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United States of America v. Christopher Barret

August 6, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
CHRISTOPHER BARRET, RYAN ANDERSON, LEON SCARLETT, AND OMAR MITCHELL, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Matsumoto, United States District Judge:

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

On February 8, 2012, after a jury trial, defendants Christopher Barret (a/k/a "Mouthy," "Solo," or the "General"), Ryan Anderson (a/k/a "Dre"), Leon Scarlett (a/k/a "Piggy" or "Agony"), and Omar Mitchell (a/k/a "Sox") (collectively, "defendants") were convicted of various narcotics-trafficking crimes charged in a six-count Fourth Superseding Indictment (the "Superseding Indictment"). Presently before the court are (1) defendants' opposed motions for (a) judgment of acquittal, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29 ("Rule 29"), and (b) a new trial, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 33 ("Rule 33"); and (2) Mr. Barret's opposed pro se motions (a) for judgment of acquittal pursuant to Rule 29, (b) for a new trial pursuant to Rule 33, (c) for substitution of his counsel, Jack Goldberg, Esq., in advance of sentencing, and (d) to compel the government's provision of "all Section 3500 material germane to Defendant's criminal prosecution." (See ECF No. 473 ("Scarlett Rule 29 Mem."); ECF No. 479 ("Scarlett Rule

33 Mem."); ECF No. 500 ("Scarlett Reply"); ECF No. 478 ("Barret Mem."); ECF No. 474 ("Anderson Mem."); ECF No. 480 ("Mitchell Mem."); ECF No. 498 ("Gov. Rule 29 and 33 Opp'n"); ECF No. 503 ("First Pro Se Barret Mem."); ECF No. 508 ("Second Pro Se Barret Mem."); ECF No. 517 ("Third Pro Se Barret Mem."); ECF No. 506 ("First Goldberg Resp."); ECF No. 515 ("Second Goldberg Resp."); ECF No. 513 ("Gov. Opp'n to Pro Se Mems.").) For the reasons set forth below, defendants' motions are denied.

I.Background

A.The Charges

The Superseding Indictment (ECF No. 395, Superseding Indictment ("S-4")), filed on December 27, 2011, charged defendants with various narcotics-trafficking crimes. Count One charged Mr. Barret with knowingly and intentionally engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise between November 2006 and November 2010 (the "relevant period"), in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 848(a) and (c). (Id. ¶ 1.) Count One also alleged twenty-one violations, including conspiracy to distribute marijuana, maintaining a stash house, attempted possession of marijuana, distribution of marijuana, and manufacture of marijuana on various dates. (Id. ¶¶ 2-22.)

Count Two charged Mr. Barret, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Scarlett, and Mr. Mitchell with conspiracy to distribute 1,000 kilograms of marijuana between November 2006 and November 2010, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(b)(1)(A)(vii) and 846. (Id. ¶ 23.) Counts Three and Four charged Mr. Barret with conspiring to maintain (Count Three) and maintaining (Count Four) a stash house between November 2006 and October 2010, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 856(a)-(b). (Id. ¶¶ 24--25.)

Count Five charged Mr. Barret, Mr. Anderson, and Mr. Scarlett with distributing or possessing with intent to distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana on October 7, 2010, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(vii), and 18 U.S.C. § 2. (Id. ¶ 26.) Count Six charged Mr. Barret, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Scarlett, and Mr. Mitchell with possessing, brandishing and discharging a firearm in relation to drug-trafficking crimes in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i)-(iii) and 2. (Id. ¶ 27.)

B.The Trial

After selection of an anonymous and partially sequestered jury, trial commenced with opening statements on January 9, 2012. The government presented numerous exhibits, including documents and video tapes, as well as testimony from United States Postal Inspectors James Buthorn (Trial Transcript ("Tr.") at 66-576, 597-687, 712-69), Vincent Blas (id. at 577- 96), Robert Moriarty (id. at 2063-70), and Christopher Nielsen (id. at 2110-50); New York State Police Officer Francisco Diaz (id. at 1255-65); Sergeant Michael Sykora (id. at 2040-47) and Detectives Mark Lotter (id. at 2047-63), Peter Galasso (id. at 1692-1722), Joseph Jordan (id. at 1669-92), Dustin Genco (id. at 2151-82), and Eric Semler (id. at 2422-40) of the New York City Police Department; Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agents Michael Dunn (id. at 1266-78), Eric Baldus (id. at 1320-56), and George McMillin (id. at 2071-87); cooperating witnesses Melbert Palmer (id. at 770-1254), Clifton Williams (id. at 1359-1669), Leemax Neunie (id. at 1739-2039), and Kareem Forrest (id. at 2192-2416); and commercial mailbox store owner Frank Chen (id. at 2417-2421). The government rested on January 26, 2012. (Id. at 2441.)

