U.S. v. Papa

Decision Date02 April 1976
Docket NumberNo. 267,D,267
Citation533 F.2d 815
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Vincent PAPA, Defendant-Appellant. ocket 75-1208.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit

Ivan S. Fisher, New York City (Fisher, Rosner & Scribner, New York City, on the brief, Jeffrey Dwight Ullman, New York City, of counsel), for defendant-appellant.

Daniel J. Beller, Asst. U.S. Atty., New York City (Paul J. Curran, U.S. Atty., S.D.N.Y., John P. Cooney, Jr., and John C. Sabetta, Asst. U.S. Attys., New York City, of counsel), for appellee.

Before FRIENDLY, HAYS and FEINBERG, Circuit Judges.

HAYS, Circuit Judge:

Defendant, Vincent Papa, Sr., appeals from a judgment of conviction after a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Papa was convicted on a two count indictment of conspiring to traffic in narcotics and a substantive violation of the narcotics laws. Appellant's primary challenges to this conviction are bottomed upon the contention that his prosecution on the conspiracy count in the indictment below (hereinafter the "Southern District indictment") is barred by conviction on a guilty plea to an earlier indictment brought in the Eastern District of New York (hereinafter the "Eastern District indictment"), and that both the conspiracy and substantive counts in the Southern District indictment are barred by promises attending the taking of that plea on the Eastern District indictment. Because we find that the two indictments charged appellant with distinct criminal offenses and that the plea bargain on the Eastern District indictment did not confer any immunity as to crimes charged in the Southern District indictment, we reject appellant's contentions. Since Papa's other claims of error are without merit, the conviction is affirmed.

The Southern District Indictment

The Southern District indictment charged appellant and five others with violations of the federal narcotics laws. Count One charged Vincent Papa, Sr., Anthony Stanzione, Victor Euphemia, Jack Locorriere, Vincent Papa, Jr., and Peter Giamarino and "others to the Grand Jury known and unknown" 1 with a conspiracy to traffic in narcotics from September 1, 1967 through May 1, 1971, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 173, 174, and with conspiring in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 to violate 21 U.S.C. §§ 812, 841, 2 from May 1, 1971 through November 18, 1974. 3 Count Two charged Papa and co-defendant Stanzione with the substantive offense of possession with intent to distribute 160 pounds of heroin on February 14, 1972, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 812 and 841. The jury found Papa guilty on both counts. 4

In broad outline, the proof at trial on the Southern District indictment revealed that the appellant was the top link, the director and source of supply, of the all too familiar chain conspiracy to traffic in narcotics. The next line, working directly below Papa, was, at various times, the wholesalers and co-defendants Stanzione, Euphemia, and Locorriere. These men made direct deliveries to unindicted co-conspirator Joan Moreland, a large retailer who served with her associates to link the heroin to Harlem's addict population. The wholesalers, at times, also used the services of "stash men," one of whom was Joseph Ragusa, who would, in turn, deliver the heroin to Moreland. This chain operated in New York City between 1967 and 1972.

Joan Moreland, who testified at trial as a Government witness, occupied her functional level from the inception of the conspiracy charged. In 1967 Moreland was introduced to Euphemia and Stanzione, who were then acting in partnership. During that year and continuing into 1968, they jointly served to supply Moreland. Deliveries were made in Manhattan. Although the Euphemia-Stanzione association dissolved some time in 1968, each of the former partners continued independently to trade with Moreland. Stanzione furnished Moreland with heroin on a continuous basis through October, 1969, with delivery being accomplished at one of Moreland's apartments in Manhattan or at Stanzione's home or business, both of which were located in the Bronx. Euphemia's independent trade with Moreland continued through December, 1969, and occurred at various Manhattan locations. In December, 1969 Euphemia teamed up with Jack Locorriere, the operator of Ditmar's Private Car Service in Astoria, Queens, and introduced his new associate to Moreland. Thereafter, upon Euphemia's instruction, Locorriere and Moreland transacted business directly and used the Car Service as their focal point of contact.

It was through the Car Service that Joseph Ragusa, another principle government witness, became involved in this narcotics network. Locorriere hired Ragusa to work as a driver at the Car Service in the latter part of 1969 or early part of 1970. Soon after he was hired, the scope of Ragusa's employment was expanded. Ragusa agreed to stash and deliver heroin for Locorriere and was taught the art of cutting heroin by his employer. From the stashed heroin Ragusa made deliveries to Moreland and periodically made heroin pick-ups in Queens to replenish his supply. Ragusa, at times, would expropriate some of the stashed heroin to himself for sale to Moreland as his own.

