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The U.S. Supreme Court on April 5 agreed to hear argument next term on these two cases: DEFENSES In Pasquantino v. U.S., No. 03-725, the court will decide whether the federal wire fraud statute authorizes criminal prosecution of a scheme to avoid payment of excise duties and tax revenues owed to Canada on the importation and sale of liquor. Three Americans, David Pasquantino, Carl Pasquantino and Arthur Hilts, were convicted of using interstate wires to perpetrate a scheme to defraud Canada and the province of Ontario of excise taxes due on the importation and sale of liquor. On appeal, the trio argued that under Maryland common law, they could not be prosecuted for denying a foreign sovereign of its property. But last year, an en banc 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that argument. SEARCH AND SEIZURE In Illinois v. Caballes, No. 03-923, the justices will decide whether the Fourth Amendment requires reasonable articulable suspicion to justify using a drug-detection dog to sniff a vehicle during a legitimate traffic stop. In 1998, Roy Caballes was stopped for speeding by an Illinois state trooper. A member of the state drug-interdiction unit heard the radio call and, without invitation, brought his drug-sniffing dog to the scene. The dog reacted to a scent emanating from the trunk of Caballes’ car, and a quantity of marijuana was then found there. Caballes was convicted on one count of marijuana trafficking, assessed a “street value” fine of $256,136 and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Reversing, a divided Illinois Supreme Court said the marijuana evidence should have been suppressed because the officer had no articulable suspicion to conduct a drug investigation.

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