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United States v. Shukri

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

January 4, 2000, Argued ; March 15, 2000, Decided

No. 99-2473

Opinion

 [*414]  Kanne, Circuit Judge. Wahid Shukri was arrested and convicted for his participation in a string of cartage thefts. He now presents two issues on appeal. First, he argues that the district court wrongly denied his motion in limine to exclude inculpatory hearsay evidence under Rule 804 (b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Second, he argues that his trial counsel was so incompetent that he was denied the right to effective assistance of counsel as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. The district court properly admitted the inculpatory hearsay statements despite Shukri's motion in limine, and Shukri's counsel was not constitutionally defective. We affirm Shukri's conviction.

I. History

During the winter of 1997-98, the FBI tracked a string of merchandise thefts around the Chicago suburbs, including the theft of a trailer load of Black and Decker appliances from a lot in Alsip,  [**2]  Illinois, on January 5, 1998. Luckily for law enforcement, the trailer was equipped with a tracking device, and the FBI traced the device to nearby Orland Park, Illinois. The tracking device led the FBI to a neighborhood filled with storage warehouses, so the FBI spent several days canvassing the area in search of the trailer. The FBI checked every warehouse except one guarded by a particularly recalcitrant custodian who refused to permit them entry. Having found nothing inside the other warehouses in the vicinity, the FBI scouted the perimeter of the unsearched warehouse awaiting the arrival of the thieves, who the FBI predicted would return to reclaim their loot. Shortly thereafter, on January 7, 1998, Wahid Shukri and his associates Jihad Kartoum and Abed Burkan appeared on the scene.

When the FBI spotted them, Shukri and his friends were feverishly loading a rental truck with Black and Decker appliances stored in the warehouse. Upon further investigation, the FBI discovered that the threesome possessed 1,900 cartons of stolen merchandise, worth more than $ 100,000, comprising goods taken in four separate thefts during the previous two months. Plastic shrink wrapping and product [**3]  labels were strewn all about the warehouse, and Shukri had $ 2,800 cash in his wallet. FBI agents arrested Shukri, Kartoum and Burkan for possession of stolen merchandise.

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207 F.3d 412 *; 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 3867 **; 53 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. (Callaghan) 737

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Wahid Shukri, Defendant-Appellant.

Prior History:  [**1]  Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 98 CR 14. David H. Coar, Judge.

Disposition: Shukri's conviction and the district court's denial of Shukri's motion in limine AFFIRMED.

CORE TERMS

warehouse, motion in limine, district court, penal interest, arrested, hearsay, cross-examination, declarant, stolen, thefts, hearsay statement, reliable, stolen merchandise, ineffective, merchandise, waived, corroborating circumstances, hearsay testimony, questions

Evidence, Hearsay, Rule Components, Statements, Exceptions, General Overview, Statements Against Interest, Criminal Law & Procedure, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Family Records & Statements, Examination, Cross-Examinations, Scope, De Novo Review, Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, Counsel, Effective Assistance of Counsel, Trials, Appeals