Archive | racketeering

Wednesday, July 19th, 2023

Second Circuit finds that VICAR murder may categorically qualify as a crime of violence

This week, in United States v. Davis, No. 21-1486-cr (2d Cir. July 18, 2023), the Circuit holds that murder in aid of racketeering (also known as “VICAR murder”), 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1), may categorically qualify as a “crime of violence” for purposes of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c) and 924(j)(1).

In Davis, the defendant argued that VICAR murder is not categorically a crime of violence because it includes generic, second-degree murder, which can be committed recklessly. And offenses with a mens rea of recklessness do not categorically qualify as violent felonies. See Borden v. United States, 141 S. Ct. 1817, 1834 (2021).

The Circuit rejected this argument. The Circuit found that VICAR murder is divisible, meaning a court must apply the “modified categorical approach” to determine the specific elements of a defendant’s underlying murder offense. Here the defendant’s jury instructions established that he was charged with and convicted …

Posted By
Categories: crime of violence, murder, racketeering

Continue Reading
Monday, June 28th, 2021

Second Circuit Vacates 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) Conviction Based On Both Valid And Invalid Predicate Offenses.

In United States v. Heyward, the Circuit (Wesley, joined by Pooler and Carney), the Second Circuit vacated an 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) conviction that was based on both valid and invalid predicate offenses.

Heyward was convicted following a jury trial of three counts: (1) racketeering conspiracy, 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d); (2) drug conspiracy, 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and 846; and (3) possessing/aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm during and in relation to either the Count One racketeering conspiracy or the Count Two drug conspiracy. By special verdict, the jury found that the pattern of racketeering activity supporting the Count One conviction encompassed both murder conspiracy and drug conspiracy. In addition, the jury found that the firearm possessed in Count Three was discharged in furtherance of the Count One racketeering conspiracy, but not the Count Two drug conspiracy. The district court (Englemayer, SDNY) sentenced Heyward to 120 …

Posted by
Categories: 924(c), racketeering

Posted By
Categories: 924(c), racketeering

Continue Reading
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 …

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

Continue Reading
Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Gambling Problem

United States v. Ivezaj, No. 06-3112-cr (2d Cir. June 11, 2009) (Feinberg, Miner, Parker, CJJ)

Six defendants were convicted of racketeering and related offenses arising from their efforts to break the hold that New York City’s traditional organized crime families had on illegal gambling.

The primary challenge on appeal concerned two RICO predicate acts that alleged violations of New York state’s extortion statute. In New York, extortion involves compelling another person to “deliver … property” to himself or a third person through fear of a future injury. “Property” is any personal property or “article, substance or thing of value … which is provided for a charge or compensation.” The defendants argued that control over illegal intangible property such as a gambling operation was not “property” and could not be “delivered.”

The circuit disagreed. Surveying New York case law, the court first concluded that the state recognizes that intangible property – …

Posted By
Categories: extortion, racketeering, role adjustment, Uncategorized

Continue Reading