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UNITED STATES v. KESSLER

June 24, 1957

UNITED STATES of America
v.
Morris Joseph KESSLER, Joseph Kinsella, Emanuel George Castellitto and John Helmer Torta, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BRUCHHAUSEN

The defendants, Morris Joseph Kessler, Joseph Kinsella, Emanuel George Castellitto and John Helmer Torta were indicted on two counts, in substance, as follows:

Count one: That on or about April 12, 1956, the defendants transported from the Reliable Warehouse in New Jersey to Brooklyn, property of Reynolds Aluminum Company, consisting of eight skids of sheet aluminum, valued at more than $ 5,000, knowing same to have been stolen, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sections 2 and 2314.

 Count two: That on or about and between the first day of February, 1956 and the 18th day of April, 1956, the said four defendants, in this district, conspired to transport merchandise valued at more than $ 5,000 from New Jersey to Brooklyn, knowing the same to have been stolen, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 371.

 The defendants Kinsella and Castellitto pleaded guilty. The defendants Kessler and Torta waived trial by jury. The trial was held before the undersigned on April 10 and 11, 1957.

 The principal defense is that the testimony of the Government's witness, Edgar Robbins, as to the contents of records, not produced, was not competent. The Court has not found it necessary to consider this evidence in its determination of the case. Other contentions of the defendants are that the prosecution failed to establish the identify of the merchandise and that it was taken without the consent of the owner.

 The Government's witnesses are identified as follows:

 Edgar Robbins, an official of The Reynolds Company,

 Joseph L. Kinsella, employed as a Checker at the Reliable Warehouse in Newark, New Jersey, which was under lease to The Reynolds Company,

 James Coles, a truck driver, engaged by the defendants Kessler and Torta to transport aluminum from the Reliable Warehouse to a warehouse in Brooklyn,

 Burton Lewis, manager of The Brooklyn Steel Warehouse Company,

 Abraham Ackerman, purchaser of the aluminum,

 James O. Ponder and Edward T. Kelly, Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and

 Robert E. Arnold, a representative of The New York Telephone Company.

 The witness Robbins, an official of The Reynolds Company, testified that the Company leased the Reliable Warehouse in Newark, New Jersey (12); that all of the merchandise in the Warehouse was the property of the Company (26, 36); that On April 17, 1956 (five days after the alleged theft), he identified the 8 skids of aluminum, found in The Brooklyn Steel Warehouse, as aluminum, manufactured by The Reynolds Company (5, 6); that on or about April 30, 1956, an inventory taken at the Reliable Warehouse disclosed that more than 18 skids were missing (36); that ...


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