No defendant called witnesses, but several defendants entered exhibits or read stipulations into evidence.*fn1 All defendants rested on January 26, 2012. (Id. at 2443, 2468.)

C.The Verdict

After four days of deliberations, the jury returned its verdict. Mr. Barret was convicted of Count One, intentionally engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, and the jury found that all violations alleged in Count One, except Violation Six and Violation Twenty-One, were proven. (ECF No. 463, Verdict, at 1-5.)

The jury convicted Mr. Barret, Mr. Scarlett, Mr. Anderson, and Mr. Mitchell of Count Two, conspiracy to distribute 1,000 kilograms of marijuana between November 2006 and November 2010. (Id. at 6.) The jury also convicted Mr. Barret of conspiracy to maintain (Count Three) and maintaining (Count Four) a stash house. (Id. at 7.) Mr. Barret, Mr. Scarlett, and Mr. Anderson were convicted of Count Five, distribution or possession with intent to distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana on October 7, 2010. (Id. at 8.)

Finally, the jury convicted Mr. Barret and Mr. Anderson - and acquitted Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Scarlett - of Count Six, use of a firearm in relation to drug-trafficking crimes. (Id. at 9-12.) With respect to Count Six, the jury unanimously concluded that Mr. Barret used or carried, and brandished -- but did not discharge - a firearm, and that Mr. Anderson used or carried -- but did not brandish or discharge - a firearm. (Id. at 9-10.)

D.Evidence at Trial*fn2

1.Marijuana Deliveries to the Barret Residence

The government presented evidence of various surveillance operations, executions of search warrants, and arrests made in connection with a narcotics investigation jointly undertaken in 2010 by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the New York City and New York State Police Departments (collectively, "investigators"). (Tr. at 70-72.) The investigation primarily focused on activities at (1) a residential property at 133-37 147th Street in Jamaica, Queens (the "Barret Residence"), where Mr. Barret lived with his wife, Latoya Manning (a/k/a "Toya") ("Manning"), and their two children, Latoya Manning's brother, Fabian Manning, and Kerry Gunter (a/k/a "Parker"); (2) a residential property at 259-64 148th Drive in Rosedale, Queens, where Andre Wilson (a/k/a "Mario") ("Wilson"), Kwaume Wilson, Vincent Quinones (a/k/a "Rock"), and Leemax Neunie (a/k/a "Jukes") resided; and (3) several commercial mail receiving agencies ("CMRA") in Flushing and Bayside, Queens. (Id. at 73, 75-77, 79, 312, 337-38, 1840.)

The investigation commenced after Postal Inspectors in Phoenix, Arizona, identified three suspicious parcels that a male suspect, who was later identified as Clifton Williams, had brought to multiple post offices for delivery on January 5, 2010. (Id. at 349, 578.) One parcel was addressed to a Bronx location, while the other two parcels were addressed to "Ming's Party Supplies, 159-09 Northern Boulevard, Box 146, Flushing, New York, 11358-1636." (Id. at 579, 583, 586, 589.) A postal record database search revealed that the parcels' physical delivery and return addresses were valid, but the addressees named on the parcels were inconsistent with postal records. (Id. at 579.) Moreover, a narcotic-detection canine that examined the parcels gave positive alerts, suggesting the presence of narcotics. (Id. at 578-79.) After executing a search warrant on the three parcels, Inspector Blas opened the parcels, each of which contained bales of marijuana nestled in foam packing peanuts. (Id. at 580-81.) Each marijuana bale was wrapped in layers of clear cellophane wrapping, hot sauce to disguise the scent of marijuana, carbon paper, and contact paper. (Id. at 581-83, 621.) Altogether, Postal Inspectors seized seventeen kilograms of marijuana from the three parcels. (Id. at 206; Government Exhibit ("GX") 18-20.)

Following the January 2010 seizure of marijuana from Williams's parcels in Phoenix, investigators used mail records to track certain parcels mailed from specific zipcodes in Arizona to CMRAs in Flushing, including the CMRA located at 159-09 Northern Boulevard, Box 146. (Tr. at 541-58; GX 517.) Inspector Buthorn testified about numerous dates on which investigators conducted visual surveillance at the CMRA locations, the Barret Residence, and the Wilson Residence. (Tr. at 541-58.) The government also introduced video footage from a pole camera that was installed at the Barret Residence, which allowed investigators to view the Barret Residence from a remote location. (Id. at 79-80; GX 1.) Together, the evidence showed that:

* On July 27, 2010, investigators observed Mr. Mitchell walking back and forth between the front of the Barret Residence and a nearby street corner. (Tr. at 319-20; GX 723, 723-A.) When an individual arrived in a silver Chrysler, Mr. Mitchell conversed with the individual, then motioned to allow the individual to back the Chrysler into the driveway of the Barret Residence. (Tr. at 320.) At that time, a second individual removed from the vehicle and brought into the Barret Residence a cardboard boX consistent in size and appearance with boxes later found to contain marijuana. (Id. at 320-21.)

