U.S. v. Jeffers

Citation532 F.2d 1101
Decision Date18 May 1976
Docket NumberNo. 75-1422,75-1422
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Garland JEFFERS, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit

Stephen C. Bower, Kentland, Ind., for defendant-appellant.

John R. Wilks, U.S. Atty., Fort Wayne, Ind., Richard A. Hamming, Asst. U.S. Atty., Hammond, Ind., for plaintiff-appellee.

Before PELL and SPRECHER, Circuit Judges, and PARSONS, Chief District Judge. *

SPRECHER, Circuit Judge.

This appeal arising from the conviction of the defendant for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 848 primarily concerns the question of whether the conviction is barred on double jeopardy grounds by a prior conviction for conspiracy to distribute narcotics.

I

The evidence presented at trial showed that the defendant, Garland Jeffers, was the head of a highly-structured narcotics distribution network which operated in Gary, Indiana from January of 1972 to mid-March of 1974. The organization, known as "the Family," was formed by Garland Jeffers and five others to organize and control the drug traffic in the city of Gary. Although, at first, the defendant did not head up the Family, he quickly assumed control so that within a few months the organization, which had started as a cooperative venture, became his personal enterprise.

A number of individuals worked as members of the Family at one time or another. Ten members testified at the trial laying out the structure and operation of the organization and the methods employed by it to control the drug traffic in Gary.

During its course of operation, the Family distributed between one and two thousand capsules of heroin a day. Two witnesses whose primary function in the Family was cutting the heroin, testified that Jeffers obtained the undiluted heroin which was then cut (one ounce of heroin often making as many as 1,300 capsules) and passed on to the street distributors who worked for the Family. During 1972, the Family charged five dollars on the street for a capsule of heroin. In 1973, the price increased to ten dollars. Out of that price, the pusher got twenty percent and remitted the rest to the Family. From these sales (after commissions) the Family took in about $5,000 per day.

To get and retain its exclusive control over the drug traffic in Gary, the Family robbed other drug distributors of their drugs and money. If an independent drug dealer wanted to remain in business, he had to pay tribute to the Family. One independent dealer testified that he paid the Family four or five hundred dollars per day for the better part of a year to be allowed to deal in drugs in Gary.

Jeffers was installed, at first, as treasurer of the Family because he was the only non-addict in the group. This, however, appeared to be a tactical mistake because within a short period the money that the Family took in through extortion, robbery and drug sales became the sole property of the defendant. Jeffers gave the rest of the Family members salaries for their efforts except the street workers who were paid by commissions. The enforcers and other middlemen were paid at first $100 per week and later $200 per week. Isaac Davis testified that in 1972 twelve members received $100 per week and in 1973 fourteen or fifteen received $200 per week. The members who cut the heroin and controlled the distribution process were paid $500 per week. Willie J. Williams, who had been a cutter for the Family, received $1,000 per week when he took over a large part of the management of the organization. Williams testified that he was present on two occasions when the defendant purchased an automobile for a member of the Family and also testified that Jeffers paid rent on at least two dwellings in which members of the Family lived. Isaac Davis similarly testified that Jeffers bought cars for members of the Family and paid their rent.

Beyond paying Family members, Jeffers exercised strong control over the group. He issued severe beatings to Family members who "messed up." On two occasions, he shot members of the Family for disciplinary purposes. On one occasion, he had been beating a number of Family members and was evidently "wore out." So instead of issuing the final member a beating, Jeffers made him lie on the floor and then walked over and shot him in the leg. 1 On the other occasion, Isaac Davis related that he, Jeffers and a street worker for the Family went over to James Berry's house to straighten out some complaints Berry had been making about not receiving a fair share of the money. They got Berry out of bed, took him next door and shot him five times in the leg. He was then taken to a hospital.

