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US v. Cardales-Luna, 08-1028

Conviction of defendant for drug related offenses in international waters

US v. Cardales-Luna, 08-1028, concerned a challenge to a defendant's conviction for drug related offenses, arising from a search of a Bolivian flag vessel in international waters by the United States Coast Guard.

In affirming the conviction, the court held that defendant's argument that the government proved only that he was present on a vessel that happened to be carrying drugs, not that he knowingly possessed those drugs with the intent to distribute is without merit as the evidence against defendant was sufficient to sustain his conviction.  The court also held that the U.S. Coast Guard Commander's terse certification was sufficient to establish that the vessel was subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

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