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United States v. Robinson

decided: November 2, 1972.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
EUGENE ROBINSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Duffy, Senior Circuit Judge, Kiley, Circuit Judge and Campbell, Senior District Judge.*fn*

Author: Duffy

DUFFY, Senior Circuit Judge.

Defendant Robinson was charged and found guilty at a bench trial of conspiracy to commit an offense in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 in that he retained stolen United States Money Orders valued at more than $100 with intent to convert the same to his own use, a substantive offense under 18 U.S.C. § 641.

Defendant was sentenced to a term of three years imprisonment. He now appeals the judgment of that conviction.

Defendant Robinson, Freddie Woods and Theodis Wright were all charged in the original indictment with engaging in a conspiracy to retain and convert stolen postal money orders which had been stolen from the Fonda, New York, Post Office. The indictment alleged that the defendants travelled to the Wisconsin Dells area and attempted to pass the money orders.

The overt acts charged are that Robinson cashed one stolen money order at the Kickapoo Don's Gas Station in Adams, Wisconsin in late March, 1970, and that he attempted to pass another stolen money order at Fedderly's Hardware Store in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, on April 2, 1970.

Co-defendant Woods was similarly convicted of the conspiracy. Theodis Wright was dismissed by the government as a defendant and co-conspirator.

The principal government witness was Virgil Eigland, a friend of defendant Robinson and the operator of a gas station in Adams, Wisconsin.

Eigland testified that he had seen stolen postal money orders in Robert Wright's garage in Milwaukee early in March, 1970. He also testified that in late March, 1970, he, defendant Robinson, Freddie Woods and Theodis Wright drove to Wisconsin Dells; that during that trip they talked about being able to cash some of the postal money orders in the Wisconsin Dells area. In fact, Robinson gave some of the money orders to Virgil Eigland on that trip to Wisconsin Dells.

Eigland further testified that the four men stopped in the town of Wisconsin Dells and that he successfully cashed one of the money orders. He testified that defendant Robinson attempted to do likewise but was unsuccessful.

They then drove to Adams, Wisconsin where Robinson passed one of the stolen money orders at Kickapoo Don's Gas Station.

The following day, April 1, 1970, Eigland was arrested in Wisconsin Dells after attempting to negotiate one of the money orders from the series stolen from the Fonda, New York Post Office previously given to him by Robinson.

On April 2, 1970, the testimony showed that Robinson entered Fedderly's Hardware Store in Wisconsin Dells, gathered some merchandise and tendered a money order in payment. The clerk refused the money order and suggested to Robinson that he go to the bank. As Robinson left the store, the clerk noted the license number on his car as well as the color of the car. Mr. Fedderly, the owner of the store, then notified the police and told them someone had attempted to pass a money order in his store, relating to the police the license number of the car and its description.

Immediately thereafter, on April 2, 1970, Jack O'Dell, Chief of Police of Adams and Friendship, Wisconsin received an "all points bulletin" on the automobile described by the clerk at Fedderly's. The bulletin included the color of the car, and that its occupants were wanted for ...


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