No. 90-7246

   In The Supreme Court Of The United States

   October Term, 1990

   On Petition For A Writ Of Certiorari To The United States Court Of
Appeals For The Second Circuit

   Brief For The United States In Opposition

                             OPINION BELOW

   The opinion of the court of appeals (Pet. App. 7449-7549) is
reported at 922 F.2d 934.


   The judgment of the court of appeals was entered on December 12,
1990.  A petition for rehearing was denied on February 4, 1991.  The
petition for a writ of certiorari was filed on February 28, 1991.  The
jurisdiction of this Court is invoked under 28 U.S.C. 1254(1).

                          QUESTION PRESENTED

   Whether the district court properly admitted evidence concerning
petitioner's involvement in a terrorist organization.


   Following a jury trial in the United States District Court for the
District of Connecticut, petitioner was convicted of conspiring to
commit bank robbery and to transport the proceeds in interstate and
foreign commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371.  He was sentenced to
five years' imprisonment and fined $100,000.  The court of appeals
affirmed.  /1/ Pet. App. 7449-7549.

   1. Petitioner's conviction arose out of the September 1983 robbery
of more than $7 million from a Wells Fargo depot in West Hartford,
Connecticut.  The robbery was planned and carried out by members of
Los Macheteros (the "machete wielders"), a Puerto Rican terrorist
organization, to obtain money to fund the group's activities.  The
evidence at trial showed that petitioner was an important figure in
the organization, that he had possession of numerous documents
describing the planning of the Wells Fargo robbery and subsequent
transfers of the stolen funds, and that he directly participated in
transporting stolen money out of the United States.  Pet. App.
7457-7458;  7537-7538.

   2. On appeal, petitioner argued, among other things, that the
district court's instructions to the jury permitted the jury to
convict him merely on the basis of his membership in Los Macheteros,
without regard to his participation in the conspiracy charged in the
indictment.  /2/ The court of appeals rejected this claim, concluding
that the district court's instructions properly limited the jury to
convicting on the basis of proof of the charged conspiracy.  Pet. App.
7491-7497.  The court observed that the district court had
specifically instructed the jurors that they were not to base a
conviction merely on evidence of association with alleged
conspirators.  The court of appeals also noted that one defendant who
conceded that he was a member of Los Macheteros was acquitted.
Consequently, the court of appeals concluded that the jury could not
have understood "that it was to convict defendants of conspiracy on
the basis of their membership in Los Macheteros." /3/ Id. at 7496.


   Petitioner contends (Pet. 2-7) that the district court erred in
permitting the government to introduce evidence of his involvement in
Los Macheteros, claiming that the admission of this evidence
improperly expanded the scope of the conspiracy beyond the objectives
charged in the indictment.  This contention is incorrect.  The
indictment specifically alleged that petitioner and his co-defendants
"were members of a group which called itself the 'Macheteros,' which
funded its operations and activities * * * through economic
expropriations including robbery" and that the object of the Wells
Fargo robbery was "to obtain money for the 'Macheteros' and its
members to be used to fund its operations." /4/ C.A. App. 50, 52.

   The evidence of petitioner's involvement in Los Macheteros' illegal
activities was plainly relevant to show his knowing participation in
the conspiracy to commit the offenses charged in the indictment.  The
government introduced evidence that petitioner was aware of the
details of the planning of the robbery and the subsequent transfer of
the stolen funds.  See Pet. App. 7536-7538.  This evidence rebutted
petitioner's claim that he was not involved in the conspiracy to
commit the Wells Fargo robbery and was merely an unwitting participant
in the transportation of the money.

   Petitioner also contends (Pet. 5, 7) that the district court's
admission of the challenged evidence, "without providing the
appropriate cautionary instructions," violated his rights under the
First Amendment by allowing the jurors to convict him solely on the
basis of his association with Los Macheteros.  This claim is also
without merit.  The trial court gave detailed instructions concerning
the requirement that the government prove each defendant's knowing
participation in the conspiracy.  C.A. App. 247-254.  The court
specifically instructed the jurors that "(m)ere association of alleged
conspirators without any evidence of participation does not permit an
inference of guilt." Id. at 248.  Thus, even assuming that petitioner
had a constitutionally protected interest in associating with a
terrorist organization, the district court's instructions to the jury
eliminated any possibility that petitioner might be convicted merely
because of his membership in Los Macheteros.


   The petition for a writ of certiorari should be denied.

   Respectfully submitted.


      Solicitor General


      Assistant Attorney General



   JUNE 1991

   /1/ The court of appeals also affirmed the convictions of
petitioner's co-defendants.  One of petitioner's co-defendants is the
petitioner in Segarra-Palmer v. United States, No. 90-7227.  The
government's brief in opposition in No. 90-7227 is being filed

   /2/ The indictment charged that petitioner and a number of
co-defendants conspired to commit three specific offenses:  bank
robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2113;  theft from an interstate
shipment, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 659;  and transportation of stolen
money in interstate and foreign commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
2314.  C.A. App. 50-51.

   /3/ The court of appeals also rejected petitioner's claims that the
district court erred in allowing him to represent himself and that the
evidence introduced at trial was insufficient to support his
conviction.  Pet. App. 7531-7539.  Petitioner does not seek further
review of those claims.

   /4/ Petitioner's suggestion (Pet. 6) that the objectives of a
Section 371 conspiracy are limited to "specific statutory offenses" is
incorrect.  See Ingram v. United States, 360 U.S. 672, 679-680 (1959)
(conspiracy may have multiple objectives, including concealment of
another crime).