U.S. v. Ramirez-Fuentes

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Criminal Court
Case Number: 
No. 12-1494
Decision Date: 
January 3, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ind., Hammond Div.
In prosecution on drug distribution and related firearms charges, Dist. Ct. did not err in admitting evidence from police officer who indicated that acts of violence were typically linked to drug deals, even though defendant argued that said evidence was irrelevant to charged offenses. Said testimony was relevant to instant charge of possession of firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crime because it allowed jury to properly infer that firearms were being used in instant case to protect drugs from potential theft. Dist. Ct. erred, though, in permitting officer to make references to “Mexican methamphetamine” being produced by “Mexican nationals” since said references to defendant’s nationality posed risk that racial bias might play role in jury’s verdict. However, error was harmless where defendant gave statement admitting to possession of both methamphetamine and firearms.