Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Kloszewski

United States District Court, S.D. New York

September 7, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
GUSTAV KLOSZEWSKI, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S POST-TRIAL MOTION

          ALVIN K. HELLERSTEIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Defendant 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 denied.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Defendant's Motion for Judgment of Acquittal on Count Four is Denied

         Kloszewski 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 cocaine.

         When 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).

         There 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.

         The 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 gets it."
• 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 back."
• 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, ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.