Please E-mail suggested additions, comments and/or corrections to Kent@MoreLaw.Com.
Help support the publication of case reports on MoreLaw
United States of America v. Daniel E. Saad
District of Rhode Island Federal Courthouse - Providence, Rhode Island
Case Number: 17-1445
Court: United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island (Providence County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: Donald Lockhart
Defendant's Attorney: Claire M. Specht and Felicia H. Ellsworth
Description: Following a fourteen-day jury
trial, Daniel E. Saad was convicted of arson, wire fraud, and the
use of fire in furtherance of a federal felony. Saad, who
testified, appeals from these convictions, which stem from a
November 30, 2014 fire that gutted Snow's Clam Box, a restaurant
he owned in Glocester, Rhode Island. He was sentenced to fifteen
years in prison.
Saad's primary argument is that the prosecution violated
his rights under the Confrontation Clause when an investigator
testified that the cause of the fire was incendiary and not
electrical. Saad argues that the investigator relied on the
conclusions drawn by Saad's insurer's electrical expert without
calling that expert to the stand, where he could be cross-examined.
This also, he argues, was a violation of Federal Rule of Evidence
703. The government argues in turn that Saad misreads the record
and there was no error and, in any event, any possible error was
harmless. Saad also makes an unpreserved claim that statements by
the prosecution in closing about the credibility of witnesses were
inappropriate and warrant a new trial.
The supposed errors that Saad argues, whether
individually or collectively, were harmless at most. We affirm.
We recite the facts in the light most favorable to the
jury verdict. United States v. Van Horn, 277 F.3d 48, 50 (1st
- 3 -
Cir. 2002) (citing United States v. Escobar-de Jesus, 187 F.3d
148, 157 (1st Cir. 1999)).
Snow's Clam Box was located in Glocester, Rhode Island,
about a forty minutes' drive from Saad's home in Spencer,
Massachusetts. Saad owned six other restaurants in addition to
the Clam Box, all of which were located in Massachusetts.
Saad's financial situation was deteriorating in 2014.
He owed almost $2.5 million to his creditors and his businesses
were performing poorly, which caused him to make many loan payments
late. Paychecks to his employees bounced on multiple occasions,
and vendors "refused to deliver goods to Snow's Clam Box until
outstanding balances were paid." Saad had thirty accounts spread
across eight banks by the time of the fire, and he wrote checks on
insufficient funds from one account to another in an attempt to
stay current with his creditors. As a result of this check-kiting,
Saad overdrew his accounts 6,892 times between January 2011 and
November 2014, incurring $198,851 in overdraft fees.
Saad also often pledged large portions of his
restaurants' future credit card receivables in exchange for shortterm,
high-interest loans. He sold $791,779 in receivables by
this method, receiving $583,008 in funding. Saad's many bank
accounts had an aggregate balance of negative $9,043 at the time
of the fire.
- 4 -
Saad had a $1 million insurance policy on the Clam Box,
which covered $700,000 for the building, $150,000 for the contents,
and $140,000 for lost income. He initiated a claim under that
policy on the day of the fire.
B. The Fire
Tracey Smith, a tenant living above the Clam Box,
testified that she was walking her dogs around 5:00 AM on November
30, 2014. While on the east side of the building, she heard the
sound of a door closing on west side of the building. After she
returned to her apartment, she heard movement in the restaurant
downstairs, and the fire alarm went off. Smith smelled gasoline
as she fled the building with her son and dogs. She had not
noticed that smell while walking her dogs earlier. Once outside,
Smith saw flames on the west side of the building and dialed 9-1-1
from her cellphone. Smith also called Saad twice, but he did not
The fire department received notice of the fire at
5:23 AM. When the fire department arrived at the scene, the west
side of the restaurant was engulfed in flames. The west side of
the restaurant was severely damaged by the fire.
The Clam Box had security cameras, but the system's
digital video recorder ("DVR") had been removed less than a week
before the fire. Saad claimed that this was because the DVR was
not functioning, but there was evidence that was not true. The
- 5 -
Clam Box also had a burglar alarm, but it was disabled at the time.
Similarly, the doors to the restaurant had locks, but the basement
door had been left unlocked that night.
C. The Investigation
Deputy State Fire Marshal Paul Manning assembled an
investigative team and the group divided up the necessary roles.
