U.S. v. Castro-Carbajal, 439 F.3d 1149 (9th Cir. 2006)

This case involved alleged violations of Title 46 U.S.C. 1903 (Maritime Drug Enforcement Act — MDEA), involving 2,000 kilograms of cocaine located in a speed boat seized off the coast of Colombia by U.S. authorities.  This difficult case involved multiple defendants and complex jurisdictional and other legal issues, and after a jury trial, resulted in convictions.  The convictions were reversed on March 14, 2006 by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal and Mr. Cortez’s client, a simple fisherman, returned to his home in Colombia after a favorable plea agreement.