* On August 26, 2010, four parcels that together weighed approximately 100 pounds were tendered at a post office in Phoenix. (GX 517.) Two days later, the parcels arrived at a CMRA in Flushing*fn3 on August 28, 2010, and at 1:37 p.m. that day, Wilson backed his white Cadillac Escalade into the driveway at the Barret Residence and unloaded the boxes into the house. (Tr. 543; GX 1, 517.)

* On August 28, 2010, three parcels that together weighed approximately 75 pounds were tendered at a post office in Phoenix. (GX 517.) The parcels arrived at a CMRA in Flushing two days later on August 30, 2010, and at 1:37 p.m. that day, Wilson backed his white Cadillac Escalade into the driveway at the Barret Residence and unloaded boxes into the house. (GX 1, 517.)

* On September 2, 2010, three parcels that together weighed approximately 75 pounds were tendered at a post office in Phoenix. (GX 517.) The parcels arrived at a CMRA in Flushing two days later on September 4, 2010, and at 1:59 p.m. that day, Wilson backed his white Cadillac Escalade into the driveway at the Barret Residence and unloaded boxes into the house. (GX 1, 517.)

* On September 18, 2010, one parcel that weighed approximately 30 pounds was tendered at a post office in Phoenix. (GX 517.) The parcel arrived at a CMRA in Flushing two days later on September 20, 2010, and at 1:02 p.m. that day, Wilson delivered the box to the Barret Residence. (GX 1, 517.)

* On September 20, 2010, five parcels that together weighed approximately 135 pounds were tendered at a post office in Phoenix. (GX 517.) The parcels arrived at a CMRA in Flushing two days later on September 22, 2010, and at 4:37 p.m. that day, a black sedan backed into the driveway at the Barret Residence and boxes were unloaded into the house. (Id.) Approximately one hour later, at 5:35 p.m. that same day, Wilson backed his white Cadillac Escalade into the driveway at the Barret Residence and unloaded boxes into the house. (GX 1, 517.)

* On September 21, 2010, three parcels that together weighed approximately 75 pounds were tendered at a post office in Phoenix. (GX 517.) The parcels arrived at a CMRA in Flushing two days later on September 23, 2010, and at 7:07 p.m. that day, Wilson backed his white Cadillac Escalade into the driveway at the Barret Residence and unloaded boxes into the house. (GX 1, 517.)

* On September 24, 2010, one parcel that weighed approximately 22 pounds was tendered at a post office in Phoenix. (GX 517.) On September 27, 2010, investigators surveilled and followed Wilson to the CMRA at 2:30 p.m. that day (id.); however, Wilson left the CMRA without any boxes because the parcel had not yet arrived. Investigators observed that the parcel was delivered to the CMRA later that afternoon on September 27, 2010, at 3:23 p.m. (Id.)

* On September 28, 2010, three parcels that together weighed approximately 75 pounds were tendered at a post office in Phoenix. (Id.) The parcels arrived at two CMRAs in Flushing on the afternoon of September 30, 2010, and on that date, investigators observed Wilson pick up the parcels from the two CMRAs and deliver them in a black BMW to the Barret Residence. (GX 1, 517; Tr. at 345-49.)

* On October 5, 2010, ten parcels that together weighed approximately 265 pounds were tendered at a post office in Phoenix. (GX 517.) The parcels arrived at three CMRAs in Flushing two days later on October 7, 2010, and on the afternoon of October 7, 2010,*fn4 investigators observed Wilson pick up nine of the parcels from two CMRAs and deliver the parcels to the Barret Residence. (GX 1, 517.) On November 19, 2010, investigators recovered the tenth parcel from the third CMRA, located at 42-06A Bell Boulevard, and seized approximately 10 kilograms of marijuana from the parcel. (Tr. at 205-06, 307-11; GX 464, 517.)

In addition, the government introduced testimony about evidence collected from the garbage left outside of the Barret Residence during periodic "trash pulls" that investigators conducted on August 19, September 2, and September 23, 2010. (Tr. at 321-22, 332-33, 342-43.) The trash pulls yielded bags containing "marijuana shake," the remnants of marijuana that fall off the bale as it is being processed or packaged; pieces of cardboard; plastic bags with marijuana residue; and discarded rubberbands. (Tr. at 322-23, 332-36, 342-44; GX 469-70, 472-78.) Inspector Buthorn testified that "a powerful smell of marijuana" emanated from some of the bags recovered during the trash pulls. (Tr. at 334-37.)

