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UNITED STATES v. SADIQ

February 3, 1992

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, against OLAYINKA SADIQ, Defendant.

Nickerson


The opinion of the court was delivered by: EUGENE H. NICKERSON

NICKERSON, District Judge

 Defendant Olayinka Sadiq was found guilty by a jury on count one of a superseding indictment charging her with conspiring in April and May of 1991 to import heroin into the United States, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 952 and 963. She has moved under Rule 29(c) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure for a judgment of acquittal on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to sustain the verdict.

 The court views the evidence in a light most favorable to the government, assumes the credibility of the government witnesses, draws all reasonable inferences in its favor, and determines whether any rational juror could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. United States v. Salerno, 868 F.2d 524, 530 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 491 U.S. 907, 109 S. Ct. 3192, 105 L. Ed. 2d 700 (1989).

 As the government concedes, no one testified to having seen or heard defendant do or say anything that showed she joined the conspiracy charged. The question is whether the jury could infer beyond a reasonable doubt that she joined from testimony and other evidence showing the existence of a conspiracy and from physical evidence recovered by agents.

 I.

 In substance the evidence showed the following.

 Co-defendant Rose Lenena recruited four women to go to Indonesia and bring back heroin. One of the four, Rose White, a co-defendant, testified for the government at trial. In April 1991, Lenena met with the four at her shop in Chicago, Illinois, and told them that they would be well paid, $ 20,000 to defendant Rose White and $ 10,000 to each of the other three. A woman named Sade, the organizer of the conspiracy, came from New York to Chicago to meet the prospective couriers and to get photographs of them.

 On May 3, 1991, Lenena supplied the four women with passports and roundtrip tickets from Chicago to New York's LaGuardia Airport and then on to Indonesia. They then flew to LaGuardia Airport where Sade met them and took them in a taxicab to Kennedy International Airport.

 In the taxi, Sade handed White a plastic bag with $ 8,000, explaining that it was for the women's expenses in Indonesia. Sade also gave White two slips of paper. One had the name of the Indonesian hotel to which the women were supposed to go. The other had a telephone number, (718) 284-8242, and an address, 500 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, to which they were supposed to deliver the heroin on their return. Sade told White that the four could expect to be away for about ten days and that a man named "Bobby" would contact them in Indonesia concerning delivery to them of the drugs.

 The women arrived in Indonesia on May 5, 1991. On May 14, 1991, Sade called White to say that there was a delay and that they would have to remain in Indonesia a little longer. About five days later, or about May 19, 1991, someone calling himself "Richard", and describing himself as a friend of Sade, telephoned White from Bangkok, Thailand, and said that he and not "Bobby" would be coming, that there would be "another delay" because "he was having trouble getting out of Bangkok with the stuff", and that "there were evil spirits at the airport."

 Around May 23, 1991, Richard arrived in Indonesia and told White that he had had "problems getting out of the airport with the stuff." Richard brought two suitcases in which he packed items the women had bought in Indonesia along with the heroin.

 Shortly before leaving Indonesia on May 28, 1991 White received a call from Sade in New York stating that either she or her daughter would be at the 500 Flatbush Avenue address to meet them. White told Sade that all four women wanted their money when they got to New York. Sade agreed, but said "it would be hard to get all that money in one large sum."

 White and another of the women, Linda Santos, were arrested upon their arrival in the United States, each with a suitcase ...


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