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Judge Baer http://nycourts.law.com/CourtDocumentViewer.asp?view=Document&docID=124384 CONVICTED of conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute five kilogram or more of cocaine, petitioner was sentenced to 151 months in prison. The government’s evidence proved a triangular cocaine distribution enterprise where drugs from Mexico entered into California. A cooperating witness testified that cocaine, wrapped in plastic “bricks,” was stored in the stairwell of a rented California “stash house” and that he and petitioner wore gloves when removing the bricks for transportation in a duffel bag. The landlord testified that upon re-entry the house looked untouched. The court denied petitioner habeas relief for failure to satisfy the Strickland test. In ruling counsel’s assistance not ineffective, the court noted that the trial record showed that counsel addressed the circumstances of the house’s rental. Further, given the care with which petitioner handled the cocaine the absence of drug residue at the house did not impugn the cooperating witness’ testimony. Also, even if counsel had committed the alleged errors and omissions, there was no reasonable probability that the trial’s outcome would have been different. The government’s “overwhelming” proof signified a “national, and likely international, narcotics conspiracy” and portrayed petitioner as the informed, savvy manager of the cocaine’s “weigh station” in Los Angeles.

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