United States v. Garcia

Decision Date22 May 1967
Docket NumberDocket 30676.,No. 354,354
Citation377 F.2d 321
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Arcadio Maldonado GARCIA, Appellant.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit

John R. Wing, Robert G. Morvillo, Asst. U. S. Attys., Robert M. Morgenthau, U. S. Atty., for appellee.

Phylis Skloot Bamberger, Anthony F. Marra, New York City, for appellant.

Before LUMBARD, Chief Judge, and WATERMAN and SMITH, Circuit Judges.

WATERMAN, Circuit Judge:

This is an appeal from a judgment of conviction entered after a jury verdict returned in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Appellant Garcia was found guilty of a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 111. He was indicted for having assaulted with a deadly and dangerous weapon a federal narcotics agent who at the time of the assault was engaged in the performance of his duties.

Narcotics agent Scrocca testified for the Government, and his testimony was that on the evening of March 12, 1965 he and federal narcotics agent McLynn observed an informant of theirs whom Scrocca termed a "confidential informant" emerge from an automobile driven by the appellant. After the informant alighted Garcia drove on, the agents following him in their government car. Both cars stopping at a red light, the two agents stepped out of theirs and approached Garcia's. McLynn went to the passenger side and Scrocca to the driver's side of Garcia's car, Scrocca exhibiting his badge and identifying himself to Garcia as he approached. Garcia forthwith accelerated his car and turned it sharply to the left, causing the car's left rear fender to hit Scrocca and knock him to the ground. Garcia then fled the scene, traveling at high speed and going through several red lights. The agents pursued in their car, overtook Garcia after he had cut through a side street from one avenue to another, had smashed into a parked car, and had continued speeding on for several blocks. After a bit of a struggle with him the agents arrested him. When arrested he explained his flight by telling the agents that he had thought Scrocca was a stick-up man.

Garcia was indicted on March 26th for assault for knocking down Scrocca. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bond.

Barry Quinones, another federal narcotics agent, also testified for the Government. Over defendant's objection he stated that while he was working on an undercover assignment in New Jersey on April 16th he met the appellant. His testimony was that at this time he had no knowledge of Garcia's prior arrest or that Garcia was under an indictment in New York. However, in the course of their conversation, ostensibly as fellow narcotics peddlers, Quinones asked Garcia whether he had ever been in trouble with the police. Garcia recounted that he had been, and indeed currently was in trouble, for not too long before he had purchased some heroin in New York and soon after he had made the purchase two federal agents approached his car and identified themselves as agents; he attempted to get away so as to avoid being caught with the narcotics in his possession, and in so doing he intentionally drove his car at the agents, and that at the first turn that he made after this he disposed of the heroin because it was better to lose the money and the narcotics than to go to prison. Because Quinones in his undercover role did not give Garcia any of the warnings to be given before a police interrogation may be conducted, and because Garcia's attorney was not present during this conversation, defendant sought to suppress this testimony.

The defense case consisted of testimony by Garcia and by one local corroborating witness named Rivera that Scrocca had driven up behind Garcia with a blonde woman and had approached Garcia's car with a gun in hand and without identifying himself. Garcia testified that he drove away from Scrocca at 30 miles per hour in a straight direction. He denied hitting Scrocca and denied throwing anything out of the car. He also denied having seen agent McLynn prior to the trial; he denied making the statement to Quinones, which Quinones testified about; and he denied having any narcotics in his possession on the night of March 12th.

The jury's verdict resolved all the conflicts in the testimony against the appellant, and we need only consider the two issues appellant raises relative to the admission of evidence in the Government's case, which evidence it is claimed should not have been allowed to go to the jury.

Appellant claims that admission of the post-indictment statements to agent Quinones which the agent testified appellant made to him violated appellant's Sixth Amendment right to counsel as defined by the United States Supreme Court in Massiah v. United States, 377 U.S. 201, 84 S.Ct. 1199, 12 L.Ed.2d 246 (1964). There is some question whether appellant properly preserved this claim by specific and timely objection as required by United States v. Indiviglio, 352 F.2d 276, 280 (2 Cir. 1965), cert. denied, 383 U.S. 907, 86 S.Ct. 887, 15 L.Ed. 2d 663 (1966), but we will pass over this procedural issue because it is clear that the Massiah rule does not apply to the situation here.

In Massiah, after Massiah and a codefendant had been indicted, the codefendant agreed without Massiah's knowledge to cooperate with the Government. The codefendant allowed a government agent to install a secret listening device in his automobile and then he deliberately engaged Massiah in a conversation about the crime for which they both had been indicted so that an eavesdropping government agent could hear Massiah make incriminating statements...

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  • State v. Blizzard
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • November 29, 1976
    ...what he says might be used against him. The cases in this circuit establish that this view of the law is erroneous. United States v. Garcia, 377 F.2d 321, 324 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 389 U.S. 991, 88 S.Ct. 489, 19 L.Ed.2d 484 (1967), points out that Massiah prevents the admissibility of in......
  • United States v. Lilla
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    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of New York
    • March 15, 1982
    ...411 (1972); Escobedo v. Illinois, 378 U.S. 478, 485, 490-92, 84 S.Ct. 1758, 1762, 1764-65, 12 L.Ed.2d 977 (1964); United States v. Garcia, 377 F.2d 321, 324 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 389 U.S. 991, 88 S.Ct. 489, 19 L.Ed.2d 484 (1967). See also Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. at 300 n.4, 100 S......
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