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Criminal Law Keyed to Osler
Cuellar v. US
Defendant was stopped in southern Texas for driving erratically. The defendant did not speak English, but handed the officer papers that included bus tickets from a border town to San Antonio the day before, and another bus ticket from San Antonio to Big Springs Texas the day of. The defendant said he was on a 3-day business trip but had no extra clothing or luggage and conflicting itinerary. Defendant had a wad of cash in his pocket that smelled of marijuana.
Defendant consented to a search of his vehicle. While this was happening, the defendant was praying and made the sign of a cross, which the officer took to mean he was in trouble. A drug dog alerted to the rear of the car and after moving the floorboard, $81,000 in cash was found wrapped in animal hair and duct tape in small bags. The defendant said that he often transports goats in the Volkswagen Beetle (very small car), hence the animal hair. There were signs that the place the money was hid was recently created and covered up. Defendant was arrested and said that if he did not return soon his family would be in danger. He was convicted, but the Circuit Court reversed his conviction finding the purpose of the transportation itself must be to conceal or disguise the unlawful proceeds which was not the case here.
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