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United States v. Sanchez

decided: July 26, 1965.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, APPELLEE,
v.
CARLOS SANCHEZ, A/K/A LOQUITO, T RAPAEL MOYA, APPELLANT



Waterman, Marshall and Anderson, Circuit Judges.

Author: Anderson

ANDERSON, Circuit Judge.

According to the Government, on the night of October 31, 1963 Leo Thomas, an undercover agent of the Federal Narcotics Bureau, in the company of another agent, one Biase, was introduced by an informant to the appellant, Sanchez, in the Chesterfield Bar on upper Broadway. Thomas told Sanchez that he wanted to purchase some cocaine, to which Sanchez replied that he did not have any at that time but that he could probably get some at a later date. However, when Sanchez made an estimate of what the price would be, Thomas asked if he could buy some marijuana. After some dickering over the price, the appellant agreed to sell Thomas a pound of marijuana for $140. The same parties met later that night at the corner of 140th Street and Broadway, and Thomas paid the agreed sum to Sanchez and the appellant delivered the pound of marijuana to the agent, Thomas.

The indictment in the instant case was returned on February 17, 1964. On February 26, Agent Thomas saw Sanchez uptown, and asked if appellant could get him any more "pot." Sanchez replied that he could not be of any help, as he had lost his connection. He was then placed under arrest.

Shortly thereafter, appellant was brought to the United States Courthouse at Foley Square where he was questioned by an Assistant United States Attorney. Thomas served as interpreter for Sanchez, who does not speak or understand English and who was not represented by counsel at this interrogation where he made several damaging admissions.

The prosecution's case at the trial was based on the testimony of the two agents. Sanchez testified in his own behalf and denied participating in the acts to which the agents had testified. He claimed that he had never seen Thomas before the night of the arrest and denied ever having participated in any narcotics transaction. On direct examination he testified in part as follows:

"Q. Now, I want you in your own words to tell me, if you ever saw Agent Thomas on or about October 31, 1963? A. I never saw him before. I only saw him when he caught me.

Q. And when did he arrest you? A. February 25th. I don't remember."

On cross-examination by Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuels, the following colloquy took place:

"Q. Did you ever see Agent Thomas [in the Chesterfield Bar]? A. I never saw Agent Thomas.

Q. Do you recall being asked certain questions and giving certain answers to me when you were brought over here after you were arrested? A. Yes I answer.

Q. Do you recall this question and this answer?

Mr. Krieger: If your Honor please, with respect to the question and answer I will insist upon a voir dire as to the facts and circumstances surrounding that particular incident of law enforcement.

Mr. Samuels: Your Honor, I think that the government is not offering it in evidence. I am just asking whether he recalls a question and whether he recalls an answer. Now, I think that he can answer yes or no, either he recalls it or he doesn't recall it, and I don't think for this purpose ...


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