U.S. v. Herrero, s. 88-2094

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Citation893 F.2d 1512
Docket Number88-2149 and 88-2378,Nos. 88-2094,s. 88-2094
Parties, 29 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. 821 UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Juan HERRERO; Jose Guillermo Haro; and Armando N. Martinez, Defendants-Appellants.
Decision Date16 January 1990

Eric J. Klumb and R. Jeffrey Wagner, Asst. U.S. Attys. (argued), Office of the U.S. Atty., Milwaukee, Wis., for plaintiff-appellee.

Andrew Mishlove (argued), Milwaukee, Wis., for defendants-appellants.

Before WOOD, Jr., and COFFEY and KANNE, Circuit Judges.

COFFEY, Circuit Judge.

Juan Herrero, Jose Guillermo Haro and Armando N. Martinez appeal their convictions for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. Secs. 846 and 841(a)(2) and 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2, interstate travel to promote drug trafficking in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1952(a)(3) and Sec. 2, and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. Sec. 841(a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2. 1 We affirm.

I. Facts

Herrero, Haro and Martinez were indicted following an investigation of the Estevez drug conspiracy, headquartered in Miami, Florida, that was responsible for the distribution of large amounts of cocaine in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area in 1985 and 1986. Members of the Estevez conspiracy purchased cocaine in Miami, transported it to Milwaukee and returned the proceeds of the sales to its Miami base. The three defendants in this case had varied responsibilities in the conspiracy. Juan Herrero supplied cocaine to the conspiracy, and Armando Martinez transported the drugs from Miami to the Milwaukee distribution network and returned the drug sale proceeds to Miami. Jose Haro, a Miami attorney, laundered the conspiracy's proceeds through the purchase of real estate in the Miami area for the conspiracy.


Orlando Estevez, the kingpin of the conspiracy, became romantically involved with Elena Gonzales, and as the relationship developed, he allowed Gonzales to play a At trial Gonzales provided much of the evidence detailing Juan Herrero's responsibility as a major supplier of cocaine for the drug conspiracy.

prominent part in the drug enterprise, including being the only person in the conspiracy who had access to the drug conspiracy's money supply. At this time Estevez revealed to Gonzales that he was a major drug distributor in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area.

Gonzalez related two incidents in which Juan Herrero, known to her as "Gallego," supplied cocaine to the Estevez conspiracy. The first of these incidents occurred in March 1986, shortly after Gonzalez became involved with Estevez. Gonzalez saw Herrero enter the Estevez house on 95th Street in Miami with a gym bag full of unknown contents. Herrero then departed from the house and went into the garage to meet with Orlando Estevez. Gonzalez later observed that the contents of Herrero's gym bag had shrunk. Following Herrero's departure, Orlando Estevez revealed to Gonzalez that "Gallego is my supplier from whom I buy this to take up to Milwaukee."

The second instance of a cocaine sale from Herrero to Orlando Estevez that Gonzalez recounted took place in mid-June 1986. At that time Gonzalez observed Herrero arrive at the 95th Street house in Miami with a kilo of cocaine. She saw Orlando Estevez slit the bag containing the cocaine and sample the drug. About a week later Herrero returned to the 95th Street residence and once again entered the garage with Orlando Estevez. Gonzalez testified that shortly thereafter she walked into the garage and noticed that Orlando Estevez was handing Herrero a box that contained $500,000 in cash. Herrero left and took the box containing the money with him. After Herrero's departure, Orlando Estevez told Gonzalez that he had given Herrero the money to purchase coke for his next shipment.

A few days thereafter, while Gonzalez was shopping, she received a message from Orlando Estevez on her pager. When she returned Orlando's call he asked her to take $50,000 from the Estevez' cash supply and bring it to the 95th Street house immediately. Gonzalez, upon arriving at the 95th Street house with the $50,000, observed Orlando Estevez with Herrero. Gonzalez gave the money to Orlando Estevez and went to another room in the house. Approximately 20 minutes later, after Herrero departed, Orlando Estevez told Gonzalez, in Gonzalez's words, that "Gallego [Herrero] had returned to [Estevez] and told [Estevez] that there weren't (sic) exactly $500,000 there and that (sic) was money missing, and that the money had to be completed for the purchase of the kilos." Later that night Gonzalez went into the garage of the 95th Street residence, saw a large amount of cocaine and observed Orlando Estevez securing the cocaine packages with a grey duct tape.