2.Events of October 7, 2010

On October 7, 2010, according to cooperating witness Mr. Forrest, numerous individuals gathered at the Barret Residence in anticipation of a large delivery of marijuana. (Tr. at 2196-97.) Upon Mr. Forrest's arrival, Mr. Barret instructed Mr. Forrest to retrieve two firearms from Mr. Barret's bedroom dresser and to carry the guns while accompanying other co-conspirators in the delivery of marijuana to the Barret Residence. (Tr. at 2198-2201.) Mr. Forrest identified Government Exhibits 42 and 43 as the firearms that he retrieved and carried on October 7, 2010.*fn5 (Id. at 2199.)

At approximately noon, Palmer arrived at the Barret Residence with $1,500 to purchase marijuana. (Id. at 909-10.) When Palmer arrived, Mr. Barret informed Palmer that he did not have marijuana yet, but a shipment was due "in a few," so Palmer should stay and wait. (Id. at 910.) While waiting, Palmer observed Mr. Barret conversing with a group of individuals, including Gunter, "Back-It," Charles Jones (a/k/a "Speedy"), Constantine Branch (a/k/a "Butu"), and Kevin Lee (a/k/a "Bala Boy"). (Id. at 909-11, 915, 2197.) Mr. Barret instructed Mr. Scarlett, Mr. Forrest, Back-It, and Donovan Downer to accompany Wilson to pick up the marijuana at the CMRAs "to make sure everything [ran] smoothly." (Id. at 910-11, 2198, 2203.) Palmer also heard Mr. Barret instruct Mr. Forrest to retrieve the two guns, and give one to Mr. Scarlett and one to Mr. Anderson. (Id. at 911.)

After Wilson arrived at the Barret Residence, he left for the CMRAs with escorts: Downer and Mr. Scarlett followed Wilson in a Nissan Quest, and Back-It and Mr. Forrest followed Wilson in a separate vehicle. (Id. at 2203-04.) Together, Back-It, Mr. Forrest, Downer, and Mr. Scarlett drove to two different CMRAs, where they watched Wilson unload the boxes into his white Cadillac Escalade. (Id. at 2204-05.) Investigators conducting surveillance at the CMRAs observed Wilson as he picked up the parcels and loaded them into his vehicle. (Id. at 75-77, 159-60, 557.) The surveillance team also observed Downer and Mr. Scarlett in a vehicle, following Wilson from the CMRA to the Barret Residence. (Id. at 264-65.)

On the way back to the Barret Residence, Wilson and each of his escorts circled the neighborhood to ensure that all was clear. (Id. at 2205.) Video evidence from the pole camera and Mr. Barret's own home surveillance system, which investigators later seized, showed the arrival of Wilson's white Escalade and Mr. Scarlett and Downer in the Nissan Quest, at approximately 12:50 p.m. on October 7, 2010. (GX 1, 278; Tr. at 555-56, 913, 915, 2208-09.) Mr. Scarlett exited the passenger side of the Nissan Quest, picked up a box, and carried it into the kitchen of the Barret Residence. (Id. at 761-62.) Mr. Forrest and Jones also returned, and Mr. Anderson arrived at approximately the same time. (Id. at 2206.) Palmer, Downer, Mr. Forrest, and Jones then unloaded boxes from Wilson's vehicle and carried them into the kitchen of the Barret Residence. (Id. at 566-67, 911-12, 916-19, 2206, 2209-10; GX 278.)

As instructed by Mr. Barret, Mr. Forrest and Branch cut open the boxes and removed both the address labels and the marijuana. (Tr. at 911, 919-21, 2206-08.) Mr. Barret also directed Palmer to burn the labels. (Id. at 920-21, 2207.) Mr. Barret then left the Barret Residence with an individual known to Palmer as "Blacks." (Id. at 921.) Shortly thereafter, investigators stopped and arrested Mr. Barret and an individual named Kareem Reid several blocks from the Barret Residence as they drove in Mr. Barret's Nissan Quest. (Id. at 1255-60.) Before his arrest, however, Mr. Barret called Lee, who was at the Barret Residence, and told him to "Run, run, run." (Id. at 912, 922.)

