DISMISSAL: Importation of 1,500 Pounds of Marijuana (U.S. v. J.L.)

J.L. was a trucker and hauled trailers loaded with fresh produce from Mexico into the United States. On the day of his arrest, J.L. was hauling a load of chili peppers from Tijuana to Los Angeles. When he arrived at the border, the Custom’s officer noticed that J.L. was nervous and wouldn’t make eye contact.

J.L.’s paperwork also contained discrepancies. The Customs officer referred J.L.’s truck for an x-ray. The x-ray showed an anomaly in one of the pallets of peppers. When the officers searched the trailer they found about 1,500 pounds of marijuana concealed in one of the pallets of produce. J.L. was charged with importing marijuana for distribution.

He faced a mandatory minimum sentence of five years if convicted. After we thoroughly investigated the case—including interviewing several witnesses in Mexico—the government agreed to dismiss the case.