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TACCETTA v. UNITED STATES

July 25, 1997

MICHAEL TACCETTA, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LECHNER

 LECHNER, District Judge

 Petitioner Michael Taccetta ("Taccetta"), presently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, brings this petition for a writ of habeas corpus (the "Habeas Petition"), pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, as well as a request for an evidentiary hearing ("Request for an Evidentiary Hearing"). *fn1" For reasons set forth below, the Request for an Evidentiary Hearing is denied. The Habeas Petition is dismissed; there is no probable cause for appeal.

 Facts

 A. Background

 Taccetta and eight other persons were indicted on 29 December 1992 by a Federal grand jury and charged in an eighty-four count indictment ("Indictment") with violations of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1961 et seq., ("RICO") and related offenses. See Indictment; Opposition Brief at 1. Taccetta was indicted on Federal racketeering, extortion, bribery, money laundering, mail fraud and related charges regarding a fraudulent billing and kickback scheme involving the City of Newark, Division of Sanitation ("Division of Sanitation"). Opposition Brief at 1-2. The Indictment also charged Taccetta and five of the defendants with racketeering in a similar scheme involving maintenance and security service companies. Id. The matter was captioned United States v. Salvatore Juliano, et al., 947 F. Supp. 777.

 Trial was scheduled to begin on 7 September 1993. Id. The day before jury selection, three defendants entered guilty pleas pursuant to cooperation agreements. Following jury selection, the remaining six defendants entered into plea discussions with the United States. Id.

 B. The Plea Agreement

 On 20 September 1993, pursuant to a plea agreement ("Plea Agreement"), Taccetta pleaded guilty to a two count superseding information ("Information"). See Information, attached as Exhibit B to Moving Brief; Transcript of Plea Proceedings ("Plea Tr."), dated 20 September 1993, attached as Exhibit A to Moving Brief. The Plea Agreement was part of a universal settlement of Federal and state charges pending against Taccetta. Plea Tr. at 2. In exchange for the guilty plea, the Government agreed to dismiss the Indictment and not to prosecute Taccetta in connection with the offenses alleged in the Indictment. Id. at 3. The Government further agreed not to compel Taccetta to testify, not to seek any upward departure from the United States Sentencing Guidelines and not to oppose an application by Taccetta that any sentence imposed as part of the state component of the universal settlement run concurrent with the Federal sentence. Id.

 The first count of the Information ("Count One") charged Taccetta with participating in the affairs of an enterprise, the New Jersey faction of the Lucchese family, through a pattern of racketeering. See Information, Count One. Taccetta admitted to a pattern of racketeering which included the Division of Sanitation scheme and the commercial bribery scheme which were the subject of the then pending Indictment, as well as multiple murder conspiracies, seven of which resulted in the death of the victim. See Plea Tr. at 21-26.

 The second count of the Information ("Count Two") charged Taccetta with jury tampering. Specifically, Count Two of the Information stated, in full,

 
During the time period of approximately November, 1986 through November, 1988, in the District of New Jersey, the defendant MICHAEL TACCETTA did knowingly and willfully and corruptly endeavor to influence or impede a juror in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey in that juror's discharge of his duty in the matter of United States v. Accetturo et al., 1988 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18293, Cr. No. 85-292 (HAA), through the payment of bribes to the juror in violation of Sections 1503 and 2 of Title 18 of the United States Code.

 See Information, Count Two (capitals in original) (emphasis added); Plea Tr. at 26-7.

 C. The Plea Hearing

 At the plea allocution ("Plea Hearing"), among other admissions, Taccetta admitted to the following:

 
Q. During the time period of approximately November, 1986 through November, 1988, did you participate in a proceeding in the district court for the District of New Jersey, namely the trial of United States v. Anthony Accetturo et al.? *fn2"
 
A. Yes.
 
Q. During that same time period, did you aid and abet the corrupt endeavor to influence and impede a juror in that the trial in that juror's discharge of his duties in that manner?
 
A. Yes.
 
Q. Did you do all of these acts knowingly and willfully?
 
A. Yes.

 Plea Tr. at 26-7. Taccetta further admitted his conduct with respect to both counts of the Information was committed knowingly, willfully and intentionally:

 
Q. Now, ... you've told me that you [Taccetta] read the Information, Count[] One and [Count] Two, correct?
 
A. Yes, sir.
 
Q. You discussed them with your attorney?
 
A. Yes.
 
Q. He's explained them all ...

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