In United States v. Estrada, No. 17-15405 (Aug. 13, 2020) (Jill Pryor, Rosenbaum, Branch), the Court affirmed the defendants' convictions for smuggling baseball players out of Cuba into the United States.
Third, the Court found no abuse of discretion in five evidentiary rulings. Two witnesses were permitted to give lay (as opposed to expert) testimony about government unblocking licenses and visas. The court did not improperly limit the defendants’ ability to cross examine those two government witnesses about whether they acted in good faith to comply with government regulations. The court properly admitted evidence of uncharged violence and extortion because it was intrinsic evidence necessary to complete the story of the crimes. The court properly admitted hearsay under the co-conspirator exception. Finally, the court did not err by refusing to strike a government witness’ testimony because the court allowed the defendant to put on evidence showing that the witness had lied, and his credibility was a matter for the jury.