irregularity in the grand jury proceedings themselves or any
other aspect of the "institution of the prosecution." Fed.R.Crim.
In any event, defendants' allegations of misconduct or
irregularity are far too speculative to overcome the "strong
presumption of regularity in grand jury proceedings." Ferrara,
990 F. Supp. at 152. The motion is denied.
Additional Discovery Requests
Defendants next request production of any evidence the
government intends to introduce pursuant to Federal Rules of
Rule 404(b) permits the introduction of evidence of other
crimes, wrongs or acts in order to show such things as motive,
opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity or
absence of mistake or accident.
The government, upon request by the defendant, must provide
notice of the general nature of such evidence, generally before
trial. See Fed.R.Evid. 404(b). The rule does not entitle
defendants to pretrial production of the prior acts evidence
The government is directed to comply with Rule 404(b) and
provide defendants with notice of the general nature of any prior
acts evidence it plans to introduce sufficiently in advance of
its proffer to permit defendants to respond.
Defendants also move for pretrial production of evidence the
government seeks to introduce under former Federal Rules of
Evidence 803(24) and 804(b)(5), which are now consolidated under
Rule 807, the residual hearsay exception, allows introduction
of evidence not specifically deemed admissible under the hearsay
rules but "having equivalent circumstantial guarantees of
trustworthiness." Fed. R.Ev. 807. No such statement may be
introduced unless its proponent gives notice to the adverse party
in advance of trial.
The government is hereby directed to provide sufficient notice
of evidence it may introduce under Rule 807.
Finally, defendants seek production of any statement the
government plans to introduce under Federal Rule of Evidence
801(d)(2), which allows introduction of a party's statements
against that party under specified circumstances. Defendants say
they are entitled to such statements by Federal Rule of Evidence
104, which governs the Court's consideration of preliminary
questions regarding the admissibility of evidence.
To the extent that any statements covered under Rule 801(d)(2)
are discoverable under Rule 16, Brady, Giglio, or § 3500, they
are addressed above. To the extent that defendants seek discovery
of statements outside the scope of those rules, they have made no
showing and cited no authority supporting their entitlement to
such statements. This aspect of defendants' motion is denied.
Bill of Particulars
Tarantola seeks a variety of information in the form of a bill
of particulars. Richards joins this motion but has not submitted
papers specifying which aspects of his indictment require
elaboration or clarification.
The purpose of a bill of particulars is to ensure that the
defendant adequately understands the nature of the charges
against him so he can prepare his defense and plead double
jeopardy if subsequently prosecuted for the same offense. Wong
Tai v. United States, 273 U.S. 77, 80 - 81, 47 S.Ct. 300, 301,
71 L.Ed. 545 (1927). A bill of particulars is required only when
the charges in the indictment are cast so generally that they do
not advise the defendant of the specific acts with which he is
charged. See United States v. Schwimmer, 649 F. Supp. 544, 550
"Generally, if the information sought by defendant is provided
in the indictment or in some acceptable alternate form, no bill
of particulars is required." United States v. Bortnovsky,
820 F.2d 572,
574 (2d Cir. 1987); see United States v. Crozzoli, 698 F. Supp. 430,
435-36 (E.D.N.Y. 1988).
A bill of particulars is not a discovery tool and is not
intended to allow a defendant a preview of the evidence or the
theory of the government's case. See Bortnovsky, 820 F.2d at
574. The government need not describe "the precise manner in
which the crime . . . is alleged to have been committed." United
States v. Andrews, 381 F.2d 377, 377-78 (2d Cir. 1967).
As to both counts of his indictment, Tarantola requests (i) the
times and places at which the alleged conspiracy was formed, at
which Tarantola allegedly joined the conspiracy, and at which he
allegedly conspired to possess and distribute marijuana; (ii) the
names of the persons with whom he allegedly conspired; (iii) the
amount of marijuana he allegedly conspired to possess and
distribute; and (iv) the amount and "type" (i.e., "whether cash
or otherwise") of money allegedly paid or received in connection
by Tarantola with the conspiracy.
Many of these requests go beyond the scope of information to
which defendants are entitled via a bill of particulars. For
instance, defendants are not necessarily entitled to learn the
names of unindicted coconspirators, see United States v. Gotti,
784 F. Supp. 1017, 1018 (E.D.N.Y. 1992), or the precise "date and
manner in which a conspiracy was formed, or when each defendant
entered into a conspiracy." United States v. Leonard,
817 F. Supp. 286, 301 (E.D.N.Y. 1992).
This is particularly true where, as here, defendants have
access to these details through discovery material and other
representations by the government. United States v. Torres,
901 F.2d 205, 233-34 (2d Cir. 1990); United States v. Schwimmer,
649 F. Supp. 544, 551 (E.D.N.Y. 1986). The government says it has
provided transcripts of earlier trials involving the same
conspiracy and extensive discovery material regarding its
investigation of Tarantola and Richards.
In addition, in support of its motion to try these defendants
together, the government has "set forth in some detail its
version of the factual backdrop of this case." United States v.
Leonard, 817 F. Supp. 286, 301 (E.D.N.Y. 1992).
Any vagueness or lack of detail in the indictments has been
more than remedied through the provision of discovery materials
and other pretrial representations. To the extent the defendants'
motion for a bill of particulars seeks information not available
from these sources, it constitutes an "ill-disguised attempt 
at general pretrial discovery." Torres, 901 F.2d at 234. The
motion is denied.
The government's motion to consolidate the two cases for trial
is granted. Defendants' motions to dismiss the indictment and for
production of various discovery materials are denied, except as
otherwise noted in this Memorandum and Opinion.
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