After being caught in a sting operation aimed at exposing corrupt law enforcement officers, the defendant-appellant was convicted for multiple drug-trafficking offenses and three counts of federal programs bribery. The challenged drug convictions are affirmed, but the federal-programs bribery convictions must be vacated.
The government failed to produce evidence that the defendant’s services to a drug-trafficking organization had a value of $5,000 or more. There was no evidence other than the amount the defendant was paid as a bribe to establish that the value of his protection services were worth at least $5,000. In the absence of evidence to support that element of the offense, the bribery convictions cannot stand.
Affirmed in part and vacated in part.