Shortly after arresting Mr. Barret and Reid, investigators sent a SWAT team into the Barret Residence to execute a search warrant. (Tr. at 1268-70.) Mr. Anderson, Mr. Scarlett, Gunter, Downer, Lee, Manning, Fabian Manning, Mr. Forrest, Jones, Palmer, and Branch were arrested inside or near the Barret Residence. (Id. at 85-87, 160-64, 1271.) Palmer and Mr. Scarlett attempted to flee when the raid began, but both were apprehended in the yard adjacent to the Barret Residence backyard. (Id. at 762, 923-24.) Mr. Barret's home surveillance footage showed that Mr. Anderson was in the backyard when the search warrant was executed, and as the investigators approached the Barret Residence, Mr. Anderson rushed toward the back door, moving his hands toward his waistband area. (Id. at 164, 571-- 73; GX 278.) He encountered Manning at the back door, then both disappeared into the Barret Residence, and the back door closed behind Mr. Anderson. (Tr. at 164, 571-73, 660, 762-63; GX 278.) Several seconds later, Mr. Anderson calmly and slowly emerged from the back door with his hands above his head as law enforcement officers approached to handcuff him. (Tr. at 164, 571-73, 660, 762-63; GX 278.)

a.Search of the Barret Residence

The government presented extensive testimony, as well as physical and video evidence, of items investigators recovered upon executing a search warrant at the Barret Residence on October 7, 2010. Investigators found an open parcel and one bale of marijuana, wrapped in duct tape, on the kitchen counter, and another bale of marijuana on the floor. (Tr. at 83-85, 176-77, 201.) One of the bales, cut open to show each layer of packaging, had an outer layer of duct tape that concealed underlying layers of plastic wrap and hot sauce. (Id. at 195-98; GX 205-09.) Investigators opened the remaining parcels that Wilson had delivered to the Barret Residence from two CMRAs on October 7, 2010, and found that each parcel contained similarly wrapped bales of marijuana. (Tr. at 83-85, 198-99, 619.) The total gross weight of the marijuana bales found in the Barret Residence on October 7, 2010 exceeded 95.7 kilograms. (Id. at 203.)

During the October 7, 2010 search of the Barret Residence, investigators also found a garbage bag containing approximately 8.4 kilograms of marijuana, approximately 12 kilograms of marijuana packaged in Ziploc bags, two digital scales, foam packing peanuts, FoodSaver vacuum sealing machines, and rolls of vacuum sealing bags. (Id. at 91-96, 100, 102-03, 123, 196-98, 203; GX 4-6, 13-14, 36, 39-41.) In addition, investigators discovered a gun box in a back bedroom on the second floor. (Tr. at 121-22.)

In the Barret Residence on October 7, 2010, investigators also found a home surveillance system with multiple camera angles that showed activity in the backyard, backdoor, front, and driveway of the Barret Residence. (GX 278; Tr. at 110-14, 119-20.) Real-time footage from the surveillance system appeared on monitors in multiple rooms within the home, including the master bedroom and the kitchen. (GX 278; Tr. at 110-14, 119-20.)

During the October 7, 2010 search of the Barret Residence, investigators recovered a firearm in the backyard adjacent to the Barret Residence backyard. (Tr. at 129-32, 144; GX 43.) They also recovered a loaded firearm on the floor of the living room, under a chair. (GX 42; Tr. at 129-32, 144, 2072-77.) The gun was located approximately ten feet from the backdoor. (Tr. at 2072-77.)

Investigators also recovered a total of fifty-seven cellular phones from the Barret Residence and the arrestees present at the time of the search. (Id. at 252-75, 280, 283-98). Data later recovered from one of the cell phone revealed a series of text messages containing bank names and account holders' names and account numbers. (Id. at 270.) Inspector Buthorn testified that the investigators later ascertained that an individual named "Prezi"*fn6 had used one of the cell phones to send to Mr. Barret and Manning text messages bearing bank account information so that Mr. Barret could send money back to "Prezi" in Arizona. (Id. at 270.)

In addition, data downloaded from Mr. Barret's phone revealed text messages bearing the address of "Tanya wang's nail & spa, 42-06A bell blvd, Bayside NY 11361 Suite #243." (Id. at 293; GX 310, 344.) Moreover, documents recovered from the living room floor of the Barret Residence during the search included a piece of paper that read, "Ying's Party Supply, 42-06A Bell Blvd #230, Bayside, NY 11361." (GX 307; Tr. at 227-28.) The Bell Boulevard locations listed in the text messages and document matched the address of a CMRA to which other parcels containing marijuana had been delivered -- including a tenth parcel of marijuana delivered on October 7, 2010.*fn7 (Tr. at 205-06, 298, 307-11; GX 464, 517.)

b.Search of Wilson Residence

Before executing the search warrant at the Barret Residence, investigators set up another surveillance team on October 7, 2010, at the Wilson Residence. (Tr. at 77, 178, 557.) Investigators later executed a search warrant at the Wilson Residence, where they found one bag with a pound of marijuana and another bag with approximately one ounce of marijuana. (Id. at 179.) Investigators also recovered a business card bearing the address of "42-06 A Bell Boulevard, Bayside, New York 11361" in the basement bedroom of the Wilson Residence. (Id. at 307.)

