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US v. Caruto, No. 09-50309

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By FindLaw Staff on December 09, 2010 10:25 PM

Cocaine Importation Conviction Affirmed

In US v. Caruto, No. 09-50309, the court affirmed defendant's conviction for importation of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, 1) the district court's instruction to the grand jury did not say that voting was jurors' exclusive recourse or alter the basic message conveyed by the instruction approved in Navarro-Vargas; 2) even if the grand jury might have been misled, that error would not justify reversal of defendant's conviction now; and 3) the entirety of the court's instruction emphatically underscored the grand jury's independent role.

  • As the court wrote:  "Elide Caruto was convicted of importation of cocaine and of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. She appeals from the district court's denial of her motion to dismiss the indictment against her. She principally challenges four instructions given to the grand jury, claiming that each violated the Grand Jury Clause of the Fifth Amendment. We
    affirm."

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