the basis of prosecutorial vindictiveness, and denied Defendant's Motion to Dismiss on the basis of the Government's waiver of its right to bring a second indictment. See United States v. Cady, 1996 WL 650662 (N.D.N.Y. 1996).
Subsequent to the filing of Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration, the Court became aware of additional evidence that might be probative of the issue of prosecutorial vindictiveness. Accordingly, the Court notified Defendant's counsel, Michael Pinnisi, and Assistant United States Attorney Miroslav Lovric of this information via a conference on the record on December 12, 1996.
On December 14, 1996, after reviewing the party's submissions, the Court vacated its prior Memorandum-Decision & Order dated October 31, 1996, as it pertained to Defendant's motion for dismissal of the Indictment based on vindictive prosecution. See United States v. Cady, 1996 WL 732826 (N.D.N.Y. 1996). Furthermore, the Court reserved on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for prosecutorial vindictiveness, pending consideration of additional evidence on the issue of the Government's motivation in bringing Indictment 96-CR-238.
On February 7, 1997, the Government submitted its evidentiary response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for prosecutorial vindictiveness. On February 19, 1997, Defendant submitted his reply papers. Accordingly, the factual record is sufficiently developed for the Court to make a final determination on the issue of prosecutorial vindictiveness.
B. Factual Background
On April 8, 1994, the Government filed a criminal complaint charging Stephen Cady with using and carrying an Uzi machine gun during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). On August 3, 1994, Cady waived indictment and was charged in Information 94-CR-280 with one count of manufacturing marihuana in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), and one count of possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1). Cady executed a written plea agreement on that same day, and entered pleas of guilty to both charges. On October 28, 1994, this Court sentenced Cady to eight (8) months imprisonment on the manufacturing count, and sixty (60) months imprisonment on the weapon possession count, to run consecutively.
The current Indictment, 96-CR-238, includes five counts, charging Cady with manufacturing, distributing, and possessing marihuana, all in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 841, and with the use and carry of a .9mm Uzi machine gun, 7.62 semi-automatic rifle, and 7.62 bolt action rifle in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1).
Defendant argues, inter alia, that the instant indictment is a "vindictive response" to Cady's filing of a 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion to modify his sentence. In response, the Government avers that Cady violated the plea agreement in 1994, when he intentionally misled the Government in its debriefings of Cady and that Assistant United States Attorney Miroslav Lovric ("AUSA Lovric") told Defendant as much on September 19, 1994, when the Government canceled all further debriefings.
In its December 14, 1996 Memorandum-Decision & Order, the Court stated that it would reconsider Defendant's motion for dismissal of Indictment 96-CR-238 on the basis that the Indictment was the product of vindictive prosecution. However, the Court stated that it would not reconsider its prior decision that the Government did not waive its right to bring a second indictment. See Cady, 1996 WL 650662, *4.
"In some circumstances a presumption of unconstitutional vindictiveness arises when prosecutors employ practices that 'pose a realistic likelihood of 'vindictiveness.'" Lane v. Lord, 815 F.2d 876, 878 (2d Cir. 1987) (emphasis added) (quoting Blackledge v. Perry, 417 U.S. 21, 21, 40 L. Ed. 2d 628, 94 S. Ct. 2098 (1974)). An example of a suspect practice is where a prosecutor lodges more severe charges following a defendant's post-conviction exercise of his right to appeal. See Lane, 815 F.2d at 878; United States v. White, 972 F.2d 16, 19 (2d Cir. 1992).
After examining the factual submissions of the parties, this Court previously held that:
Cady has demonstrated sufficient facts to warrant a presumption of vindictiveness. Once the presumption of vindictive prosecution is raised, 'the burden shifts to the prosecution to rebut it by presenting evidence of independent reasons or intervening circumstances that demonstrate that the prosecutor's decision was motivated by a legitimate purpose.'
United States v. Cady, 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19412, *5, 1996 WL 650662, at *6 (N.D.N.Y. 1996) (citing Adamson v. Ricketts, 865 F.2d 1011, 1019 (9th Cir. 1988); Goodwin, 457 U.S. at 374 (presumption of vindictiveness "may be overcome only by objective information in the record"); Phelps v. Hamilton, 59 F.3d 1058, 1066 (10th Cir. 1995) (requiring "legitimate, articulable, objective reasons justifying a decision to initiate a prosecution); United States v. Rodgers, 18 F.3d 1425, 1431 (8th Cir. 1994) (same); United States v. Mallah, 503 F.2d 971, 988 (2d Cir. 1974) (stating in dicta that a prosecutor must have a "valid reason" for bringing additional charges)).
In analyzing whether the Government had met its burden of articulating "objective information" as required by United States v. Goodwin, this Court stated:
After repeated questioning by the Court at oral argument, the Government did not definitively state that the decision to reindict Cady was made prior to Cady's attempted filing of the § 2255 motion. Rather, the government stated: 'I couldn't tell you, Judge, as I sit here right now that between September 19 or October 24 that there is any point in time the government said we are absolutely going to indict Mr. Cady as soon as all of these other matters that are more pressing are taken care of.' (Tr. at 28.)