Special Agent James Hartman from the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms,
Tobacco, and Explosives ("ATF"), a certified investigator, had
responsibility for writing the "cause and origin" report
expressing his opinion of how the fire started. Manning was
responsible for collecting evidence and documenting the scene with
photographs and diagrams. Kevin Murphy, a senior investigator
from the Rhode Island State Fire Marshal's Office, was assigned to
"examine the electrical systems . . . to help [the team] determine
if it was possibly an accidental fire related to electricity."
For the two days following the fire, Murphy reviewed the building's
electrical features, such as circuit breakers and wiring, in search
of any signs that the fire was caused by an electrical issue. On
December 5, Murphy continued his investigation with the help of
Michael Rains, an employee for Saad's insurance carrier who had
electrical expertise. Murphy completed his review that day.
The investigators determined, based on the pattern of
the fire damage along with other signs, that the fire had two
origin points: the pellet stove area on the west side of the bar
- 6 -
and the floor on the east side of the bar. They ruled out many
possible causes of the fire, including electrical fault, a gas
leak, and a stove malfunction. The team collected and tested
samples of debris "from the west side of the bar, which was
adjacent to the pellet stove, inside the pellet stove, the east
side of the bar, and the northeast side of the lounge near the
restaurant area." Many of these tested positive for gasoline,
including samples taken from the inside of the pellet stove and
the area near the pellet stove.
D. Cell Tower Evidence
The government obtained cell tower evidence showing that
Saad, who lived forty minutes away from the Clam Box, had been
less than two miles from the restaurant at 5:06 AM, just minutes
before the fire. The same evidence showed that Saad was in the
vicinity of the Clam Box at 5:25 AM, just after the fire started
and before the fire department had arrived, and was moving away
E. Saad's Statements
Law enforcement officials interviewed Saad six times,
from the day of the fire through March 6, 2015, and Saad's version
of events changed dramatically over that time. On the day of the
fire, Saad told investigators that the DVR had been removed because
it was broken and would not record. Saad also stated that he
"might have left [the basement door] open." He said he had closed
- 7 -
vents in the attic ducts, though an inspection revealed that that
was untrue. Saad also stated that there was no reason why gasoline
would be in the restaurant before the fire.
In a December 9, 2014 interview, Saad stated that he had
been at home when he was notified of the fire. Saad recanted that
story on January 7, 2015, admitting that he had misled
investigators. He said, instead of being home at the time of the
fire, he had been with his estranged wife at her home in Webster,
Massachusetts. According to Saad, he and his wife spent the night
together and then went for a drive to smoke marijuana at 4:35 AM.
He said he had dropped her off and was driving back to his home in
Spencer when his manager called him about the fire. Saad said
that he had lied to investigators about his whereabouts because
his children would have been very angry at him for being with his
estranged wife. Saad repeated this story when he was interviewed
on January 13, 2015.
Saad was interviewed again on March 6, 2015, this time
on camera. Investigators confronted Saad with the evidence of
gasoline in the pellet stove area and near the bar. Saad at first
restated that he knew of no reason why gasoline would have been in
the bar or pellet stove area. But he then changed his story,
saying that he and others previously used gasoline to start the
pellet stove and that he was unsurprised that there was gasoline
near the stove. Saad downplayed this explanation when pressed by
- 8 -
investigators, saying he had only used a "little bit" of gasoline.
When investigators told Saad that cell tower evidence showed he
could not have been with his wife in Webster at the time of the
fire, Saad stuck to his story that he had been with his wife.
Saad's wife initially supported his alibi, but admitted before the
grand jury that she had not been with Saad that night.
F. The Trial
At trial, there was a great deal of testimony that Saad
was responsible for the fire and had tried to cover up his
involvement. Saad's bookkeeper testified that Saad had left her
multiple voicemails in the wake of the fire offering to hire a
lawyer on her behalf and telling her to "keep [her]self out of
this." Those voicemails from Saad were admitted into evidence.
She also stated that Saad had asked her before the fire to box up
financial records. She testified he also told her that "he was
going to take [the records] home and say that they were lost in
the fire, and he was going to destroy them."
In her testimony at trial, Saad's wife confessed that
she had twice lied to investigators when she told them that Saad
had been with her on the night of the fire. She testified that
Saad had asked her to provide a false alibi for him.