c.Vehicle Searches

At the time of Wilson's arrest, he was on the phone with Neunie, who testified that he (Neunie) then called Kwaume Wilson to inform him that "Mario [Wilson] just got locked up by Mouthy [Mr. Barret]." (Tr. at 1767.) Kwaume Wilson and Neunie then loaded the marijuana that had been stored in the Wilson Residence into Neunie's car to dispose of it, but they were apprehended and arrested three-quarters of a mile away from the Wilson Residence. (Id.) Investigators searched the vehicle, a black BMW that had been observed picking up packages during surveillance operations on numerous previous dates. (Id. at 178, 1768.) The search of the black BMW revealed a scale, a black garbage bag that contained approximately eight kilograms of marijuana, and a cardboard box that contained a bale of marijuana that weighed approximately fourteen kilograms. (Id. at 178-79, 204-05, 226, 241; GX 39.) Neunie explained at trial that the marijuana found in his vehicle was not from Mr. Barret; rather, it was non-Arizona grade marijuana from Neunie's supplier in Los Angeles. (Tr. at 1768.)

When investigators executed a search warrant on a gold Nissan Maxima that belonged to Mr. Barret and that had been observed on numerous occasions during the course of the investigation, they found a hydraulic trap, or hidden compartment, above the speedometer. (Tr. at 243-46, 298-99; GX 281, 546.) The hidden compartment, when opened, was six to eight inches across and approximately six to eight inches deep. (Tr. at 246.)

3.Mr. Mitchell's Arrest

Because Mr. Mitchell was not present at the Barret Residence on October 7, 2010, he was not arrested with his co-defendants at that time. (Tr. at 166.) When Mr. Mitchell was later apprehended, however, Mr. Mitchell waived his Miranda rights and agreed to make a statement to investigators, which was admitted at trial. (Id. at 439-42.)

In his post-arrest statements, Mr. Mitchell identified himself in photographs taken during the July 27, 2010 surveillance at the Barret Residence. (Id. at 442.) Mr. Mitchell also correctly identified photographs of numerous other persons arrested on October 7, 2010, including Kwaume Wilson, Neunie, Lee, Palmer, Gunter, and Clifton Williams, whom Mr. Mitchell claimed to have seen at the Barret Residence. (Id. at 444-46.)

Mr. Mitchell further stated that he had seen an individual named Stewie bring $9,000 to the Barret Residence to buy marijuana, and that he had seen Gunter and Back-It with firearms at that location. (Id. at 443, 450.) Mr. Mitchell also told investigators that he had seen Manning with money at that location and that she occasionally gave him $200, and that he had seen Wilson bring boxes to the Barret Residence. (Id. at 443-44.)

4.Additional Evidence of the Marijuana Distribution Conspiracy

a.Suppliers

i."Junior"

Until 2008, Mr. Barret acquired marijuana at a wholesale level from an individual named "Junior." (Tr. at 1798-99, 1839-40, 2217.) Although Junior and Mr. Barret were once friends, Junior later became a rival, which resulted in conflict and violence. (Id. at 1798.) In 2009, a feud developed between Junior and Mr. Barret when Mr. Barret sent money for marijuana to Junior, and Junior sent a box of rice and peas instead of delivering narcotics. (Id. at 1810-11.) In response, Mr. Barret sent a crew to break into Junior's house. (Id. at 1811.)

In March 2010, Junior came to a club called Rapture, looking for Mr. Barret, who was not present at the time. (Id. at 1812, 1816.) One of Mr. Barret's friends, "Pluggy," started arguing with Junior after hearing Junior refer to Mr. Barret as an idiot. (Id. at 1816.) As the fight escalated, Junior went to his car to retrieve an AK-47 assault rifle and began to shoot. (Id. at 1816-17.) Following the shooting incident at Rapture, Mr. Barret offered to give thirty pounds of marijuana to anyone who killed Junior. (Id. at 1818.) Neunie testified that following Mr. Barret's establishment of a thirty-pound marijuana bounty, Mr. Scarlett told Neunie that Junior was a baby and if Mr. Scarlett caught Junior, Junior would be dead. (Id. at 1818.)

ii.Clifton Williams ("Driver")

Clifton Williams, known to Mr. Barret and others as "Driver" or "Prezi," testified as a cooperating witness and told the jury that he sold and shipped marijuana from various cities in Arizona for a living from 2008 until his arrest in January 2011. (Tr. at 1360, 1366-67.) Williams purchased the marijuana for approximately $500 per pound from multiple suppliers in Mexico. (Id. at 1362, 1413.)

