Archive | enterprise

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Racket Club

United States v. Applins, No. 07-2193-cr (2d Cir. March 1, 2011) (Miner, Sack, Hall, CJJ)

This decision closes a hole in the Second Circuit’s RICO jurisprudence. The appellants, drug dealers who were members of something called the Elk Block gang, were convicted of RICO conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) in the Northern District of New York. The trial judge gave confusing jury instructions as to whether, for RICO conspiracy, the existence of an enterprise was an element of the offense.

The defendants pursued this issue on appeal, and the circuit affirmed, holding that “the establishment of an enterprise is not an element of the RICO conspiracy offense.” In a footnote, the court brushed aside its past decisions that seemed to suggest otherwise, deeming the relevant language “dicta.”…

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Categories: enterprise, RICO, Uncategorized

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Saturday, April 10th, 2010

The Heavy Burdens

United States v. Burden, No. 03-1727-cr (2d Cir. March 31, 2010) (Hall, Livingston, Gibson, CJJ)

From 1997 to 2001, Kelvin Burden, ran a crack cocaine ring in Norwalk, Connecticut, with the help of several of his brothers, two of whom were named David, and a few of his friends. The gang’s activities grew increasingly violent. Throughout 1998 and 1999 there were fatal encounters with members of a rival gang, the Hill Crew; also, in 1999, Burden gang members shot at two of their own, killing one and leaving the other a paraplegic.

The defendants were convicted of racketeering, drug charges and multiple VCAR counts, and received sentences ranging from eighty-eight months to life.

Their principal arguments on appeal were that the evidence was insufficient to establish that the Burden gang was an “enterprise” and that its activities constituted a “pattern.” The circuit affirmed.

First, the defendants asserted that the evidence …

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Categories: Crawford, enterprise, pattern, racketeering, RICO, Uncategorized

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