Brown was returning to the US from Bermuda when customs
agents found drugs in her luggage.
Brown claimed no knowledge of how the drugs got into her
At trial, the prosecution offered the testimony of a DEA
agent as an expert witness to testify that Brown had $217k of drugs
in her luggage, and there was no way that anyone would entrust so much
drugs to an unknowing carrier.
Brown objected on the grounds that the testimony was
The DEA agent was relying on information provided to him
by other DEA agents. He had never actually bought drugs in Bermuda.
The Trial Judge permitted the testimony to be entered
Under cross-examination, Brown attempted to introduce
pricing information to show that the drugs were worth significantly less
The prosecution objected, claiming that the price list
The DEA agent had not used the price list in preparing
The Trial Judge excluded the cross-examination and Brown's
The Trial Court found Brown guilty of smuggling drugs.
The Appellate Court affirmed.
The Appellate Court found that the Trial Judge did not
err in allowing the DEA agent to testify based on information he did not
FRE 703 allows experts to rely upon data which
itself would not have been admissible, if this data is "of a type
reasonably relied upon by experts in the particular field in forming
Basically, even though the evidence was basically
hearsay, it was ok, since DEA agents often rely on each other for
The Appellate Court found that the Trial Judge properly
excluded the cross examination and the price list because they might have
misled the jury and were therefore excludable under FRE 403.