YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Chicago woman who was convicted in federal court of having four kilos of cocaine in her car after it was pulled over on Interstate 80 in Braceville is asking for a new trial.
Beau Brindley, the Chicago lawyer for Tashe Goins, said in court papers filed last month that his client’s conviction should either be overturned because there wasn’t sufficient evidence to convict her, or she should have a new trial because of an error in jury instructions and a suppression motion that was “erroneously” denied.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Yasmine Makridis said in motions filed Wednesday in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio before U.S. Judge Sara Lioi that prosecutors not only presented plenty of evidence for jurors to convict Goins, but a new trial is not necessary because points raised by defense counsel have already been argued.
A jury on Oct. 13 convicted Goins of one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine following a one-day trial before Judge Lioi. Sentencing is set for Jan. 26.
The charge stems from a June 16, 2020, traffic stop on Interstate 80 in Braceville when troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol pulled over a car Goins was driving for a lane violation.
Goins told the trooper she was on her way to Pittsburgh from Chicago, according to an affidavit in the case.
A police dog was brought in and detected an odor of narcotics, the affidavit said. Troopers searched the car and found the cocaine in a suitcase in the back seat, according to the affidavit.
In motions filed Nov. 16, Brindley said the verdict in the case should be overturned because the government failed to prove that Goins knew there were drugs in the suitcase when it was removed by police. As for a new trial, he said that is required because the court made an error in instructing jurors on the law before they deliberated and that evidence that the court failed to suppress was heard by the jurors.
In her response filed Wednesday, Makridis said jurors were given plenty of evidence that Goins knew there were drugs in the car. Makridis said that troopers testified she was sweating and breathing erratically, signs that someone is nervous.
Makridis also said Goins told troopers in an initial interview that she was being paid $1,000 to transport a package from Chicago to Pennsylvania, and a federal Drug Enforcement Agency agent testified that is common practice among drug traffickers.
Also, Makridis said a new trial is not required because the court has already ruled on the evidence Brindley wanted to be suppressed.