On December 31, 1970, Locorriere telephoned Ragusa at the Car Service. Since then Locorriere has neither been seen nor heard from. Ragusa continued to sell the heroin he had remaining from the Locorriere stash to Moreland and embezzled some of the money intended for Locorriere which he collected from her. Ragusa then agreed with Euphemia that he would continue operating for Euphemia as he had for Locorriere. The agreement, however, lapsed early in 1971.

Around the time of the Ragusa-Euphemia agreement, Ragusa met appellant Papa. Papa came to the Car Service to retrieve the money Ragusa embezzled on the Locorriere stash sales to Moreland. Ragusa agreed to repay the money in installments and made the first payment at that time. The link between Locorriere and Papa as his supplier is thus evidenced by Papa's posture vis a vis Ragusa.

Ragusa failed to make additional payments to Papa. The two met again in January and agreed that Ragusa would work off the debt by stashing heroin for Papa. Papa introduced Ragusa to Stanzione. Stanzione delivered 160 pounds of heroin to Ragusa for storage in the latter's Long Island City home with the understanding, under instructions from Papa, that Stanzione would have access to the stash at all times. Ragusa, no longer trusted as a collection agent, was not to make any sales himself. Ragusa nevertheless surreptitiously sold some of the heroin in his custody to Moreland on his own account. Additionally, Moreland sought Ragusa out for more supplies. As to these Ragusa responded that he must get permission from "Vinnie" because "he's the boss. . . ." Ragusa met with Papa at the Astoria Colts Social Club in Queens, a gathering place for members of the conspiracy, and tried to arrange this additional sale to Moreland.

Meanwhile, Euphemia was supplying the Moreland account. At one point during the summer of 1971, Moreland was unable to make an expected payment to Euphemia. Euphemia told her that she better get the money because if she did not "Vinnie" would have his head. With other evidence presented at trial, it is reasonable to infer that the reference to "Vinnie" was to Vincent Papa, and that Euphemia wholesaled heroin supplied by Papa.

On February 3, 1972, Papa was arrested in the Bronx. At the time of arrest, he and his companion, Joseph DiNapoli, were in possession of a suitcase containing nearly $1,000,000. Shortly after the money was seized, Euphemia told Moreland "that his people had got hit hard for money."

In sum, the Papa organization, as developed at trial on the Southern District indictment, operated through three major wholesalers: Stanzione, Locorriere, and Euphemia. Joan Moreland and an entourage of her assistants served to link the Papa heroin to the street. The two focal points from which the conspiracy operated were Ditmars Car Service, in Astoria, Queens, and the Astoria Colts Social Club located nearby. Drugs were picked up by the wholesalers or Ragusa in Queens and sold in Queens, the Bronx, and the upper West side of Manhattan. Papa was in command of the conspiracy from 1967 until 1972.

The Eastern District Indictment

The Eastern District indictment charged appellant and twenty-one co-defendants with violations of the federal narcotics laws. Of the counts relevant to appellant, Count One charged Papa and twenty-one named co-defendants and "others to the Grand Jury unknown" with conspiring to traffic in narcotics from April 1, 1967 through May 1, 1971 in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 173, 174 and with conspiring in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 to violate 21 U.S.C. §§ 812, 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), 951(a)(1) and 952, from May 1, 1971 through December 18, 1971. Count Five charged Papa, Anthony Passero, Anthony Loria, Virgil Alessi and Frank DiAmatto with the substantive offense of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise from March 1, 1967 through December 18, 1971 in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 848. Because there was no trial on this indictment and no bill of particulars was requested or filed, the scope of the conspiracy charged must be gathered from the grand jury proceedings and the minutes of the Rule 11 hearing held when Papa's guilty plea was entered.

The Eastern District conspiracy, broadly outlined, was of the chain variety. Appellant headed the organization, working in partnership with co-defendant Anthony Passero for several years and later with co-defendant Virgil Alessi. Papa and whoever was his partner at the time, acted as the principle supplier of heroin for wholesalers, among whom Anthony Loria, Rocco Evangelista, and Danny Ranieri appear to have been the most active. These wholesalers, utilizing the services of stash men and couriers, supplied retailers...

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