Not what you're
looking for? Try an advanced search.
Buy This Entire Record For
SOLDANO v. UNITED STATES
May 12, 1983
ANTHONY SOLDANO, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent
The opinion of the court was delivered by: COOPER
Petitioner Soldano moves, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, to vacate and correct the sentence of fifteen (15) years we imposed upon him on December 3, 1975. In that year, Soldano and others were tried on a seventeen-count indictment charging violations of the federal narcotics law. A jury convicted Soldano on the first count (which charged conspiracy, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846) and the ninth count (which charged distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 812, 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A) and 18 U.S.C. § 2). Each of those violations carried a maximum sentence of imprisonment of 15 years and a $25,000 fine. The conviction was affirmed, 543 F.2d 431 (2d Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 1091, 97 S. Ct. 1100, 51 L. Ed. 2d 536 (1977).
When Soldano and his co-defendants appeared for sentence, we observed:
These defendants were found guilty of conspiracy to distribute heroin and with the actual distribution and possession with intent to distribute vast amounts of heroin, both pure and diluted. The proof established that from in or about late February, 1973, to approximately the end of February, 1974, Perna, Malizia and Verzino were engaged in criminal partnership to obtain massive quantities of pure and diluted heroin, and to resell this heroin to other members of the conspiracy. The defendants, Magnano, Pallatta, Bolella, DeLutro and Soldano were the sources of the heroin supplied to Perna, Malizia and Verzino.
The convicted defendants were part of a tremendous network in this metropolitan area. Indeed, so far as our personal observations are concerned, this case is one of the largest domestic heroin cases in the history of narcotics law enforcement. The prosecution of Magnano, Pallatta, DeLutro, Soldano and Lucas was the culmination of literally thousands of hours of intensive investigation by representatives of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration over a very . . . substantial period of time.
We have presided over trials involving the sale of substantial quantities of narcotics. Never, however, on a scale as extraordinary as this with its enormous quantities of heroin bought and sold on an almost daily basis. The activities of this group emphasizes the overlords and regimental tiers of operation, all governed by tight maneuvers and bold enough to successfully avoid governmental detection of which they were constantly apprehensive and aware. Nor have the important operational details of their cruel enterprise come to light even at this late date. Let's face it[:] so inhuman, ruthless and cold-blooded was their approach to the execution of their nefarious schemes that we sat aghast at the unfolding of the enormity of their horrifying indifference to life's [true] values. The holocaust of misery, the dreadful terminus of life for legions following the vast narcotic operations revealed herein [are] too horrifying even to contemplate.
The instant application is not the first time we have heard from petitioner since we imposed sentence. In 1977 he moved for a reduction of the sentence which we were constrained to deny. The essence of the grounds then advanced by defendant (affidavits of his wife and attorney) was the hardship which had befallen his family following his incarceration. We pointed out that throughout decades of judicial service, we have painfully and repeatedly witnessed the unceasing misery and the cruel hardship visited upon the family of a defendant sentenced to a substantial period of imprisonment. We are fully aware of the harsh fact that almost invariably it is the family that suffers much more than the sentenced felon. We make as much allowance for so throbbing a factor as is reasonable, always bearing in mind that justice must be done to defendant and accuser (community) alike. And so we did in this case at the time this defendant came on for sentence. It must be obvious that each human being tempted to commit crime has a choice to make: whether to succumb and possibly endanger (often beyond recall) one's family or resist and avoid disaster to the family. We venture to suggest that most adopt the latter course. And what of the victims of the narcotics traffic rendered helpless physically and mentally by their indulgence? Most of them have families, too -- families stricken and bereaved by the holocaust, the irreparable damage which has befallen them and the community. Are they not entitled to our consideration as well?
At sentence, we emphasized:
And so we do address ourselves to the strength and weakness of each defendant. And the sentence is addressed not only to the crimes of which they stand convicted, but to their behavior pattern as human beings over a substantial period of time.
At sentence, counsel for the Government stated: "Soldano . . . operated as a supplier of heroin . . . Soldano sold six pounds of pure heroin in January 1974 for approximately $150,000 in cash. [He has] a prior narcotics conviction . . . [and is] associated with major crime figures in New York City." In denying petitioner's motion for reduction of sentence ...
Buy This Entire Record For