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UNITED STATES v. RUGGIERO

April 19, 1994

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
ANGELO RUGGIERO, et al., Defendants, JOHN CARNEGLIA and GENE GOTTI, Movants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN R. BARTELS

 Bartels, U.S. District Judge.

 Five years after trial and three years after the Court of Appeals affirmed their conviction, defendants Gene Gotti and John Carneglia are before the court seeking the disclosure of the names and addresses of the anonymous jurors that served in their May 1989 trial. Defendants appear to be beating a dead horse. For reasons more fully explained herein, the application is denied.

 PROCEDURAL HISTORY

 The facts of this case are set out in detail in United States v. Ruggiero, 928 F.2d 1289 (2d Cir. 1991), and are repeated herein only to the extent necessary for resolution of defendants' present application. Gotti and Carneglia were initially indicted in 1983. Two trials of the defendants before this court resulted in mistrials, one following charges of jury tampering.

 At the conclusion of a third trial in May 1989, both defendants were convicted of racketeering conspiracy, narcotics conspiracy, travelinq in interstate commerce to promote and facilitate the conduct of a narcotics business enterprise, and possession of heroin with intent to distribute. An anonymous jury served in the third trial.

 During deliberations, Juror # 9 advised the court that he had been approached outside of his home by two strangers who stated only that they knew that he was serving on the Gotti trial, and nothing more. He did not know how the strangers discovered his address. The juror was interviewed by the court several times and finally stated that he could not render an impartial verdict because his vote was motivated by fear. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 23(b), the court dismissed Juror # 9 over defendants' objection.

 Shortly following the dismissal of Juror # 9, the remaining eleven jurors informed the court they had reached a verdict. The court sent the jurors back to continue deliberations and specifically instructed them to set aside anything they had heard from, or discussed with, Juror # 9. Several hours later, the eleven-person jury came back with guilty verdicts against both defendants. At the request of the government, the court asked the jurors the following three questions: (1) Was your verdict based upon the evidence and no other reason? (2) Did anything that Juror #9 said to you during deliberations affect your verdict in any way? (3) Did Juror #9's dismissal affect your verdict in any way? Each juror answered "yes" to the first question and "no" to the second and third questions.

 Gotti and Carneglia were each sentenced to consecutive prison terms totalling 50 years. *fn1" The convictions were affirmed on March 22, 1991 by the Court of Appeals. United States v. Ruggiero, 928 F.2d 1289 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 112 S. Ct. 372, 116 L. Ed. 2d 324 (1991).

 THE PRESENT APPLICATION

 Three years later, defendants bring this motion seeking the disclosure of the names and addresses of the jurors that served during their trial. Defendants claim that newly discovered evidence entitles them to an opportunity to question the jurors about their ability to be impartial following the dismissal of Juror # 9.

 The new evidence offered by defendants includes an audio tape of a private interview on August 8, 1989 with Juror # 9 by Gerald L. Shargel, Esq., Carneglia's trial counsel. The interview, which took place only three months after the verdict, was not authorized by the court. On the Shargel tape, *fn2" Juror # 9 states that the entire jury knew about the two previous mistrials and discussed the earlier jury tampering.

 In further support of their application, defendants also offer hearsay evidence in the form of newspaper reports on October 31, 1991 and March 11, 1994 indicating that Carmine Agnello, Gene Gotti's nephew, paid Juror # 9 a bribe of $ 25,000 during the course of the trial in this case to vote for ...


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