944 F.2d 1223 (6th Cir. 1991), 89-2269, United States v. Maddox

Docket Nº:(89-2269), Richard Allen Ford, Jr. (90-1167), Gaylon Charles
Citation:944 F.2d 1223
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Jerome Wilbert MADDOX (89-2084), Antoine Domino Maddox (89-2165), Shirlenia Rutherford (89-2222), Zachary Aaron Johnson (89-2223), Terrance Anthony Western (89-2246), Anthony DeWayne Moore (89-2253), Kenneth Lee Johnson
Case Date:September 03, 1991
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

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944 F.2d 1223 (6th Cir. 1991)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,


Jerome Wilbert MADDOX (89-2084), Antoine Domino Maddox

(89-2165), Shirlenia Rutherford (89-2222), Zachary Aaron

Johnson (89-2223), Terrance Anthony Western (89-2246),

Anthony DeWayne Moore (89-2253), Kenneth Lee Johnson

(89-2269), Richard Allen Ford, Jr. (90-1167), Gaylon Charles

Terry (90-1255), Ronald Arnold (90-1265), and Michael

Anthony Glenn (90-1320), Defendants-Appellants.

Nos. 89-2084, 89-2165, 89-2222, 89-2223, 89-2246, 89-2253,

89-2269, 90-1167, 90-1255, 90-1265 and 90-1320.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

September 3, 1991

Argued Jan. 23, 1991.

Rehearing Denied in No. 89-2246

Oct. 1, 1991.

Certiorari Denied in No. 89-2223

Nov. 4, 1991.

See 112 S.Ct. 400.

As Amended on Denial of Rehearing Dec. 21, 1993. *

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Jennifer J. Peregord, Kenneth R. Chadwell, Jr. (argued and briefed), Office of the U.S. Atty., Detroit, Mich., Mark C. Jones, Asst. U.S. Atty., Flint, Mich., for U.S.

Kenneth R. Sasse (argued and briefed), Detroit, Mich., for Antoine Domino Maddox.

Daniel D. Bremer (argued and briefed), Flint, Mich., for Jerome Wilbert Maddox.

David I. Megdell (argued and briefed), Flint, Mich., for Shirlenia Rutherford.

John L. Belanger (argued and briefed), Sterling Heights, Mich., for Zachary Aaron Johnson.

Rick L. Middleton (briefed), East Lansing, Mich., for Terrance Anthony Western.

Arthur M. Fitzgerald (argued and briefed), Bay City, Mich., for Anthony DeWayne Moore.

Charles A. Grossmann (argued and briefed), Flint, Mich., for Kenneth Lee Johnson.

Arnold J. Shifman, Philip H. Seymour (argued and briefed), Cooper, Shifman, Gabe, Quinn & Seymour, Royal Oak, Mich., Clarence B. Tucker, Sr., Detroit, Mich., for Richard Allen Ford, Jr.

Robert J. Dunn (argued and briefed), Bay City, Mich., for Gaylon Charles Terry.

Richard J. Amberg (argued and briefed), Pontiac, Mich., for Ronald Arnold.

Kenneth R. Sasse (argued), Detroit, Mich., Don Ferris (briefed), Ann Arbor, Mich., for Michael Anthony Glenn.

Before GUY and BOGGS, Circuit Judges, and EDWARDS, Senior Circuit Judge.

BOGGS, Circuit Judge.

This consolidated appeal involves eleven different criminal defendants who were tried together (along with another defendant, who has not appealed) and convicted of various drug-related offenses, several of which involve firearms. The defendants raise various challenges to their convictions and sentences. We affirm all of the convictions and sentences.


The various defendants in this case participated in running what was essentially a chain of cocaine houses located in the Flint, Michigan area. The operation began, as far as we can tell, in 1984. As early as October 1985, the Flint police began raiding the defendants' various drug houses and closing them down. Unfortunately, these raids resulted only in temporary shutdowns and changes of location rather than the cessation of drug-related activities. Despite the best efforts of the police, the defendants remained in business for several years.

The quantity of evidence presented at trial was overwhelming, and it would be pointless to discuss all of it in detail. The evidence can be divided into two main categories: evidence taken in connection with

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various raids of Maddox organization cocaine houses and the testimony of various persons who had contact with the conspiracy during the course of its operations. The government introduced evidence that the Maddox organization operated over a dozen cocaine houses from 1984 to 1988. Most of these were "crack houses"--houses or apartments where crack was sold on a retail basis in the form of "rocks"--but at least one was a "powder house"--specializing in the sale of powder cocaine. Lionel Keener, who worked at a number of locations as a doorman, testified for the government pursuant to a plea agreement. Keener testified that the houses at which he worked grossed over half a million dollars in 1987 alone. Other key witnesses included Dawn Lovett, who was Keener's girlfriend, Jerry Green, another former associate with the Maddox organization, and Trenace Cummings, Green's girlfriend and a former Maddox customer.

