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United States v. Beigel

decided: January 9, 1967.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, APPELLEE,
v.
ALVIN BEIGEL, JOSEPH LAPI AND ANTHONY VERZINO, APPELLANTS



Waterman, Moore and Hays, Circuit Judges.

Author: Hays

HAYS, Circuit Judge:

Appellants Alvin Beigel, Joseph Lapi and Anthony Verzino were convicted of violating 21 U.S.C. §§ 173, 174*fn1 and conspiring to violate those sections as well as 26 U.S.C. § 4705(a).*fn2 The case was tried to the court sitting without a jury and the opinion of the trial judge is reported at 254 F. Supp. 923 (S.D.N.Y. 1966). Two other defendants were charged in the same indictment. One, Anthony Cutillo, was acquitted. The other, Vincent Soviero, has not yet been apprehended and the counts against him were severed before trial. The principal contention of all three appellants is that certain contraband introduced in evidence was illegally seized from Beigel and should have been suppressed. Lapi and Verzino also challenge the sufficiency of the evidence on which their convictions are based and Verzino contends that he was denied his constitutional right to a speedy trial. We find no error and affirm the convictions.

In August, 1962 agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and detectives of the New York City Narcotics Squad began surveillance of the activities of appellants. On February 5, 1963 the following conversation between Verzino and an unidentified John Doe was overheard:

Verzino: I told him $5500, no less.

John Doe: You know you have to be careful in this business.

Verzino: I feel sorry for Louis.

John Doe: Louis who?

Verzino: Louis Gold, that Puerto Rican that got jammed up. I took care of him before he got busted.

Soviero then arrived and John Doe asked him, "Is it in the same place, in the ashtray?" Soviero replied, "Yes, right behind the ashtray," whereupon Doe said, "I will see you tomorrow with the money."

A short time later Doe entered a parked car a few blocks away, reached down under the dashboard and then drove away. The other two men went to a nearby bar where the following conversation was overheard:

Verzino: For that guy we charge 7500.

Soviero: That's right. Did Al mix the stuff good?

Verzino: Yes, he mixed it three to one and it's ...


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