A Kings Criminal Lawyer said that, 42 defendants were charged with conspiracy to possess narcotics. Individual defendants were charged with related violent or narcotics crimes allegedly committed in furtherance of the conspiracy. The five above-captioned defendants, after severance for trial, were recently tried on the counts applicable to them. During trial the court received, against all five defendants, evidence of numerous statements that were admissions of co-conspirators made in the course of and in furtherance of a conspiracy.
A Kings Sex Crime Lawyer said that, the People also sought to admit, against all the defendants on trial, a statement allegedly made by defendant after all five defendants had been arrested. Likewise, the People sought to introduce admissions made by the other defendant after all five defendants had been arrested. The defense objected that the alleged conspiracy had ended with the arrests, and that the statements were therefore not made by a conspirator in the course of and in furtherance of the conspiracy.
This court agreed that the contested admissions of defendants did not fall within the category of co-conspirator declarations. Each statement was received only against the declarant. However, New York law does not plainly speak to the issue of when, for these purposes, a conspiracy ends. This opinion will therefore issue to explain the court’s ruling.
The issue in this case is whether defendants out-of-count declarations to the cousins were admissible against all five defendants on trial as declarations made by a conspirator in the course of and in furtherance of a conspiracy of which the five defendants were members.
In New York, much of the law of hearsay has been established by the common law, rather than by statutes. The Court of Appeals has long recognized that statements made by the agent of a party may be introduced against the party as an admission, so long as the agent was acting within the scope of his authority when he spoke. In addition, those who enter into a criminal agreement become one another’s agents. A conspirator’s statements are therefore “binding” on co-conspirators, and admissible against them, if they are made within the scope of the conspirator’s authority to speak for the others. That is, the statements of a conspirator are admissible against his co-conspirators if they are made in the course of and in furtherance of the conspiracy the agency agreement.
This case readily supplies examples of statements that fall within the category of co-conspirator declarations. Scores of cell phone conversations were recorded pursuant to wiretap orders and were admitted without objection against all the defendants on trial. In some, dispatchers advised deliverers like the defendants where customers were waiting. In others, defendants discussed purchasing cocaine. In others, the conspirators addressed the need to retaliate for the theft of a “company” car on March 20, 2009. Indeed, in a dramatic series of calls on that day, the conspirators are heard assembling on 51st Street near the scene of the later shooting and defendant is advised by his fellows about how to use a handgun against the individual who was their target. But all conspiracies come to an end. In this case the police arrested defendants just after the shooting, at about 8:05 p.m. on March 20, 2009. Defendant was arrested soon thereafter. That same night two weeks before the scheduled “takedown” of the conspiracy the police began an emergency “takedown” with dozens of arrests and the execution of a number of search warrants.
If you have been charged of conspiracy, you will need the help of a Kings Sex Crime Attorney and Kings Criminal Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates. Call us for free legal advice.