The prosecution put into evidence the cellphone and cell
tower evidence discussed earlier.
- 9 -
There was also considerable evidence that the fire was
incendiary and that gasoline was used to fuel it. Murphy testified
to the methods used to determine whether a fire has an electrical
cause, and how he had applied those methods to his three-day-long
investigation. Murphy stated that he consulted with Rains and other
members of the investigative team about whether the fire had an
electrical cause. Murphy, when asked about his opinion as to the
cause of the fire, stated, "Our opinion was -- my opinion was that
none of the electrical activity or events that we documented or
saw was the cause of the fire." (emphasis added). The defense
did not object to this statement.
Hartman testified that there were irregular burn
patterns in the restaurant's bar area, that gasoline was present
on the west and east sides of the bar, and that there was a lack
of fire damage in other areas. Hartman concluded, based primarily
on this evidence, that the fire was caused by a person and that it
began in the bar area where certain items had been "doused with an
Hartman testified that Rains, in addition to Murphy, had
been "engaged to examine the electrical system." Hartman agreed
that, "as part of [his] preparation for compiling an origin and
cause report," he had reviewed and considered the report prepared
- 10 -
by Rains.1 The prosecution later asked Hartman whether there were
any electrical conductors near the fire's two points of origin
that could have caused the fire. Hartman responded that there
were conductors, junction boxes, and recessed lights in that area
but that "[w]e looked at all those. Mr. Rains ultimately looked
at all those, and there was nothing there that we --." This
statement was interrupted by an objection from Saad's counsel, who
stated that "[i]f they want to bring Mr. Rains in, they can."
The district court initially sustained the objection and
called a bench conference with counsel. The defense was concerned
that Hartman was discussing Rains's conclusions without Rains
testifying and that Rains's report did not even discuss whether
the lights in the bar area could have caused the fire. The district
court ruled that Hartman could testify to the conclusions in
Rains's report but could not discuss conclusions Rains reached
that were not in the report.
Following the conference, the government did not ask
about Rains's conclusions at all. The government asked Hartman,
"You had made a conclusion as it related to . . . existing
electrical appliances and devices; is that correct?" (emphasis
added). Hartman responded "Yes." The government then asked, "And
had you ruled those out as being an ignition source?" (emphasis
1 The report was not introduced into evidence.
- 11 -
added). Hartman again answered, "Yes." On cross-examination, the
defense did not question Hartman about the possibility of an
electrical ignition source.
Justin Moseley, who was Saad's brother-in-law and the
manager of the Clam Box, testified for the defense that he returned
to the restaurant three days after the fire (that is, before
December 5th) to inventory the items in the bar area. He said
that the flashlights he brought with him did not provide enough
light, so he returned with a 200-pound gas-powered generator, with
which he planned to power construction lights in order to light
the restaurant. Moseley said that the generator failed to start,
so he drained some of its gas into a "chowder bowl." The generator
still would not start, so he gave up. He then added something he
had not told investigators. He said that, instead of taking the
generator out through the west door of the restaurant, he had
dragged the generator through the kitchen along the east side of
the bar and hauled it down the stairs to the basement so that he
could use the rear loading dock to get the generator into his
vehicle. The government asked to treat Moseley as a hostile
witness. The district court did not rule on that request in front
of the jury, instead dismissing the jury for the day. After a
brief discussion, the district court then ruled that the government
could treat Moseley as an adverse party.
- 12 -
The next day, Moseley admitted, on examination by the
government, that he had not dragged the generator along the east
side of the bar and down the stairs to the basement. He said that
he had been "confused" when he told that story and that, having
reviewed his "notes," he remembered that he had left with the
generator through the restaurant's west door.
The defense called Mark Kadlik, who had installed the
security system at the Clam Box. While Kadlik confirmed that Saad
had told him the DVR was broken and that Saad took it to Kadlik in
the days before the fire, Kadlik also testified that the DVR was
fully functional when Saad dropped it off.
Saad testified at trial, changing his story yet again
from the statements he had made earlier. Faced with the cell tower
evidence placing his cellphone near the restaurant at the time the
fire started and with his wife's testimony that he had asked her
to lie to investigators about his whereabouts, Saad for the first
time stated that he had been at a lake near Snow's Clam Box --
many miles from his house -- attempting to commit suicide at the
time of the fire. Saad confirmed many of the details about his
financial status, but downplayed his comment to investigators that
gasoline was often used to start the pellet stove, claiming he had
only used gasoline once or twice. He asserted that the gasoline
in the bar could have come from the gas-powered generator that
Moseley claimed to have used in that area after the fire.