Other evidence introduced at trial supported the conclusion that Herrero was a source of cocaine for the Estevez drug enterprise. In late April 1986, Larry Jackman, an individual who assisted in the distribution phases of the Estevez drug conspiracy, recounted a conversation he overheard between Orlando Estevez and co-conspirator Amado Leon. 2 This conversation took place in Miami when Jackman, Estevez and Leon were loading a car with cocaine for transportation to Wisconsin, and Leon, in Jackman's words, "said that he [Leon] went and arranged the purchase from Gallego." Herrero's involvement in the conspiracy was further corroborated through the discovery of six of Herrero's fingerprints on three of the kilo bags of cocaine obtained in the July 11, 1986, search of a house the Estevezes had rented in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a Milwaukee suburb.




After the Estevezes purchased cocaine in Miami, the conspirators conveyed the drugs Martinez initially drove from Miami to Milwaukee in early April 1986 when he returned an automobile rented in Milwaukee. At this time he obtained a Wisconsin driver's license and listed his address as the Flagg Street residence in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from which the Estevezes had conducted cocaine distribution operations from July to October 1985.

to Milwaukee in automobiles. In January and February 1986, Celestino Estevez, Orlando's father, transported shipments of between 10 and 12 kilograms of cocaine each to Milwaukee from Florida. Later the defendant Armando Martinez became involved in the conspiracy's drug transportation process.

In late April of 1986 Martinez transported cocaine from Miami to Milwaukee in the automobile that Orlando Estevez, Amado Leon and Larry Jackman had loaded with 10 to 12 kilos of cocaine. In mid-May 1986 Martinez again drove to Milwaukee and received $5,000 for transporting 23 to 25 kilos of cocaine. In late June of 1986, Martinez and his family conveyed another shipment of drugs from Miami to Milwaukee. This shipment consisted of more cocaine that Estevez had received from Herrero and again Martinez was paid $5,000.

After the cocaine arrived in Milwaukee, the Estevez' co-conspirators distributed the cocaine from several different rented houses in the Milwaukee area. Various members of the Estevez conspiracy then returned to the Estevez' conspiracy's Miami headquarters with the proceeds from the Milwaukee cocaine sales. Celestino Estevez transported cash shipments from Milwaukee to Florida in February and March 1986, Orlando Estevez, together with Elena Gonzalez, returned to Miami with shipments in April and June 1986, while Armando Martinez transported another cash shipment in April 1986. In May of 1986 an individual identified as "Abba" took a suitcase full of cash to Florida via commercial air transportation. 3




Orlando Estevez desired to utilize the proceeds he obtained from his cocaine operations to purchase real estate in the Miami area and had Jose Haro, a Miami attorney, purchase the properties for him. These properties were purchased in Haro's name through the utilization of methods that generally involved the conversion of cash in amounts of less than $10,000 into bank cashier's checks. The significance of the $10,000 amount lies in the fact that banks were required to file currency transaction reports (CTR's) with the Internal Revenue Service for any transactions of more than $10,000. 4 Because Haro challenges his conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute cocaine on the basis of insufficient evidence, we

proceed to consider the evidence concerning Haro's involvement in the purchase of properties for the Estevezes.

1. The 95th Street House

The first of the properties that Haro acquired for Orlando Estevez was a house located at 11821 S.W. 95th Street, Miami, Florida (hereinafter "95th Street"). On September 15, 1985, Orlando Estevez and a realtor agreed to purchase this residence from Howard Copley, the owner, for $120,000. However, after the purchase had been agreed to, the realtor contacted Copley and told him that the purchaser was to be listed under the name of "Jose Guillermo Haro and/or assigns." This property, as well as the properties on 97th Street and on Red Road discussed subsequently, were titled to Haro as a single man although he was married at the time the property was purchased. At the October 1985 closing, Attorney Haro paid for the house with two checks from his attorney trust account in the amounts of $35,522.60 and $12,600 respectively, and nine cashier's checks in various amounts below the $10,000 statutory minimum level for the filing of a currency transaction report (CTR). These cashier's checks had been issued from banks in the Miami area on several different dates between September 17, 1985, and October 1, 1985. Haro paid Copley, the seller, for all but $1,200 of the $124,122.60...

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