EL PASO, Texas — A federal agent acknowledged Monday in the Luis Posada Carriles trial that investigators never obtained physical evidence linking the Cuban exile militant to the converted shrimper Santrina, and never obtained a court order to search the vessel for fingerprints or other evidence that Posada traveled on it from Mexico to Miami.
Steve Ussher, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent, told the jury in the trial that to his knowledge no search of the boat was conducted in 2006 when he was assigned to and became a case agent in the Posada investigation.
Ussher also acknowledged that he never sought to verify whether fingerprints on an application for a Guatemalan passport, allegedly filed by Posada under another name, actually belonged to Posada.
Ussher’s testimony could be a setback for the prosecution in its effort to convince the jury that Posada was smuggled aboard the Santrina in March 2005.
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