Beginning in 2008, Williams began to sell his Arizona-grade marijuana to Mr. Barret for approximately $550 per pound. (Id. at 1413, 1839-40, 2217.) Williams shipped the marijuana from Arizona to Mr. Barret in New York through the U.S. postal mail or UPS. (Id. at 1360-61, 1477.) Mr. Barret supplied Williams with destination addresses, all of which were "mailbox stores," or CMRAs. (Id. at 1362-63.)

Williams sent parcels containing 80-100 pounds of marijuana to Mr. Barret approximately twice per month between 2008 and 2010. (Id. at 1363-64.) In addition, on several occasions, Williams sent more than 200 pounds of marijuana at once. (Id. at 1363.) Before shipping the marijuana, Williams packaged it in white or brown cardboard boxes, each of which contained a single block of marijuana that weighed approximately twenty pounds. (Id. at 1361-62.) To prepare each marijuana bale for shipment, Williams wrapped the bale in cellophane, covered the cellophane with hot sauce to prevent drug-sniffing dogs from detecting the marijuana, wrapped the bale in more cellophane, then covered the entire bale with duct tape. (Id. at 1399-1403.) Williams then placed the bale into a cardboard box, nestled in foam packing peanuts. (Id. at 1401-02.)

In early 2010, after Williams had been supplying Mr. Barret with marijuana for some time, Williams brought Mr. Barret to visit one of his Mexican suppliers in Phoenix, Mr. Barret "looked on [the marijuana] and say he like it," and purchased approximately 100 pounds of marijuana from the Mexican supplier. (Id. at 1364-65.) Williams transported Mr. Barret's marijuana purchase back to Williams's house in Arizona, where Williams packaged it and sent it to Mr. Barret via U.S. postal mail. (Id. at 1366.)

b.Wilson's Role

Before Wilson began working with Mr. Barret, Wilson opened multiple CMRAs in Flushing and Bayside, Queens, for which he paid monthly. (Tr. at 1840.) Each mailbox was associated with the name of a business. (Id.) After opening several CMRA accounts, Wilson arranged for the delivery of small quantities of marijuana to the CMRAs to test them. (Id. at 1841.) Wilson then shared his use of the CMRAs with Mr. Barret, who had the steady source of marijuana that Wilson lacked. (Id.)

Consequently, Mr. Barret arranged to have marijuana shipped to designated business names and addresses, each affiliated with a CMRA that Wilson provided. (Id. at 1842.) When boxes arrived at the CMRA, the CMRA store owner contacted Wilson, and either Wilson or Neunie retrieved the parcels and brought them to the Barret Residence to be weighed and distributed. (Id.) Mr. Barret paid Wilson $500 for each box that Wilson delivered from the CMRAs. (Id. at 1465-66, 1846.) In addition, Mr. Barret often gave Neunie and Wilson marijuana to be sold by Neunie, Wilson, Kwaume Wilson, or Quinones. (Id. at 1842-43.)

After selling the marijuana, Wilson brought payment to Mr. Barret, or Mr. Barret, Manning, or Mr. Forrest went to the Wilson Residence to collect payment on Mr. Barret's behalf. (Id. at 1842, 1844.) Neunie recalled that when Mr. Barret visited the Wilson Residence to collect money, Mr. Barret always carried a gun and had someone else accompany him because the sums of money he collected were so large: Mr. Barret once collected between $30,000 and $40,000 from Wilson at one time. (Id. at 1844.)

c.Sales in New York

Mr. Forrest and Palmer testified that whenever Wilson delivered parcels of marijuana to the Barret Residence, Mr. Barret instructed Mr. Forrest to cut off the box labels and burn them, and transfer the marijuana to garbage bags. (Tr. at 886-87, 2221, 2223.) Mr. Forrest also cut the boxes down and tied them up with duct tape, disposed of the foam peanuts in a garbage bag, and drove elsewhere to dump the paraphernalia. (Id. at 2221, 2223.)

Mr. Forrest and Wilson then weighed the marijuana by the pound. (Id. at 886-87, 2221, 2223.) When customers came to the Barret Residence to pick up marijuana from Mr. Barret, the marijuana was stored in a Ziploc bag, which was placed into a garbage bag, which was then handed to the customers in a shopping bag. (Id. at 817-18, 2223.) Usually Mr. Barret, Mr. Forrest, or Gunter distributed the marijuana to customers, who paid Mr. Barret approximately $900-950 per pound of marijuana. (Id. at 815, 819, 2224.) When customers tendered payment, Mr. Barret instructed Mr. Forrest or Manning to count the money for him. (Id. at 821, 832-33, 2224.)

