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State v. Salimone

Decided: May 26, 1952.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ANTHONY J. SALIMONE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Eastwood, Bigelow and Francis. The opinion of the court was delivered by Eastwood, S.j.a.d.

Eastwood

The defendant, Anthony J. Salimone, Chief of Police of Park Ridge, Bergen County, was tried and convicted by a jury before the Bergen County Court, Law Division, on an indictment charging him and others with unlawfully conspiring to make book contrary to R.S. 2:119-1. By this appeal, he challenges the validity thereof.

The indictment charged that Salimone, together with Anthony Rubelleni, Peter Ferrara and Joseph Ferrara, on May 8, 1950, and on divers other days and times between that date and May 22, 1950, unlawfully conspired to make book upon the running of horses, mares and geldings and among the overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy, specified the following: (1) the operation of a bookmaking establishment in a room of a dwelling house at 163 Morningside Avenue, Park Ridge, New Jersey, the residence of Conrad Grube; (2) the payment by Salimone of $25 per week to Grube for the use of his home and the telephone installed therein for the conduct of the operation.

Conrad Grube and one Manny Streit were tried and convicted and Joseph Ferrara pleaded guilty under separate indictments arising out of the same operation. On the State's motion, a severance was granted as to the trial of the two defendants, Joseph Ferrara and Peter Ferrara. At the commencement of the trial of the issue before the County Court, the assistant prosecutor stated: "I can say for my case that as far as Peter Ferrara is concerned, I don't think the State can proceed against him, because in the preparation of this case I do not feel that the State has a case against him." The trial then proceeded as against Rubelleni and Salimone.

At the conclusion of the State's case, the court directed a verdict in favor of defendant, Rubelleni, on the ground that the proofs were insufficient. Salimone was convicted as charged and sentenced to one and one-half to three years in State's Prison.

The defendant denies the accusations of the indictment and the testimony of Grube and contends that inasmuch as the case had been dismissed as to Rubelleni because Joseph Ferrara could not identify him, and the prosecutor having admitted that the State had no case against Peter Ferrara, the only conspiracy that could have existed was between Joseph Ferrara and Chief Salimone, and it is argued that there is no proof that Salimone ever knew or heard of Joseph Ferrara.

Grube, who had not been named in the indictment as a co-defendant or as a co-conspirator, testified as a State's witness. Therefore, defendant contends that his acts or testimony concerning the criminal conspiracy between Grube and Ferrara cannot be binding upon Salimone; that the mere assertion that Salimone gave Grube $25 does not establish the criminal conspiracy; that the conviction upon the indictment for conspiracy is against the weight of the evidence; that by reason of the dismissal of the action as to Rubelleni, and the trial court's authorization of a severance as to the defendants Ferrara, there is no one with whom Salimone could have conspired, and that by its very nature conspiracy includes two or more persons; and that the court erred in refusing to permit one William Bauer to testify in refutation of Grube's denial that the witness had told Bauer that the prosecutor had advised him to involve Salimone in this matter, under threats of contempt for failure to do so.

Conrad Grube testified that the defendant, Anthony Salimone, approached him in the company of Peter Ferrara, some time in March or April, 1950, and asked him if he wanted to rent out his telephone "for bookmaking on horses"; in response, Grube informed Salimone that his telephone had been disconnected for non-payment of a delinquent bill approximating

$33, in addition to which there would be a reinstallation charge; that, accordingly, Grube ascertained the necessary amount for reinstallation of the telephone and obtained the money to pay same from Salimone, whereupon the telephone was reinstalled, the number was furnished by Grube to Salimone and bookmaking activities were thereupon conducted at his home; that, in connection therewith, Salimone paid Grube $25 per week for the use of his telephone, deducting therefrom each week a certain amount until the amount advanced by Salimone had been paid. One Joseph Ferrara testified that he was engaged by one Manny Streit "to make book" at Grube's home, to be paid therefor the sum of $50 per week; that he and Streit proceeded to take horse racing bets at Grube's home using his telephone in the bedroom, and that the bookmaking operation continued for 14 days thereafter until the premises were raided by the Bergen County law enforcement authorities on May 22, 1950. James Stewart, a Bergen County detective, testified that he participated in the raid at Grube's home and while there, Detective Millington and he found, in a room in the back of Grube's house, "a setup of a table, a telephone, and a radio, and paraphernalia for the purpose of making book"; that Detective Millington "sat at the phone and took the incoming calls and recorded those bets."

There was plenary proof to support a finding of defendant's guilt of conspiracy to violate the bookmaking statutes. In State v. Gregory , 93 N.J.L. 205, 207, 210 (E. & A. 1919), it is stated:

"* * * One who participates in the corrupt agreement with knowledge that it is corrupt, and that what he is doing is in furtherance of that agreement, would be as ...


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