Like the workers at Adam Smith's pin factory, the members of the Maddox organization had specialized roles. The Maddox brothers, Jerome and Antoine, organized and led the conspiracy. Jerome seems to have been the driving force at the start, but Antoine took over the primary leadership position as time went on. They arranged, in a variety of ways, to obtain the use of houses and apartments from which they sold cocaine. The Maddox brothers operated at least a dozen drug houses over the course of this conspiracy. They supplied the cocaine to be sold, and they kept most of the profits. At crack houses, the Maddox brothers supplied the drugs already processed into crack, which was then cut and packaged into individual servings in "seal-a-meal" bags on the premises by various employees. Each location had a sales quota that it had to meet. When sales were sub-par, the Maddox brothers held meetings at which they would exhort the lower-level sellers to do a better job. Nor were they above getting their hands dirty. Both Antoine and Jerome Maddox personally sold cocaine in addition to hiring others to do it for them.

In addition to a great deal of more routine evidence, the trial featured an incident involving Jerome Maddox. Trenace Cummings, a former Maddox customer, testified on behalf of the government at trial. After the completion of her testimony, she contacted the prosecutor and indicated that she had been threatened by Jerome Maddox during the course of the trial. Quite properly, the government immediately informed the district court. The court then held a hearing outside of the presence of the jury. Cummings said that, during a break in the testimony, when the judge and the attorneys were busy with a sidebar discussion, Jerome Maddox silently mouthed the words "you're dead" to her. This took place early in her testimony, and she claims that it distracted her to the point that she was unable to concentrate on her testimony. Jerome Maddox disputed this. He testified that she had initiated the contact by attempting to speak to him during the sidebar, and that he had merely responded by mouthing the word "what." John Reghi, a Marshal assigned to the courtroom, gave a version of events that could be consistent with either story. He agreed that Maddox did move his lips, but indicated that he believed that the gesture was amorous. He did, however, admit that he was somewhat uncertain of this interpretation. The court made "findings," concluding that Cummings had not actually been threatened, but that she believed that she had been. It allowed her to retake the stand and give some additional information that she claimed had been left out of her prior testimony due to the distraction. In fact, her amplification of the prior testimony was not terribly significant--she simply added a few dates of events to which she had already testified. On cross-examination, one of the defendants' lawyers induced her to tell the jury what had distracted her. The jury was instructed that this evidence should be applied only against Jerome Maddox, not any of the other defendants.

As time passed, Antoine took over Jerome's role as the leader of the conspiracy. The witnesses who testified about activities at the start of the conspiracy tend to refer to Jerome and Antoine almost interchangeably,

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while the later witnesses clearly refer to Antoine as the leader. Although Antoine took over the leadership role, Jerome nonetheless continued to play an active role. Indeed, Jerome remained a leader, even when it was clear that Antoine was the man in charge. One example of this stands out. The testimony about the early days was that Antoine and Jerome both supplied cocaine, while testimony about later events refers to Antoine as the sole supplier. Unsurprisingly, as Antoine took exclusive responsibility for assuring that the drug houses were supplied with cocaine, the money increasingly went to him rather than to him and Jerome. Thus, many of the witnesses who were not involved from the start identify Antoine as the one person who made sure that each house had an adequate supply of drugs and to whom money was given. Evidently, two factors explain this change. First, when the conspiracy began, Antoine was temporarily confined to a wheelchair as the result of wounds sustained in a shooting. Antoine became more involved as he was able to walk. Second, Jerome became less capable as he began to consume his own product, unlike Antoine, who never took cocaine. Nonetheless, throughout the conspiracy, Jerome was in charge at a particular location if Antoine was not there himself for some reason.

Although it is clear that the Maddox Brothers supplied the individual retail drug houses with their supply of cocaine, less is known about how they got the cocaine. None of the confederates who participated in the retailing of the cocaine were involved in the wholesale acquisition of the drug. Since most of the evidence at trial resulted from police raids of individual drug houses or was garnered through the testimony of lower-level employees and customers, little of the evidence gave any idea of how the Maddox...

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