- 13 -
In closing argument, the prosecutor highlighted Saad's
motive, his proximity to the scene of the fire, and testimony that
Saad had asked others to lie on his behalf. The prosecutor
discussed the inconsistencies in the testimony of Saad and his
brother-in-law, Moseley. The government began its discussion of
Moseley's testimony by saying, "Now, another piece of evidence
that . . . has to be brought to the jury's attention is the
testimony of Justin Moseley because have you ever seen a more
unmitigated liar in your life than Justin Moseley who comes before
you on day one and tells you this elaborate story?"
The prosecutor explained the problems with Moseley's
claim that he dragged the gas-powered generator across the east
side of the bar and then reminded the jury that Moseley recanted
part of his story the next day. The government stated that Moseley
"got up [on the witness stand] and perjured himself, and he removed
himself from the perjury the next day by coming in saying oops,
mistake, my bad."
The prosecutor called Saad's third alibi "incredible,"
and said, "I would suggest to you respectfully [that] it's an
insult to your intelligence. The thought that he just happened to
go next to his restaurant on the night that somebody sets it on
fire to play Russian roulette or contemplate taking his life is
ludicrous." The prosecutor continued that Saad was "a good
storyteller" and "that story that he told you on the stand with
- 14 -
his weeping is malark[e]y, exactly like the two stories that he
told the police before." The prosecutor finally said, "I'd suggest
to the jury [that Saad's story is] so incredible that it's hard to
give it credence or respect." The defense did not object at any
point in the closing.
The defense's closing argument focused on highlighting
the circumstantial nature of the government's case, downplaying
the evidence of Saad's financial distress, arguing that evidence
was mishandled, and giving reasons why Saad's final alibi was
credible. The defense questioned the evidence that gasoline was
present at the scene of the fire and speculated that the fire could
have started in the ceiling, but never argued that the fire was
The jury began deliberations on January 27, 2017. It
returned a guilty verdict later that day.
A. Confrontation Clause
Saad argues that Hartman's testimony about whether the
cause of the fire was electrical violated his Confrontation Clause
rights because it introduced Rains's conclusions without having
Rains testify. See United States v. Cameron, 699 F.3d 621, 652
(1st Cir. 2012). We need not determine whether Saad's
Confrontation Clause rights were violated because, on these facts,
any such violation, if one occurred at all, was "harmless beyond
- 15 -
a reasonable doubt." Id. We are more than satisfied that the
government has shown that, even if there was an error, the jury
would have found Saad guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We explain
Saad argues that he was prejudiced because, given the
circumstantial nature of the government's case, the evidence
against Saad is severely weakened without Hartman's references to
Rains's conclusions. In Saad's view, Hartman's references to
Rains's conclusions were critical to establishing that the fire
did not have an electrical cause, and that in turn helped the
government show that the fire was not accidental.
The testimony in question only helped establish that the
fire was not electrical in origin, a point that was not the subject
of serious dispute at trial. Saad never argued that the fire was
electrical, never directly challenged Hartman's conclusion on that
point, and did not mention the issue in his closing argument. Even
on appeal, Saad does not identify a shred of evidence that the
fire was caused by an electrical source.
Saad's assumptions about the effect of the prosecution's
failure to call Rains and about Hartman's supposed reliance on
Rains ignore some important points. Independent of Hartman's
testimony, Murphy testified that he ruled out the possibility that
the fire had an electrical cause, and Saad does not challenge the
admissibility of that testimony.
- 16 -
Hartman likewise testified about whether the cause of
the fire was electrical. Saad thinks this testimony should be
discounted because Hartman testified that Rains was brought in to
provide additional expertise. But even if Rains was brought in
"to assist [investigators] with making a better determination"
about whether the fire had an electrical cause, that does not mean
that Murphy and Hartman lacked the expertise to make their own
Even if the jury understood Hartman's brief use of "we"
as referring to Rains's conclusions for the purpose of determining
whether the fire was electrical, "nothing material would have been
added to the case." United States v. Godfrey, 787 F.3d 72, 78
(1st Cir. 2015). The government established that Saad had the
motive, opportunity, and means to commit the crime, and that he
was in the area to do so easily.
