United States v. Ahmadi, 032819 FED9, 18-10121

Docket Nº:18-10121
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JAWED AHMADI, Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Before: W. FLETCHER, WATFORD, and HURWITZ, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:March 28, 2019
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

JAWED AHMADI, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 18-10121

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

March 28, 2019

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Submitted March 12, 2019, San Francisco, California

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California James Donato, District Judge, Presiding, D.C. No. 4:16-cr-00403-JD-2

Before: W. FLETCHER, WATFORD, and HURWITZ, Circuit Judges.

MEMORANDUM [*]

Jawed Ahmadi pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 959(a), 960(a)(3), and 963. He contends that he was denied due process because the district court declined to engage in a pre-trial evidentiary determination whether his conduct had a sufficient nexus to the United States. Assuming arguendo that Ahmadi's guilty plea did not waive his ability to raise this argument on appeal, we affirm.

The charges against Ahmadi required the government to prove that he agreed to distribute heroin "intending, knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe that [it] will be unlawfully imported into the United States." 21 U.S.C. § 959(a). Proof of that element of the offense would have presumptively established a sufficient link to the United States to comport with the Due Process Clause. See United States v. Medjuck, 156 F.3d 916, 919 (9th Cir. 1998). Had Ahmadi chosen to go to trial, the jury would have been required to decide whether that element was proved beyond a...

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