United States v. Rodriguez, No. 08-2805-cr (2d Cir. November 30, 2009) (Newman, Calabresi, Katzmann, CJJ)
This interesting opinion concludes that a dispute over a taxi fare did not violate the Hostage Taking Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1203.
In 2005, Azucena Gonzalez Mendez was smuggled into the United States from Mexico. She was driven from Arizona to Las Vegas, then flew to Long Island, where her husband, Julio Perez, who lived in New Jersey, was to meet her and drive her home. When she arrived at the airport, however, Mendez, could not find her husband.
Defendant Rodriguez saw Mendez and told her that it was not safe for her to wait in the airport, because there were immigration officers present. Rodriguez pretended to call Mendez’ husband, telling her that there was no answer, then offered to give her a ride. He brought her to a van, which was driven by …