378 F.3d 1281 (11th Cir. 2004), 02-14306, United States v. Pipkins
|Citation:||378 F.3d 1281|
|Party Name:||UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Charles Floyd PIPKINS, a.k.a. Sir Charles, Andrew Moore, Jr., a.k.a. Batman, Defendants-Appellants.|
|Case Date:||August 02, 2004|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit|
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Robert C. Port (Court-Appointed), Hassett, Cohen, Goldstein & Port, LP, James K. Jenkins and W. Bruce Maloy (Court-Appointed), Maloy & Jenkins, Atlanta, GA, Brian G. Slocum, Washington, DC, for Defendants-Appellants.
Susan Coppedge, Amy Levin Weil, U.S. Atty., Atlanta, GA, for Plaintiff-Appellee.
Nicholas A. Lotito, Davis, Zipperman, Kirschenbaum & Lotito, Linda S. Sheffield, Atlanta, GA, for Amicus Curiae, Georgia Ass'n of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Appeals from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
Before EDMONDSON, Chief Judge, and DUBINA and COX, Circuit Judges.
COX, Circuit Judge:
In November of 2001, police arrested fifteen Atlanta pimps. A grand jury subsequently returned a 265-count indictment naming these fifteen pimps, involving conduct spanning from 1997 to November, 2001. Thirteen of the pimps named in the indictment pleaded guilty. Only two--Defendants Charles Floyd Pipkins and Andrew Moore ("the Defendants")--proceeded to trial. The evidence at trial demonstrated that Pipkins and Moore prostituted juvenile females--at least one of whom was as young as 12--from at least 1997 until their arrest in late 2001. The Defendants were convicted of conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d), to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), and of violations of a host of other criminal statutes. They appeal.
Pipkins and Moore raise a number of issues. Most noteworthy is whether the evidence supports the jury's finding that they agreed to participate in an enterprise that met the statutory definition of a RICO enterprise. We affirm the Defendants' convictions and sentences.
II. BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Defendant Pipkins (known as "Sir Charles") and Defendant Moore (known as "Batman") were pimps who operated in southwest Atlanta in an area around Metropolitan Avenue (formerly called Stewart Avenue) known as the "track." 1
To persuade underage females to prostitute for them, the Defendants (and other pimps charged in the indictment) presented a vision of ostentatious living, promising fame and fortune. Pimps perpetrated this myth with their own flamboyant dress, flashy jewelry, and exotic, expensive cars. To support this apparently extravagant lifestyle, each pimp kept a stable of prostitutes with a well-defined pecking order. At the top of each pimp's organization was his "bottom girl," a trusted and experienced prostitute or female associate. Next in the pimp's chain of command was a "wife-in-law," a prostitute with supervisory duties similar to those of the bottom girl. A pimp's bottom girl or wife-in-law often worked the track in his stead, running interference for and collecting money from the pimp's other prostitutes. The bottom girl also looked after the pimp's affairs if the pimp was out of town, incarcerated, or otherwise unavailable.
The pimps also recognized a hierarchy among their own. "Popcorn pimps," "wanna-bes," and "hustlers" were the least respected, newer pimps. A "guerilla pimp" (as other pimps and prostitutes considered Moore) primarily used violence and intimidation to control his prostitutes. Others were regarded as "finesse pimps," who excelled in the psychological trickery needed to deceive juvenile females and to retain their services. Finally, "players" (apparently, in this case, Pipkins) were successful, established pimps who were well-respected within the pimp brotherhood.
Both pimps and prostitutes generally referred to their activities as "the game." To the pimps, an important component of the game was domination of their females through endless promises and mentally sapping wordplay, physical violence, and financial control. The pimps created a system in which their prostitutes were incapable of supporting themselves or escaping their reliance on the pimp. A prostitute lived either in her pimp's home or in a room at a motel or boarding house paid for by the pimp. The pimp provided clothes for his prostitute, as well as money for the prostitute to fix her hair and nails. The pimp also provided condoms to the prostitute, or money to buy condoms. Also, the pimp frequently used threats of violence to control his prostitutes, or rewarded his prostitutes with drugs for meeting monetary goals. Other times, a pimp dispensed drugs to a prostitute to ensure that she was able to function through the night and into the early morning hours.
