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Florida Defendant Loses Appeal in Cocaine Case, Despite Argument that Confidential Informant Coerced Him to Commit Crimes

In a recent case before a district court in Florida, the defendant asked the court to reconsider his convictions for trafficking in cocaine and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine. After the defendant was charged with drug-related crimes, his case went to trial, and a jury found him guilty as charged. On appeal, the defendant argued that the confidential informant working against him illegally offered sex in exchange for his criminal activity, therefore coercing him to sell cocaine and leading him to his guilty conviction. Reviewing the record of the case, the district court eventually denied the defendant’s appeal.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendant in this case met the confidential informant several years ago without knowing she was secretly working for the government. The defendant and the informant became close friends, and the informant supposedly told the defendant that they could be sole mates. Over time, the defendant began trusting the informant, and he believed they were in an intimate relationship.

After several months of this relationship, the defendant brought the informant with him to a meeting in which he would exchange money for a kilo of cocaine. Unbeknownst to the defendant, the drug dealer was actually an undercover officer, and eventually, the State charged the defendant for his participation in the cocaine dealing.

The case went to trial, where a jury unanimously found the defendant guilty. He promptly appealed.

The Decision

On appeal, the defendant argued that the confidential informant used sex to convince him to commit the crimes for which he was charged and found guilty. He said that because of the informant’s promises to have sex with him, he participated in the drug dealing. This behavior, argued the defendant, qualified as “entrapment,” which is when the government tricks an individual into committing a crime.

The court examined the defendant’s argument but ultimately disagreed. According to the court, the defendant had been inconsistent in his testimony about whether he and the informant were indeed in a romantic relationship. His position on this issue was always changing, which made his testimony on the subject less credible. Therefore, said the court, the trial court’s decision to not consider this testimony was reasonable, and the defendant’s guilty convictions should remain in place.

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