The defendant profited handsomely from the business. Several witnesses testified that the Family took in about $5,000 per day (exclusive of street commissions). Williams testified that Jeffers received around $25,000 per week in net profits from drug sales alone. This figure would occasionally dip below $20,000, and would at times rise to $50,000 per week. Other income was coming in through extortion and robbery. Jeffers bought a $37,000 house, more than $2,000 in clothes, $4,200 in furniture, a $900 pool table, several cars for the Family members, paid rent on Family dwellings and kept up a substantial payroll. In 1973, Jeffers paid more than $21,000 in legal fees. Taking an extremely conservative estimate that Jeffers made a net income of $10,000 per week over the two-year and two-month period during which the Family operated, Jeffers' income for the entire period totals over a million dollars.

The trial at which this evidence was presented lasted seven days. The government produced more than thirty witnesses who testified to all aspects of the Family's operation and to elements of Jeffers' income. The jury deliberated for thirty minutes before finding the defendant guilty as charged in the indictment. Garland Jeffers was sentenced to life imprisonment to be served consecutively with his 15 year sentence for conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine.

II

We turn first to the question of whether Jeffers' conviction for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise is barred by a prior conspiracy conviction involving the same events.

A

On March 18, 1974, Garland Jeffers and nine others were indicted in the Northern District of Indiana for violations of 21 U.S.C. § 846, conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. The indictment alleged that "(f)rom on or about November 1, 1971 . . . to and including the date of this indictment . . . the defendants . . . did unlawfully, knowingly and wilfully conspire, combine, confederate and agree . . . to distribute heroin . . . and to distribute cocaine. . . ." The indictment further alleged that the conspiracy was to be accomplished by operating "an organization known as the 'Family,' " and that "(t)he purpose of 'The Family' organization was to . . . control the traffic in heroin and cocaine in and around the city of Gary, Indiana." A trial was held on this indictment and on June 26, 1974 Garland Jeffers and six others were found guilty of conspiracy to distribute narcotics as charged in the indictment. We affirmed that conviction in United States v. Jeffers, 520 F.2d 1256 (7th Cir. 1975).

On the same day that the conspiracy indictment was handed down, the indictment charging Garland Jeffers with violations of 21 U.S.C. § 848, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, was also handed down. This indictment alleged that "(o)n or about the 1st day of November 1971, . . . and continuing to the date of this indictment . . . Garland Jeffers . . . did engage in continuing criminal enterprise in that he did distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, . . . and cocaine, .. . and undertook such distribution in concert with five or more other people in respect to whom he occupied a position of organizer, supervisor and manager and further as a result of such distribution and other activity obtained substantial income in violation of Section 848, Title 21 of the United States Code." Thus, the indictments cover the same time period and, as seen from the evidence adduced at the continuing criminal enterprise trial, involve the same narcotics distribution ring.

The government attempted to consolidate the trial on the criminal enterprise charge with the conspiracy trial. The defendants in the conspiracy trial, including Garland Jeffers, objected strenuously to the consolidation on a number of grounds, focusing primarily on the contentions that conspiracy and continuing criminal enterprise were not "the same" and that great prejudice would result to Garland Jeffers in the criminal enterprise charge by bringing in evidence as to co-conspirators in the conspiracy which did not directly inculpate Garland Jeffers. The trial court held that the trials could not be joined.

Prior to trial on the continuing criminal enterprise charge (but after the conspiracy trial) Garland Jeffers filed a motion to dismiss the criminal enterprise indictment on double jeopardy grounds. The trial court denied the motion and a trial was held. On March 26, 1975, the jury returned the guilty verdict.

B

The basis for all double jeopardy claims resides in the Fifth Amendment guarantee that no person shall "be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." The defendant contends on appeal that conspiracy and continuing criminal enterprise are "the same offense" for double jeopardy purposes. The defendant argues that the crime of conspiracy charged in the first indictment was a lesser included offense of the crime of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, and that as such the offenses are considered the same under the double jeopardy clause.

The Supreme Court has written that a lesser included offense must "be included within but not, on the facts of the case, be completely...

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  • Changing the tide of double jeopardy in the context of the continuing criminal enterprise.
    • United States
    • Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Vol. 87 No. 3, March 1997
    • March 22, 1997
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