Singer did not offer jurors possible defenses requested by the men's attorneys and failed to properly answer a question jurors asked during deliberations, the panel ruled.
Part of the traffickers' defense was that they were not aware their human cargo, an illegal immigrant mother from Brazil named Ana and her young son, wanted to leave their motel in Costa Mesa in November 2005. At the time, Eid and Oliveira were only the most recent links in a chain of people expected to help move the Brazilians to Mexico, across the border into Southern California and later Florida with the woman's husband and boy's father.
The father, Jefferson Ribeiro, agreed to pay $18,000 to an acquaintance to get Ana and their son to join him in Florida after a five-day trip by plane and car. Ribeiro was also in the country illegally since his tourist visa had expired months earlier.
The judges' opinion outlined how little control the wife and son had over their situation once they began their journey and how Eid and Oliveira tried to capitalize on it.
A coyote, or human trafficker, bought Ana and her son round-trip tickets from Brazil to Mexico. Once in Mexico, they stayed in a motel for three days before moving closer to the border, where they stayed in a home with 40 other Brazilians waiting to illegally cross into the United States.
Though Ribeiro had paid his acquaintance in Florida, there was no way of knowing if that money made it to Mexico to help his wife and son cross. In Mexico, the coyotes said they had not been paid enough to help the two cross and instead, the parties agreed Ana and the boy should go back to Brazil.