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VANERIO v. IRS

March 10, 1986

DELFO VANERIO and MARLENE VANERIO, Plaintiffs, against INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, Defendant


The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCLAUGHLIN

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

McLAUGHLIN, District Judge

This is an action for judicial review of "termination assessments" of federal income tax liability made against the plaintiffs pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 6851. For the reasons stated below, the assessments are upheld.

 Facts

 The termination assessments made by the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") against the taxpayers resulted from a criminal investigation, the pertinent facts of which are as follows:

 Prior to July 26, 1985, Detective James Perretto of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force was notified by a confidential informant that certain individuals -- Nelson and Gladys Segovia -- were trafficking in substantial amounts of cocaine. The Task Force agents instructed the informant to arrange to purchase cocaine from the Segovias.

 At approximately 6:00 p.m. on the evening of July 26, 1985, the informant phoned the Segovias and agreed to purchase two kilograms of cocaine. The Segovias indicated that they would arrange for delivery of the cocaine and that the informant could pick it up later that evening.

 At approximately 7:30 p.m., Investigator Jonigan, who was conducting surveillance from a parked van, observed the plaintiffs -- Delfo and Marlene Vanerio -- entering the Segovias' building. Delfo Vanerio was carrying a brown shoulder bag. Approximately five minutes later, Delfo Vanerio left the building without the shoulder bag. Several minutes later, his wife, Marlene Vanerio, also exited the building.

 Shortly thereafter, the informant confirmed that a kilogram of cocaine had been delivered to the apartment. Accordingly, the agents executed a warrant to search the apartment. The search revealed a kilogram of cocaine inside a brown bag similar to the one Delfo Vanerio had been carrying.

 The Segovias were arrested and interrogated. They revealed that the kilogram of cocaine had been delivered by a man with a brown bag.

 Later that evening, the agents observed Delfo Vanerio driving back and forth in front of the Segovias' building. When the agents approached Vanerio's vehicle, Vanerio stepped out and shouted "I have a suspended license." Vanerio then gave a suspicious and inconsistent explanation for his presence at the scene.

 The agents discovered that Vanerio possessed a beeper linked to a number that was listed in the Segovias' telephone book. In addition, the agents found a green alien registration card bearing Vanerio's picture, but registered in a different name.

 Upon interrogating Mrs. Vanerio, the agents discovered that she claimed that the couple lived on 164th Street in Queens, while Mr. Vanerio claimed that they lived in Great Neck. In addition, Mrs. Vanerio's driver's ...


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