United States v. Rodriguez, No. 13-1805 (1st Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted on three counts of distributing cocaine base. During trial, the court allowed testimony from a cooperating witness who purchased cocaine base from Defendant on three occasions, plus video and audiotapes of those transactions. The First Circuit affirmed the convictions, holding (1) the district court did not commit plain error in allowing the jury to review previously admitted audiotapes and video in the courtroom and in the presence of alternate jurors, the court, and the parties; (2) the district court did not commit plain error in failing to instruct the jury that it could not draw negative inferences from the fact that law enforcement officers possessed photographic images of Defendant; and (3) Defendant’s sentencing as a career offender did not violate the Sixth Amendment prohibition against judicial fact finding.