889 F.2d 1369 (5th Cir. 1989), 88-3311, United States v. Linn

Docket Nº:88-3311.
Citation:889 F.2d 1369
Party Name:The UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Kenneth LINN, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:November 27, 1989
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Page 1369

889 F.2d 1369 (5th Cir. 1989)

The UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Kenneth LINN, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 88-3311.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

November 27, 1989

Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied Dec. 28, 1989.

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Robert Glass, New Orleans, La., for defendant-appellant.

Bill McSherry, Robert J. Boitmann, Asst. U.S. Attys. and John P. Volz, U.S. Atty., New Orleans, La., for plaintiff-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Before WISDOM, JOHNSON and HIGGINBOTHAM, Circuit Judges.

JOHNSON, Circuit Judge:

A Louisiana jury found appellant Kenneth Linn guilty of operating a continuing criminal enterprise. Linn timely appealed the conviction to this Court. For the reasons stated herein, we affirm.


Linn was charged in an eighteen count indictment with various controlled substances violations. The jury convicted Linn on all counts. On this appeal, we are concerned with Count One, which charged Linn with operating a continuing criminal enterprise (hereinafter CCE) in violation of 21 U.S.C. Sec. 848. 1 Count I reads in relevant part:

From on or about January 1, 1979, and continuously thereafter until on or about July 1, 1981, in the Eastern District of Louisiana and elsewhere, KENNETH H. LINN, a/k/a Kenneth Falino, a/k/a Robert Falino, a/k/a James Davis, a/k/a David Snow, defendant herein, knowingly and willfully did engage in a continuing

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criminal enterprise, in that he did violate Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846, which violations were part of a continuing series of violations of said statutes undertaken by the said defendant, involving more than ten (10) kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride and in concert with at least five (5) other persons, with respect to whom the defendant occupied a position of organizer, supervisor and manager, and from which continuing series of violations the defendant obtained substantial income and resources to which the United States of America is entitled to forfeit including all profits obtained by the defendant, KENNETH H. LINN, in such enterprise, and any of his interest in the enterprise or the referenced corporations, and property and contractual rights of any kind affording a source of influence over such enterprises.

During the time period charged in the indictment, Linn operated a drug trafficking business, reselling cocaine that he had purchased from larger scale dealers. Linn's operation relied on regular suppliers and regular customers, as well as individuals who aided in the concealment of his activities and in laundering the proceeds. The cocaine was supplied from three independent sources. The primary source was a Cuban identified only as "Chico," who resided in the Miami area. The other two sources were Leo Radosta, who was himself convicted of operating a CCE, and Justin Durbin.

Linn took delivery of the cocaine supply at a house located at 7390 S.W. 104 th Street in Miami. If Linn was displeased with the quality of the merchandise or if he did not need the entire supply, Linn would return the proffered merchandise to the supplier. Linn set his own prices and made the decision as to which of the buyers would be fronted the cocaine and which would be required to pay up front. The distribution of the cocaine was organized from the house at 7390 S.W. 104th Street. Occasionally, the cocaine would be sent to the buyer via airport to airport express mail. The buyers included William Burns, Robert Collins, Mike Rouperich, Michael Colvin, Nick Popich and Justin Durbin.

Linn was assisted in his distribution scheme by Flo Burke and Charles Brazel. Burke was Linn's girlfriend and companion for much of the period of time covered by the indictment. Additionally, she served as his messenger, often picking up packages of money sent by a buyer. Brazel acted as a go-between. Specifically, he arranged for Linn to ship packages of cocaine to a post office box for buyer Colvin, and made the arrangements for Colvin to pay Linn. If Colvin failed to pay according to the plan, the job of putting pressure on Colvin fell on Brazel's shoulders.

Linn, sometimes through the alias Robert Falino, utilized two corporations in his business, Middle Eastern Ventures and International Marketing & Development. Middle Eastern Ventures owned the home on 104th Street from which the cocaine was distributed. Both corporations held post office boxes where proceeds from sales were sent, and both held safety deposit boxes used to store cash and cocaine.

Linn engaged the services of two attorneys, Frank Diaz and Robert Dane Smith, as well as a money launderer, Rudolph Keys, 2 to assist in protecting his money. Keys' services were utilized to bring $320,000 in cash out of the United States and into the Turkes & Caicos Islands. The money eventually traveled back to the United States where it was used to purchase a residence in Fairfax County, California. Keys testified that Smith instructed him on how to use the money. Smith's name also appeared alongside Linn's alias, Robert Falino, on safety deposit box documents relating to a box used to store cocaine and proceeds from the sale of cocaine. Attorney Diaz, who had an interest in the Hemisphere National Bank in Miami, agreed to allow Linn to deposit large sums of money into an account at that bank without filing notification forms with the Internal Revenue Service, thus assisting Linn in concealing his assets from the Government. Diaz also held a power of

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attorney that allowed Linn to set up and gain access to a post office box for receipt of cocaine payments.

Linn was indicted on multiple counts of controlled substances violations. Prior to trial, Linn moved for a bill of particulars specifying the individuals he was alleged to have supervised, organized or managed. The Government compiled, and supplied a lengthy list of names. 3 The names of attorneys Diaz and Smith were not included in the bill of particulars. During trial, the Government introduced evidence concerning the activities of Diaz and Smith. Such evidence was clearly admissible as proof of the conspiracy count. Linn did not object to the admission of the evidence, nor did he request a limiting instruction. At the conclusion of the Government's case-in-chief, Linn moved for a judgment of acquittal on the CCE count on the grounds that the Government had failed to prove that Linn supervised, managed or organized five or more people. The court denied the motion.

Prior to closing argument, Linn filed three in limine motions. First, Linn requested that the Government be instructed not to argue that any of the individuals named in the bill of particulars, except for two, were organized, supervised or managed by Linn. The court partially granted this motion by limiting the Government's argument to only ten of the persons identified in the bill of particulars. Second, Linn requested that the court direct the Government not to argue that Diaz and Smith...

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