The pimping subculture in Atlanta operated under a set of rules, presented in the video called Really Pimpin' in Da South. This videotape was made in Atlanta by Pipkins and Carlos Glover, a business associate. Really Pimpin' in Da South featured prominent Atlanta pimps, including Pipkins, explaining the rules of the game. This video, along with its companion piece, Pimps Up Hoes Down, outlined the pimp code of conduct, and was repeatedly shown to new pimps and prostitutes alike to concisely explain what was expected of a prostitute. The origin of Pimps Up Hoes Down is unknown. In essence, these videos taught that prostitutes were required to perform
sexual acts, known as "tricks" or "dates," for money. Prostitutes turned tricks in adult clubs, in parking lots, on mattresses behind local businesses, in cars, in motel rooms, or in rooming houses. A prostitute charged $30 to $80 for each trick, and was required to turn over all of this money to her pimp. Some pimps gave their prostitutes a "quota" to earn over $1,000 a night.
Despite the pimps best efforts to subjugate their prostitutes, the rules allowed a prostitute to move from one pimp to another by "choosing." This was accomplished by the prostitute making her intentions known to the new pimp, and then presenting the new pimp with money, a practice known as "breaking bread." The new pimp would then "serve" the former pimp by notifying him that the prostitute had entered his fold. The former pimp was bound to honor the prostitute's decision to choose her new pimp. A prostitute who frequently moved from pimp to pimp was known as a "Choosey Susie." And, a prostitute might "bounce" from pimp to pimp by moving among different pimps without paying for the privilege of choosing.
Choosing another pimp was not without risk for the prostitute. A prostitute could be punished for merely looking at another pimp; this was considered "reckless eyeballing." Owner pimps apparently were afraid that if their prostitutes were sufficiently impressed with another pimp's vehicle, clothes, and manner, she might choose a new pimp.
Other rules governed a prostitute's conduct. She was required to surrender all of the money from her dates; if she did not, she would be guilty of "cuffing." She was also required to unquestioningly obey her pimp and treat him with respect; if she did not, she was "out of pocket." At the whim of her pimp, a prostitute was obligated to have sexual intercourse with him, another pimp, or even another prostitute.
The pimps sometimes brutally enforced these rules. Prostitutes endured beatings with belts, baseball bats, or "pimp sticks" (two coat hangers wrapped together). The pimps also punished their prostitutes by kicking them, punching them, forcing them to lay naked on the floor and then have sex with another prostitute while others watched, or "trunking" them by locking them in the trunk of a car to teach them a lesson.
The pimps did not service only the Metropolitan Avenue clientele. For example, Pipkins branched out on the Internet, forming a web-based escort service which allowed customers to select a particular prostitute from pictures posted on a website. Also, pimps sometimes sent their prostitutes to Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta because patrons paid a premium for prostitutes in that neighborhood. Pipkins entertained members of a municipal police force at his home on at least one occasion, where they engaged in sexual intercourse with his prostitutes.
While all the pimps did not pool their profits from prostitution, some did. And the pimps generally aided each other. Pimps bailed each other's prostitutes out of jail; mentored younger pimps; swapped prostitutes with each other to get a better "fit;" warned other pimps and their prostitutes of the presence of police; provided condoms, rides, and rooms for each other's prostitutes; jointly organized private prostitution parties; recruited juvenile prostitutes together; recruited juvenile prostitutes for each other; divided the track geographically to reduce competition; and traveled out of town together to prostitute females in other cities. Pimps also operated as a price-fixing cartel to regulate the prices that their prostitutes charged for different sexual services.
At trial, four pimps indicted in this case, Michael Davis (known as "Hollywood"),
Bryant Weaver Bell (known as "Worm"), Terrance Anderson (known as "Scooby"), and Camari Burrough (known as "KK"), testified on behalf of the Government. Fourteen prostitutes also testified for the Government. At the conclusion of the evidence, the district court submitted twenty-four counts to the jury.
The jury found Pipkins and Moore guilty on Count 1, which charged them with conspiring to participate in a juvenile prostitution enterprise affecting interstate commerce through a pattern of racketeering activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d). Pipkins was also found guilty on the...
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