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CONSPIRACY TO ENGAGE IN PATTERN OF RACKETEERING ACTIVITY

F.S. 895.03(4)

 

A "conspiracy" is a combination or agreement of two or more persons to join together to attempt to accomplish an offense that would be in violation of the law.  It is a kind of "partnership in criminal purposes" in which each member becomes the agent of every other member.

 

The evidence in the case need not show that the alleged members of the conspiracy entered into any express or formal agreement or that they directly discussed between themselves the details of the scheme and its purpose or the precise ways in which the purpose was to be accomplished.  Neither must it be proved that all of the persons charged to have been members of the conspiracy were such nor that the alleged conspirators actually succeeded in accomplishing their unlawful objectives nor that any alleged member of the conspiracy did any act in furtherance of the conspiracy.

What the evidence in the case must show beyond a reasonable doubt before you may find the defendant guilty of conspiring to violate the RICO Act is:

 

1.         Two or more persons, in some way or manner, came to a mutual understanding to try to accomplish a common and unlawful plan, namely to engage in a "pattern of racketeering activity" as charged in the Information; and

 

2.         The Defendant knowingly and willfully became a member of such conspiracy; and

 

3.         At the time the Defendant joined such conspiracy, he did so with the specific intent either to personally engage in at least two incidents of racketeering, as alleged in the Amended Information, or he specifically intended to otherwise participate in the affairs of the "enterprise" with the knowledge and intent that other members of the conspiracy would engage in at least two incidents of racketeering, as alleged in the Information, as part of a "pattern of racketeering activity."

 

A person may become a member of a conspiracy without full knowledge of all of the details of the unlawful scheme or the names and identities of all of the other alleged conspirators.  So, if a defendant has an understanding of the unlawful nature of a plan and knowingly and willfully joins in that plan on one occasion, that is sufficient to convict him for conspiracy, even though he did not participate before and even though he played only a minor part.

 

Of course, mere presence at the scene of a transaction or event or the mere fact that certain persons may have associated with each other and may have assembled together and discussed common aims and interests does not necessarily establish proof of the existence of a conspiracy.  Also, a person who has no knowledge of a conspiracy but who happens to act in a way that advances some purpose of a conspiracy does not thereby become a conspirator.

 

"Pattern of racketeering activity" means engaging in at least two incidents of racketeering conduct that have the same or similar intents, results, accomplices, victims, or methods of commission or that otherwise are interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and are not isolated incidents.

 

“Enterprise” means any individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, business trust, union chartered under the laws of this state, or other legal entity, or any unchartered union, association, or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity; and it includes illicit as well as licit enterprises and governmental, as well as other, entities. 

 

An enterprise is an ongoing organization, formal or informal, that both functions as a continuing unit and has a common purpose of engaging in a course of conduct.

RACKETEERING

 
RICO--Participation in an Enterprise

Through a Pattern of Racketeering Activity F.S. 895.03(3)

 

Before you can find defendant, guilty of unlawfully participating in an enterprise, the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

 

1.Defendant was associated with an enterprise.

 

2.Defendant participated, directly or indirectly, in such enterprise by engaging in at least two predicate acts.

 

3.Of those incidents in which defendant was engaged, at least two of them had the same or similar intents, results, accomplices, victims or methods of commission or were interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and were not isolated incidents.

 

“Enterprise” means any individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, business trust, union chartered under the laws of this state, or other legal entity, or any unchartered union, association, or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity; and it includes illicit as well as licit enterprises and governmental, as well as other, entities. 

 

An enterprise is an ongoing organization, formal or informal, that both functions as a continuing unit and has a common purpose of engaging in a course of conduct, which at least two of them had the same or similar intents, results, accomplices, victims or methods of commission or were interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and were not isolated incidents.

 

“Enterprise” means any individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, business trust, union chartered under the laws of this state, or other legal entity, or any unchartered union, association, or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity; and it includes illicit as well as licit enterprises and governmental, as well as other, entities. 

 

CONSPIRACY TO TRAFFIC IN HEROIN, 28 GRAMS OR MORE

F.S. 893.135(1)(c)1.c. and (5)


To prove the crime of Criminal Conspiracy, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1.       The intent of the defendant, was that the offense of Trafficking in heroin would be committed.

2.         In order to carry out the intent, the defendant, agreed, conspired, combined, or confederated with his co-defendants or with other persons known or unknown to cause Trafficking in Heroin to be committed either by them, or by one of them, or by some other person.

It is not necessary that the agreement, conspiracy, combination, or confederation to commit Trafficking in Heroin be expressed in any particular words or that words pass between the conspirators.

It is not necessary that the defendant do any act in furtherance of the offense conspired.

It is a defense to the charge of criminal conspiracy that a defendant, after conspiring with one or more persons to commit the crime of Trafficking in Heroin, persuaded that person not to do so, or otherwise prevented commission of the Trafficking in Heroin.

Certain drugs and chemical substances are by law known as "controlled substances."  Heroin is a controlled substance within the meaning of the law.

To prove the completed crime of Trafficking in Heroin, the State would have to prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1.        The defendant knowingly possessed, sold or delivered a certain substance.

2.         The substance was Heroin.

3.          The quantity of the substance involved was 28 grams or more.

Definitions.  

"Sell" means to transfer or deliver something to another person in exchange for money or something of value or a promise of money or something of value.

"Deliver" or "delivery" means the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer from one person to another of a controlled substance, whether or not there is an agency relationship.


 The punishment provided by law for the crime of Conspiracy to Traffic in Heroin is greater depending on the amount of Heroin that was the subject of the conspiracy.  Therefore, if you find the defendant, guilty of Conspiracy to Traffic in Heroin, you must determine by your verdict whether the State has further proved beyond a reasonable doubt that:

The quantity of the substance involved was 28 grams or more, but less than 30  kilograms.

To “possess” means to have personal charge of or exercise the right of ownership, management, or control over the thing possessed.

Possession may be actual or constructive.

 Actual possession means:

a.            The controlled substance is in the hand of or on the person, or

b.            The controlled substance is in a container in the hand of or on the person, or


c.            The controlled substance is so close as to be within ready reach and is under the control of the person.

            Mere proximity to a controlled substance is not sufficient to establish control over that controlled substance when it is not in a place over which the person has control.

            Constructive possession means the controlled substance is in a place over which the defendant, have control, or in which the defendant, have concealed it.

            In order to establish the defendant's constructive possession that was in a place, the State must prove: (1) knew that the substance was within his presence and (2) exercised control or ownership over the substance itself.

            Possession may be joint, that is, two or more persons may jointly possess an article, exercising control over it.  In that case, each of those persons is considered to be in possession of that article.

            If a person has exclusive possession of a controlled substance, knowledge of its presence may be inferred or assumed.

            If a person does not have exclusive possession of a controlled substance, knowledge of its presence may not be inferred or assumed.