United States v. Ogando, No. 05-0236-cr (2d Cir. October 20, 2008) (Kearse, Calabresi, Sack, CJJ)
Francisco Ogando, a licensed livery cab driver, was convicted of participating in an ecstasy importation and distribution conspiracy. On appeal, the circuit held that the evidence was insufficient.
Angel Gomez, a drug courier, was arrested at Kennedy Airport with ecstasy that he had imported from Belgium, and agreed to cooperate. He told the agents that he was supposed to call “Frank” – defendant Ogando – on arrival. He did so, and Ogando said he was right near the airport. Ogando found Gomez and brought him to his car. They did not discuss drugs, money or where they would be going, and were arrested before they got into Ogando’s car.
Ogando was found to have a cellphone – Gomez had been given that number by his handlers – a business card that mentioned Brussels and …