There is overwhelming evidence that the fire was started
by Saad, who used gasoline to aid its spread. Gasoline was present
in the pellet stove and elsewhere in the bar. Saad himself
testified that there was no reason for gasoline to be in the bar,
and yet it was there. Saad argues that Moseley's testimony shows
that the samples could have tested positive for gasoline because
a gas-powered generator was present in the bar after the fire, but
at least one of the samples that tested positive was taken before
the generator was in the bar, meaning gasoline was in the bar even
- 17 -
before Moseley purportedly brought in the generator. In addition,
Moseley never said he spilled gas from the generator into the bar.
The evidence of Saad's guilt was overwhelmingly strong
for other reasons as well. The jury heard Saad's testimony and
heard him craft and then recant implausible alibis. It heard him
testify to his last explanation: that his straits led him to
contemplate suicide at a lake near the site of the fire, but not
to commit arson to collect the insurance proceeds. It also heard
testimony from his wife that he asked her to lie for him about
crucial alibi testimony and testimony from his bookkeeper that he
planned to burn financial records. It also heard that he removed
the DVR because he claimed it was broken, when that was not so.
And the cell tower evidence put him where he said he was not.
B. Federal Rule of Evidence 703
For the same reasons, any error under Federal Rule of
Evidence Rule 703 was harmless. The parties dispute whether Saad's
Rule 703 argument was preserved, but it is harmless even if he
properly objected. See United States v. Morosco, 822 F.3d 1, 18
(1st Cir.) ("'A non-constitutional evidentiary error is harmless'
if 'it is highly probable' that the mistake 'did not influence the
verdict.'" (quoting United States v. Piper, 298 F.3d 47, 56 (1st
Cir. 2002))), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 251 (2016).
- 18 -
C. Commentary on Witness Testimony
Saad argues, with some justification, that the
prosecution's closing argument contained inappropriate and
prejudicial statements about the credibility of Saad's and
Moseley's testimony. Saad argues that it was improper for the
prosecution to, inter alia, label Saad as a "good storyteller,"
say that Saad's testimony was "malarkey," and call Saad's third
alibi "an insult to [the jury's] intelligence." Saad also takes
issue with the prosecution calling Moseley an "unmitigated liar"
and accusing him of perjury.
Our circuit said the following some time ago about
similar comments by a prosecutor in closing argument: "[t]hat these
statements were improper is so clear as not to brook serious
discussion." United States v. Rodriguez-Estrada, 877 F.2d 153,
158 (1st Cir. 1989); see also United States v. Nickens, 955 F.2d
112, 121 (1st Cir. 1992). That is because a "prosecutor's
obligation to desist from the use of pejorative language and
inflammatory rhetoric is every bit as solemn as his obligation to
attempt to bring the guilty to account."2 Rodriguez-Estrada, 877
2 We have never approved of a prosecutor calling
defendants or defense witnesses liars, contrary to the
government's characterization of Obershaw v. Lanman, 453 F.3d 56
(1st Cir. 2006). Obershaw was a habeas petition from a state court
conviction. Id. at 57. There, the prosecution had called the
defendant a liar in its closing argument, and we had to determine
whether the "prosecutor's comments . . . form[ed] a basis for
habeas relief." Id. at 66. We held that they did not because,
- 19 -
F.2d at 159. Such statements can threaten the fairness of a trial,
since, when a prosecutor "directly accus[es] a defendant of lying
. . . jurors could believe the government has knowledge outside
the evidence about the defendant's veracity." United States v.
Garcia, 818 F.2d 136, 144 (1st Cir. 1987).
We recognize that different circuits more recently have
taken different views on a prosecutor accusing the defendant or
defense witnesses of lying. Some circuits though have still noted
the word "liar" itself carries even greater risks. See United
States v. Phillips, 704 F.3d 754, 767 (9th Cir. 2012) ("It is clear
that stating that the defendant lied by making a particular
statement is less problematic than calling him a liar in general,
since, in certain circumstances, the latter could have the tendency
to overtake the role of the jury as the arbiter of credibility.").
