News & Analysis as of

Drug Trafficking

Report Exposes Mexico's Anti-Corruption Flaws

by Holland & Knight LLP on

A new report shows that Mexico did the right thing by passing a new national anti-corruption legal regime (the National Anti-Corruption System) in 2016. The new report, from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF, aka GAFI),...more

Transnational Criminal Organizations Increasingly Using Bitcoin As Money Laundering Vehicle

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

In its recently-published 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA), the Drug Enforcement Administration reports that drug trafficking organizations are turning to Bitcoin and other virtual currencies to enable easy...more

Supreme Court to Hear Microsoft Emails Case

In an order issued on October 16, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in United States v. Microsoft Corporation, a case with potentially far-reaching implications for the privacy of electronic data maintained by...more

Circuit Sidesteps Interesting Suppression Questions in Body-Packing Case

The Second Circuit issued a published opinion on September 11, 2017 in United States v. Pabon, No. 16-1754 (Cabranes, Livingston, Pauley), a case arising from an interesting set of facts involving the warrantless arrest of...more

Unique Issues in Sentencing for Money Laundering Convictions: The “Business of Laundering Funds” and “Sophisticated Laundering”...

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

Most individuals convicted of federal money laundering charges face prison time. These prison sentences are often increased by the judge’s determination that certain sentencing enhancements unique to this crime apply. ...more

Second Circuit Remands for Resentencing to Consider Role Reduction under Amendment 794

On September 11, 2017, the Second Circuit (Parker, Carney, Stanceu) reversed by summary order the sentence of the defendant in United States v. Soborski (16-cr-3369). The panel remanded the case to the U.S. District Court...more

Affirmance in Drug Conspiracy Trial Considers Sufficiency of the Indictment and Evidentiary Rulings

United States v. Gill, No. 15-4444-cr(L) (Livingston, Chin, Carney), a decision in a drug trafficking and murder conspiracy appeal, offers several interesting rulings on evidentiary and trial practice issues that arose out of...more

OFAC Targets Alleged Mexican Drug Boss and “His Vast Network,” Including International Soccer Superstar

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

Describing him as a “longtime Mexican Drug Kingpin,” the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of Treasury has designated Raul Flores Hernandez and the “Flores Drug Trafficking Organization,” or ...more

Second Circuit Holds That “Rule of Specialty” Objection Belongs to Nations, Not Defendants

Last week, in Barinas v. United States, the Second Circuit held that a defendant who is extradited to the United States to face charges, pursuant to agreement with the asylum nation, may not raise the objection that the...more

Convictions Affirmed in Drug Robbery Conspiracy

In United States v. Martinez, Nos. 14-2759, 15-511, 15-836, 15-1001, 15-3699 (Kearse, Jacobs, Pooler), issued on July 7, the Second Circuit affirmed the convictions of several co-conspirators in a decade-long scheme where at...more

Sanctions Round Up: First Half

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

The first six months of the Trump Administration saw several notable developments for US sanctions, with particular implications for Russia and Iran. The Administration also declared a shift in US policy toward Cuba. ...more

“Toxic” Hearsay Upends Murder Convictions for Member of Bronx Drug Trafficking Crew

In a rare move, the Second Circuit (Jacobs, Pooler, Hall) overturned Armani Cummings’s convictions for murder, conspiracy, and multiple drugs and firearms offenses. The Court reversed based on violation of the hearsay...more

In Lengthy Opinion, Second Circuit Affirms “Silk Road” Conviction and Life Sentence

On May 31, 2017, the Second Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in the “Silk Road” case, United States v. Ulbricht, (15-1815-cr) (2nd Cir. May 31, 2017) (Newman, Lynch, Droney). The panel affirmed Ulbricht’s conviction...more

Court Upholds Murder-for-Hire Conviction, Rejects Fourth Amendment Challenges

The murder-for-hire statute makes it a crime to agree to commit murder in exchange for “anything of pecuniary value.” 18 U.S.C. § 1958. The Second Circuit has understood this language to require that, at the time of the...more

An Empty Bargain: Circuit Overturns Guilty Plea Entered By Defendant Unapprised of Mandatory Life Sentence

In a decision dated March 10, 2017, the Circuit issued a blistering decision vacating the district court’s denial of the defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea in United States v. Johnson, No. 15-3498-cr (Jacobs, J.,...more

The Philippines Now a “Major Money-Laundering Country”

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

The Philippines has been identified by the U.S. as a “major money-laundering country” in the 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (“Report”), published this month. The country now joins 87 others as one “whose...more

In Summary Order, Court Vacates Above-Guidelines Sentence for Lack of Justification, But Denies Request to Remand to Different...

Franco Lupoi was sentenced to 156 months on money laundering conspiracy and heroin trafficking conspiracy charges, in excess of the applicable Guidelines range and the 135 month sentence requested by the government. In its...more

INTERPOL Red Notice removal cases- a sample of results from 2016, part 2

by Estlund Law, P.A. on

As the year begins, and changes appear to be coming to both INTERPOL and the CCF, Red Notice Law Journal reviews some highlights from the CCF’s activity in 2016. Second case study: Americas-based client with Red Notice...more

Health Alert (Australia) 26 September 2016

by DLA Piper on

In This Issue: - Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. - Excerpts from Judgments: Queensland - 10 September 2016 - Inquest into the death of C - C was a 14 year old girl with multiple physical and...more

You’ve Got (Foreign) Mail: Can Law Enforcement Get to it?

Even though Microsoft is a U.S. corporation subject to domestic subpoenas and warrants, prosecutors are not entitled to emails stored on its servers abroad, the Second Circuit ruled last week in Microsoft Corp. v. United...more

Enforcement Week I: Troubling Questions Raised in HSBC Prosecution

by Thomas Fox on

We had an interesting week of anti-corruption enforcement actions last week, both in the US and the UK. We have now had four Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement actions since the announcement of the Depart Of...more

International Litigation Update: United States Supreme Court Limits Extraterritorial Reach of RICO Claims

by King & Spalding on

On June 20, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. European Community, holding that provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) apply to conduct that occurs...more

DOJ dismisses last of the drug trafficking charges against FedEx: two key takeaways

by DLA Piper on

Recently, four days into what had been scheduled to be a seven-week trial, the US Department of Justice voluntarily dismissed the last of the criminal charges it had brought in its money laundering and drug trafficking...more

DOJ Folds Criminal Case Against Federal Express

by Michael Volkov on

In another set back last week, after a contentious criminal prosecution, the government dismissed its criminal charges against Federal Express. DOJ indicted Federal Express for drug trafficking relating to shipping of illegal...more

Recreational Cannabis — Section 280E and Tax Efficient Structuring

Recreational cannabis businesses operate in a world of conflicting state and federal laws. Several states have legalized recreational cannabis, yet, under federal law, cannabis remains an illegal Schedule I drug under the...more

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