706 F.2d 145 (5th Cir. 1983), 82-1622, United States v. Rey

Docket Nº:82-1622.
Citation:706 F.2d 145
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Joseph J. REY, Sr., Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:May 16, 1983
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Page 145

706 F.2d 145 (5th Cir. 1983)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Joseph J. REY, Sr., Defendant-Appellant.

No. 82-1622.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

May 16, 1983

Page 146

Raymond C. Caballero, El Paso, Tex., for defendant-appellant.

Sidney Powell, Ricardo Gonzalez, Asst. U.S. Attys., San Antonio, Tex., Mervyn Hamburg, Atty., Appellate Sect., Crim. Div., Washington, D.C., for plaintiff-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.

Before THORNBERRY, GEE and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.


The case presented is hard, though not difficult. Joseph J. Rey, Sr., a veteran El Paso attorney and minor civic leader, stands convicted of conspiracy to possess heroin with intent to distribute it. For this crime, he has been sentenced to a term of four years imprisonment and a substantial fine. His most serious complaint is that he was entrapped, or perhaps incriminated as a result of outrageous conduct, by government agents. We affirm.

Viewed most favorably to the verdict of conviction, the evidence established that in 1979 Rey received a telephone call from one Uranga, a former client and sometime government informant. Uranga, a shady character with police connections on both sides of the Border, was seeking assistance with immigration problems, Rey's legal specialty. In the course of this conversation, Rey inquired whether Uranga "could get ahold of any drugs for him," later specifying heroin. 1

Uranga replied that he could do so, would get in touch with an unnamed drug source, and would call Rey later. Instead, he reported their conversation to the Drug Enforcement Administration, later agreeing to cooperate in its investigation of Rey. In the days ensuing, Uranga nagged Rey with many telephone calls, met with him on one occasion, and agreed to another meeting. It is fair to say that Rey's attitude appears to have been lukewarm. After postponements, a meeting took place at the Border. In a recorded conversation, Rey asked about

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the drugs, Uranga replying that two kilograms of 65 percent purity were available at $45,000 each. To this Rey responded that he knew nothing of drug quality and was only someone who had purchase money. Arrangements were made for further negotiations to be carried on between Uranga and a trusted employee of Rey's, more knowledgeable in...

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