When Neunie and Wilson began to work for Mr. Barret in 2008, they sold approximately 100 pounds of marijuana for Mr. Barret every week. (Id. at 1846.) At the time of their arrest in 2010, they were selling approximately 400 pounds per week or week-and-a-half for Mr. Barret. (Id.) Mr. Forrest also estimated that in 2009, approximately two boxes of marijuana like those in evidence were delivered to the Barret Residence every two weeks. (Id. at 2220.)

5.Other Co-Conspirators

Cooperating witnesses Mr. Forrest, Palmer, and Neunie acknowledged that they sold marijuana for Mr. Barret, and identified Mr. Anderson, Mr. Scarlett, Mr. Mitchell, Gunter, Jones, Wilson, Branch, Downer, Manning, Back-It, and Lee as individuals who were also involved in this conspiracy. (Tr. at 773, 799, 881, 1755-56, 2193-96.) Palmer testified that he met Mr. Barret in approximately 2001 or 2002, and he began purchasing marijuana from Mr. Barret in 2008. (Id. at 791, 816.) Between 2008 and 2010, Palmer purchased marijuana from Mr. Barret approximately twenty or thirty times, and he sold approximately 100 pounds of marijuana purchased from Mr. Barret. (Id. at 771-73, 819.)

Mr. Forrest was perceived by Mr. Palmer to be Mr. Barret's "right-hand[] man" because Mr. Barret entrusted Mr. Forrest with tasks such as cutting up delivered boxes, giving marijuana to customers, counting money, and making purchases for Mr. Barret. (Id. at 836-37.) Mr. Barret also sent Mr. Forrest to collect a payment from Wilson and once instructed Mr. Forrest to punch Wilson in the face if Wilson did not pay. (Id. at 839, 882, 2226.) Palmer and Mr. Forrest both indicated that in general, if customers took too long to pay Mr. Barret for marijuana, he "would get mad about his money and he would try to hurt you for that." (Id. at 882, 2225.)

According to the testimony at trial, Mr. Anderson was one of Mr. Barret's co-conspirators and friends, and a constant presence at the Barret Residence. (Id. at 773, 881, 877-78, 1445-46, 1757, 1760, 2245.) Palmer also saw Mr. Anderson pick up marijuana from Mr. Barret on several occasions in 2010. (Id. at 773, 879-80.) Mr. Forrest testified that Mr. Barret directed Mr. Forrest to keep a log of who received marijuana when shipments came in from Arizona, and Mr. Forrest recalled that Mr. Anderson receive approximately two pounds of marijuana from Mr. Barret in 2010. (Id. at 2245-46.)

Palmer testified that one day in 2010, Mr. Barret purchased a small gun and handed it to Mr. Anderson, who said approvingly, "Yeah, man, buy this gun. Look how small it is. We can smuggle it like when we go into a club." (Id. at 878-79, 1052-53.) On other occasions, Palmer saw Mr. Anderson follow and protect Wilson when Wilson retrieved marijuana shipments from the CMRAs. (Id. at 879.) Palmer testified that Mr. Anderson, by his own admission, was "always strapped," meaning that he always carried a gun. (Id. at 880.) When Palmer and Mr. Anderson were incarcerated together after the October 7, 2010 search and arrests, Mr. Anderson told Palmer that Mr. Anderson had carried a gun on the day of the arrest, but that when the police came, Mr. Anderson threw the gun away. (Id.)

Between 2008 and 2010, when Mr. Scarlett was paroled from prison, he was one of Mr. Barret's "enforcers" who carried guns and accompanied Mr. Barret to protect him when he collected payments for marijuana from customers and when Mr. Barret went to clubs.*fn8 (Id. at 799-800, 808-10, 847, 858-59, 1164-65, 1742-44.) During that period, Neunie testified that he saw Mr. Scarlett carry a gun on more than twenty occasions, both at clubs and when marijuana deliveries were made to the Barret Residence. (Id. at 1744-45.)

Mr. Scarlett also purchased marijuana from Mr. Barret. (Id. at 773, 858, 862-63, 1162.) Every one to two weeks, Mr. Forrest testified that Mr. Scarlett received three to five pounds of marijuana to sell. (Id. at 2243-44.) Neunie sometimes sold marijuana on behalf of Mr. Scarlett, who had few customers and was unable to successfully sell it himself. (Id. at 1752.)

Palmer testified that during their incarceration, Mr. Scarlett confessed that he carried a gun and threw it away as he fled from law enforcement on October 7, 2010. (Id. at 859-60, 1238.) Palmer also heard Mr. Scarlett state that earlier in the day on October 7, 2010, Mr. Barret had given Mr. Anderson and Mr. Scarlett each a gun to protect the marijuana. (Id. at 860-62.) In addition, after their arrest, Mr. Scarlett and Mr. Barret expressed ...


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