All circuits agree that the prejudicial effect of the prosecution's
use of "liar" in closing argument depends on context. See United
States v. Moreland, 622 F.3d 1147, 1161-62 (9th Cir. 2010); United
States v. Stover, 474 F.3d 904, 916 (6th Cir. 2007); United States
v. Coriaty, 300 F.3d 244, 255 (2d Cir. 2002); United States v.
Shoff, 151 F.3d 889, 893 (8th Cir. 1998); United States v. Manos,
given the facts of that case, "it was reasonable [for the
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court] to view [the prosecutor's
comments] as comments based on the evidence." Id. We did not
hold that the prosecutor's statements were proper.
- 20 -
848 F.2d 1427, 1436-37 (7th Cir. 1988); Houston v. Estelle, 569
F.2d 372, 383 (5th Cir. 1978).
The government, at oral argument, asked us to bless the
use of the term "liar." Times change, but we do not condone the
use of that term. As the Fourth Circuit has said:
When a prosecutor comments on the veracity of
a witness, the prosecutor's statement presents
two discrete risks: (1) of improperly
suggesting to the jury that the prosecutor's
personal opinion has evidentiary weight; and
(2) of improperly inviting the jury to infer
that the prosecutor "had access to extrajudicial
information, not available to the
The gravity of these risks is amplified in the
case of a criminal defendant exercising his
constitutional right to testify in his own
United States v. Woods, 710 F.3d 195, 203 (4th Cir. 2013)
(citations omitted) (quoting United States v. Moore, 710 F.2d 157,
159 (4th Cir. 1983)).
We also agree with the reservations expressed by the
Third Circuit in Fahy v. Horn, 516 F.3d 169 (3d Cir. 2008): "[i]f
a defendant testifies on his own behalf . . . a prosecutor may
attack his credibility to the same extent as any other witness.
This does not mean, however, that a prosecutor may express his
personal belief in the credibility of a witness or the guilt of a
defendant." Id. at 203 (citations omitted).
- 21 -
The defendant argues on appeal that the prosecutor went
beyond fair commentary on the evidence and so prejudiced him as to
violate his due process rights. See United States v. Francis, 170
F.3d 546, 552-53 (6th Cir. 1999) (granting new trial based on
prosecution improperly calling the defendant a liar numerous
times). Saad argues the statements were prejudicial because they
pervaded the prosecutor's closing argument, the statements were
targeted at key witnesses, and the government's case was
circumstantial and weak.
Saad did not object to the statements before the district
court, so we review for plain error. United States v. Pires, 642
F.3d 1, 14 (1st Cir. 2011). Under this demanding standard of
review, Saad must show "(1) that an error occurred (2) which was
clear or obvious and which not only (3) affected the defendant's
substantial rights, but also (4) seriously impaired the fairness,
integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings." Id.
(quoting United States v. Duarte, 246 F.3d 56, 60 (1st Cir. 2001)).
Even if we were to assume that prongs (1) and (2) were met, Saad
fails the third and fourth prongs of plain error review because he
cannot establish "a reasonable likelihood that the result would
have been different without the challenged comments." United
States v. De La Paz-Rentas, 613 F.3d 18, 27 (1st Cir. 2010).
Reviewing the government's case as a whole, we are
satisfied that, despite Saad's arguments, the result would not
- 22 -
have been different absent the prosecutor's inappropriate
comments. In addition to the evidence against Saad being
overwhelming, the prosecutor's statements criticizing the
witnesses' credibility were based on the inconsistency and
outlandishness of their stories, making it less likely that the
jury would infer that the prosecutor had "private knowledge of the
defendant's guilt that unfortunately cannot be shared with the
jury." United States v. Gomes, 642 F.3d 43, 47 (1st Cir. 2011).
While this absence does not mean that the prosecutor's comments
were appropriate, it makes it less likely that the comments were
Importantly, the district court's jury instructions made
it clear that the jurors were to make their own credibility
determinations, despite the defense's failure to object to the
prosecution's statements. We presume that the jury followed those
instructions. United States v. Spencer, 873 F.3d 1, 16 (1st Cir.
2017) (citing United States v. Ponzo, 853 F.3d 558, 584 (1st Cir.
2017)). The jury "had ample opportunity to draw its own
conclusions about the witness[es'] veracity, given that it saw and
heard [them] testify" at length. United States v. Rodriguez-
Adorno, 695 F.3d 32, 41 (1st Cir. 2012).