical miles off the coast of Puerto Rico. Defendant was subsequently convicted of illegally attempting to return to the United States after being deported. Defendant appealed, contending that he was wrongly prevented from arguing at trial that he was passing Puerto Rico on his way to the island of St. Maarten and did not intend to enter the United States illegally. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) the government plainly violated Fed. R. Crim. P. 16 by announcing its intention to call an expert witness only five days before trial, but Defendant was not prejudiced by the violation; (2) the government did not violate Defendant’s due process rights by destroying the boat, which contained evidence of whether it had enough fuel to travel to St. Maarten, and by deporting other passengers who, Defendant argued, would have testified the boat was traveling to St. Maarten; and (3) there was sufficient evidence to support Defendant’s conviction.