Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, April 23, 2007

Garcia-Jaimes: Can't Possess Atlanta Weapon While in Texas

In U.S. v. Garcia-Jaimes, No. 05-14475 (April 19, 2007), the Court affirmed drug trafficking and money laundering convictions against multiple defendants, but reversed one gun possession conviction.
As to the money laundering convictions, the Court rejected the argument that the evidence was insufficient because the government only established that drug money was hidden from the police inside cars loaded on the car hauler destined from Mexico, and never showed that any funds were actually transported outside the United States. The Court stated that hiding money inside cars on car hauler trailers was an attempt to conceal the money’s association with an illegal enterprise. This sufficed for purposes of establishing guilt under 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(2)(B)(i).
The Court reversed one defendant’s gun possession conviction. This defendant stayed in Texas or Mexico at all relevant times; the weapons were seized in Atlanta. Thus, this defendant was not in a location where he exercised possession over the weapons.