Blind Mule Case To Be Argued By Russell Babcock Before High Court
On February 5th 2013, San Diego criminal defense lawyer Russell Babcock will argue the case of United States v. Flores, 11-50431 before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Mr. Flores, a man with no criminal record, an who was about to retire for a $100,000 a year job, was sentenced to 16 years, three months in jail for being convicted of transporting one package of a few pounds of methamphetamine from Tijuana to the United States.
At trial, where he was represented by another attorney, the evidence never came out why Mr. Flores was in Mexico—certainly not to smuggle drugs. He has always contended that he was a blind mule and that the packages were planted in his vehicle by a friend–to be retrived later. Mr. Flores is the quintessential blind mule.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the high federal court, which decides important criminal cases from California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii, will hear this appeal. They reqested that the government and attorney Russell Babcock argue this case in Pasadena California, showing their interest in this case.
Not only will they decide whether Mr. Flores will get a new trial but they will decide two very important legal matters, which may highly influence future blind mule cases.
First San Diego federal criminal defense attorney Russell Babcock will argue that it constitutes error for the government to be allowed, as they were in this case to present testimony from ICE agents that essentially blind mules do not exist, when the government itself has released documents that show that there have been many cases of innocent individuals who have had drugs planted in their vehicles.
Second, Mr. Flores was prevented from presenting evidence of his lack of motive to smuggle drugs because of his relative wealth and gainful employment. Mr. Flores should have been allowed to tell the jury that he not only did not smuggle drugs, but had no financial reason to do so.
This is a very important case, not only for Mr. Flores, but for all future blind mule cases. It is hoped that the court will say both that it was a mistake to not allow Mr. Flores to present testimony of his lack of motive and for the government to present evidence that they knew was not true.
A tape of Mr. Babcock’s oral argument should become available on the Ninth Circuit website. It will be posted here later, if possible.
Justice and fairness requieres that that in San Diego and other federal districts that the prosecution stops misleading juries by presenting false testimony regarding blind mules, and that the accused be fully allowed to tell his or her side of the story. At our law offices we will continue to hold the United States government to a high standard of truth telling during jury trials.