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United States v. Calabrese

April 17, 2007

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
NICHOLAS CALABRESE, ET AL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge James B. Zagel

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before me are defendants James Marcello's and Frank Calabrese Sr.'s motions to dismiss Count One of the second superseding indictment on double jeopardy grounds. For the reasons that follow, their motions are denied.

I. BACKGROUND

Both James Marcello ("Marcello") and Frank Calabrese, Sr. ("Calabrese") (collectively "Defendants") have previously been convicted of conspiring to violate the RICO statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1962. In 1992, the Government charged Marcello in a multi-count indictment that included a RICO count ("Previous Marcello Indictment"). The time frame of the conspiracy alleged in the Previous Marcello Indictment was approximately 1979 through 1990. In 1993, a jury convicted Marcello of the RICO conspiracy and of two substantive counts as well. Marcello was sentenced to 150 months in prison.

In 1995, the United States charged Calabrese in a multi-count indictment ("Previous Calabrese Indictment"). Count One of that indictment charged him with a RICO conspiracy that was alleged to have spanned from 1978 to 1992. Calabrese pled guilty to the RICO count and to several substantive counts as well. He was sentenced to 118 months incarceration.

Since Count One of the second superseding indictment in this case charges a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962, Defendants argue it should be dismissed on double jeopardy grounds.

II. DISCUSSION

The Double Jeopardy Clause states: "[N]or shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb . . ." U.S. CONST. amend V. The Supreme Court has explained the underlying purpose of this protection:

[T]he State with all its resources and power should not be allowed to make repeated attempts to convict an individual for an alleged offense, thereby subjecting him to embarrassment, expense and ordeal and compelling him to live in a continuing state of anxiety and insecurity, as well as enhancing the possibility that even though innocent he may be found guilty.

Green v. United States, 355 U.S. 184, 187-88 (1957). However, the protections the Double Jeopardy Clause affords are not absolute. See Tibbs v. Florida, 457 U.S. 31 (1982) (holding that a defendant who successfully appeals a conviction is subject to retrial); United States v. Tateo, 377 U.S. 463 (1964).

In a pre-trial double jeopardy review, "the defendant bears the burden of making a prima facie showing that the two indictments cover the same offense, and thereafter the burden shifts to the government to demonstrate that it has not twice prosecuted the defendant for the same conspiracy." United States v. Thornton, 972 F.2d 764, 767 (7th Cir. 1992). For purposes of this motion, the allegations in the indictment are assumed to be true.

In the conspiracy context, the Double Jeopardy Clause prohibits an individual from being prosecuted for two separate conspiracies if only one conspiracy existed. Braverman v. United States, 317 U.S. 49, 53 (1942); Thornton, 972 F.2d at 766. Because a conspiracy is essentially an agreement, "a determination of whether the Government can prosecute on more than one conspiracy rests on whether there exists more than one agreement." United States v. Dortch, 5 F.3d 1056, 1061 (7th Cir. 1993) (quoting United States v. Chiatello, 804 F.2d 415, 418 (7th Cir. 1986)).

When analyzing the double jeopardy implications of successive RICO prosecutions, the Seventh Circuit has applied a five-factor test. See United States v. ...


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