United States District Court, S.D. New York
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S POST-TRIAL
K. HELLERSTEIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Gustav Kloszewski was convicted by a jury of all four counts
in the indictment: conspiracy to traffic firearms, aiding and
abetting firearms trafficking, conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act
robbery, and narcotics conspiracy. With respect to Count IV,
narcotics conspiracy, the jury specifically found that
Kloszewski agreed to a conspiracy involving five or more
kilograms of cocaine. Kloszewski moves for a judgment of
acquittal pursuant to Rule 29 on the narcotics conspiracy
count, and moves on three separate grounds for a new trial
pursuant to Rule 33 of all counts. Kloszewski's motion is
Defendant's Motion for Judgment of Acquittal on Count
Four is Denied
moves for a judgment of acquittal on Count IV, narcotics
conspiracy, pursuant to Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of
Criminal Procedure, on the ground that "the evidence is
insufficient to sustain a conviction." Fed. R. Crim. P.
29. Count IV charged that Kloszewski conspired to distribute
or possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or
more of mixtures and substances containing a detectable
amount of cocaine. Kloszewski argues that no reasonable jury
could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that he agreed to
a narcotics conspiracy involving five kilograms or more of
evaluating a sufficiency challenge, the court "must view
the evidence in the light most favorable to the government,
crediting every inference that could have been drawn in the
government's favor, and deferring to the jury's
assessment of witness credibility and its assessment of the
weight of the evidence." United States v.
Coplan, 703 F.3d 46, 62 (2d Cir. 2012) (internal
quotation marks omitted). A jury's verdict "must be
upheld if any rational trier of fact could have
found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable
doubt." United States v. Persico, 645 F.3d 85,
105 (2d Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks omitted).
"[A] court may enter a judgment of acquittal only if the
evidence that the defendant committed the crime alleged is
nonexistent or so meager that no reasonable jury could find
guilt beyond a reasonable doubt." United States v.
Espaillet, 380 F.3d 713, 718 (2d Cir. 2004) (internal
quotation marks omitted).
was sufficient evidence for a jury to find beyond a
reasonable doubt that Kloszewski entered into a conspiracy to
distribute or possess with intent to distribute five or more
kilograms of cocaine. Multiple witnesses for the Government,
including DEA special agents, testified that the terms
"brick" and "block" are typically used to
refer to a kilogram of cocaine or heroin; that
"coke" is slang for cocaine; and that a kilogram of
cocaine sells for approximately $38, 000 in New York and $30,
000 in Florida. Tr. 116-17, 119, 231, 405-406.
Government introduced into evidence recordings of multiple
conversations in which Kloszewski discussed with Sian
Stafford, a co-conspirator turned Government cooperator, a
plan to rob the house of a drug dealer in Florida. During
those conversations, Kloszewski:
• Stated that the drug dealer obtains "blocks"
from the "islands."
• Confirmed Stafford's statement that "eight
hundred and eighteen thousand dollars" is "like
fifty bricks, " by responding, "Yeah, yeah but he
• Stated that $825, 000 "went to ... the
Bahamas." © Stated that "there should be some
kilos of Coke" on the drug dealer's property.
• Agreed with Stafford's statement that
"they're definitely gonna have it there, " by
responding, "Yeah then if, if the shipment made it
• Stated that "whether it's product, cash or
whatever it's gotta go..."
• Stated that "about a week ago, those buckets were
shipped out, he sent them down to the Bahamas, 825, 000, that
was sent down to the Bahamas, where he gets his coke from. So
he should have his, his, ...