852 F.2d 692 (2nd Cir. 1988), 1195, United States v. Gorski

Docket Nº:1195, Docket 88-1054.
Citation:852 F.2d 692
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. George Robert GORSKI, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:July 26, 1988
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 
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Page 692

852 F.2d 692 (2nd Cir. 1988)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,

v.

George Robert GORSKI, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 1195, Docket 88-1054.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

July 26, 1988

Argued June 3, 1988.

Thomas G. Dennis, Federal Public Defender, Hartford, Conn., for defendant-appellant.

Donna L. Fatsi, Asst. U.S. Atty., Hartford, Conn., for appellee.

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Before LUMBARD and MINER, Circuit Judges, and CONNER, District judge. [*]

WILLIAM C. CONNER, District Judge:

On November 30, 1987, Robert Gorski entered a conditional plea of guilty, pursuant to Rule 11(a)(2), Fed.R.Crim.P., to one count charging him with conspiracy to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. Sec. 846. Gorski now appeals the decision of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Peter C. Dorsey, Judge), entered on October 20, 1987, denying Gorski's motion to suppress evidence discovered during a search conducted incident to his arrest, and to suppress inculpatory statements which Gorski made following his arrest. We affirm in part and reverse and remand for further proceedings in part.

Background

On April 6, 1987, Special Agent Richard Foster of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") received a telephone call from Alfred Catucci. Catucci told Foster that an individual referred to as "Whitey" had called the previous weekend and asked if Catucci was interested in "doing business," which he understood to mean cocaine business. Catucci said that he told Whitey he was not interested, but that his sons Ron and Tom Catucci would be. Ron and Tom previously had been convicted on narcotics charges and were cooperating with the government in narcotics investigations.

On April 15, 1987, Alfred Catucci called Foster again and told him that "Whitey" had just called to say he would be arriving at Bradley Airport the following day. Foster then spoke to Ron Catucci who told Foster that "Whitey", whose real name was Robert Gorski, would be arriving at 1:30 on April 16th to discuss the possible sale of cocaine. Ron Catucci agreed to meet Gorski at the airport and to wear a body wire and transmitter so that FBI agents could monitor his conversation with Gorski.

On the following day at about 1:25 p.m., Foster saw Ron Catucci meet Gorski. Gorski entered Catucci's car and both drove to Catucci's fish store in Unionville, Connecticut. During the ride, Gorski described his cocaine dealings in the Denver area. Gorski reported that his current source for cocaine was Ralph Yanes of Miami, Florida, who charged him $23,000 per kilogram. Catucci said that he would like to resume his cocaine business, but that he had no one reliable to go with him to Miami and deal directly with Yanes. Gorski volunteered to have his own "mule" pick up the cocaine in Florida and bring it to Connecticut.

After a brief stop at Catucci's store, the two men went to a pay phone to call Yanes and inquire about a price for the cocaine. Evidently Yanes was not at home, and the two men agreed that Ron Catucci would contact Yanes himself and then call Gorski in Denver, give him the price and make arrangements for delivery. Ron Catucci then drove Gorski to the airport for his return flight to Denver.

On the following day, Ron Catucci again called Yanes in Florida, with the FBI recording the conversation. After telling Yanes that he had spoken with "Whitey," Catucci was told by Yanes that the price would be "23." Catucci said that he could not come down to Florida but that Whitey would arrange for the delivery.

On April 21, 1987, Al Catucci told Foster that Gorski had called for his son Ron. Later that day, in a conversation that was also recorded, Ron told Gorski that the "fish" would cost "23 bucks." Foster understood this to mean that the kilogram of cocaine would cost $23,000. Gorski told Ron that he had anticipated that price.

On April 26, 1987, Ron Catucci spoke with Foster and told him that Gorski had called and had implied that he was in the New Haven, Connecticut area. On the following day at about 3 p.m., Ron Catucci told Foster that he had just received a call from Gorski who said he was at a restaurant across the street from the Hartfort,

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Connecticut train station. Gorski said the cocaine would be arriving at about 5:00 p.m., and that he wanted to meet Ron Catucci at about 4:00 p.m. at the restaurant.

Shortly before 4 p.m., Foster fitted Ron Catucci with a transmitter and sent him into the restaurant to meet with Gorski. Portions of the conversation between Catucci and Gorski were overheard by FBI agents in the area. Gorski was heard saying that "his man," which Foster understood to mean his courier, would...

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