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US v. Tavarez, 09-3879

By FindLaw Staff on November 15, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Defendant's conviction for distributing methamphetamine affirmed

US v. Tavarez, 09-3879, concerned defendant's challenge to his conviction for distributing methamphetamine, claiming that the district court erred by refusing to give a "missing witness" instruction and that without the informant's testimony, the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction. 

In affirming the conviction, the court held that the district court did not err by refusing a missing witness instruction as the defendant failed to show that the confidential informant was available only to the government.  The court also held that, although the case against the defendant was not overwhelming, the jury could reasonably reach its guilty verdict on the circumstantial evidence presented here.

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