N.D.Ill.: Def’s alleged torture during arrest in Mexico with DEA there and allegedly watching didn’t justify dismissal under CA7 precedent

Defendant claimed that he was arrested in Mexico by their military with the DEA on the scene, and that he was allegedly tortured by the Mexican military. His outrageous conduct for dismissal claim is foreclosed by Seventh Circuit case law. United States v. Leon, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154787 (N.D. Ill. Sep. 11, 2018):

Here, Defendant raises no allegation that the government entrapped him into importing multi-kilogram quantities of drugs into the United States or otherwise had any involvement in the events underlying the indictment. Rather, Defendant’s argument is that misconduct surrounding his arrest in Mexico months after the indictment was issued by a grand jury warrants dismissal of the charges. The Court finds nothing in the law of the Seventh Circuit to support such a holding. Indeed, the Seventh Circuit expressly rejected an argument by a defendant that misconduct related to the government’s efforts to bring him to trial warranted dismissal of the charges. See Matta-Ballesteros v. Henman, 896 F.2d 255, 260-62 (7th Cir. 1990). That case involved allegations of abuse very similar to those raised by Defendant. Id. at 256.

In Matta-Ballesteros, the defendant, a Honduran citizen, claimed that he had been arrested in his home in Honduras by Honduran military, who were “accompanied by at least four U.S. Marshals.” Id. He claimed that, at the direction of the U.S. Marshals, members of the Honduran military tortured him during his arrest and detention, and that he was “severely beaten” and had his feet and testicles shocked with a “stun gun,” Id. Notwithstanding the disturbing nature of these allegations, the Seventh Circuit held that the defendant could not pursue dismissal of the charges based on these allegations. Id. at 260-61. While noting that the defendant might have some civil remedy available, the Seventh Circuit observed that “[f]or the past 100 years, the Supreme Court has consistently held that the manner in which a defendant is brought to trial does not affect the ability of the government to try him.” Id. at 260. It is true, as Defendant points out, that the defendant in Matta-Ballesteros did not specifically raise an outrageous government conduct defense. See id. at 263 n.9. But the Seventh Circuit expressly noted the difficulty he would have faced if he had. Id. In addition to questioning the “continued vitality” of the outrageous government conduct defense in light of Supreme Court cases decided after Russell, the Seventh Circuit observed that “[t]o the best of our knowledge, there are no cases that apply the outrageous government conduct defense to allegations of torture such as those in the present case.” Id.

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