United States v. Lang

Defendant arrived in the U.S. in 1985, at age three. He became a lawful permanent resident and submitted an Application for Naturalization (N-400). He orally went through the form at a Citizenship and Immigration Service office. He answered "No" to: "Have you ever committed a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?" and "Have you ever sold or smuggled controlled substances, illegal drugs or narcotics?" His application was recommended and he was notified by N-445 of a mandatory oath ceremony. The N-445 contained questions to confirm that the applicant had maintained good moral character. Defendant again answered "No." He was naturalized in 2006. In fact, he had distributed cocaine 2004-2005, and, between the N-400 interview and the oath ceremony, was arrested for distributing cocaine and amphetamines. After pleading guilty to drug charges, defendant was convicted of making a material false statement to DHS (18 U.S.C. 1001(a)(2)) and unlawfully applying for and obtaining naturalization (18 U.S.C. 1425(b)). The First Circuit affirmed, rejecting arguments that admission of form N-445 violated his right to confrontation; that admission of form N-445 under the public records exception to hearsay was error; and that repeated reference to his prior conviction was unfairly prejudicial.