Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
October 14, 2015, Decided
[*84] TORRUELLA, Circuit Judge. As a result of his conviction for participating in one of the largest antitrust conspiracies in the history of the United States, Defendant-Appellant Frank Peake ("Peake") raises a number of claimed errors with respect to his trial and sentencing for a serious price-fixing offense in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1 ("Section 1"). Peake challenges: (1) the validity of his indictment; (2) the scope of the search warrant executed by the government; (3) the district court's denial of his pre-trial motion to change venue; (4) improper remarks made by the prosecutor [**2] during trial; (5) the district court's ruling permitting prejudicial testimony; (6) the district court's denial of his request for a theory-of-defense instruction; (7) the district court's denial of his request for a mistrial during jury deliberations, and (8) the length of his sentence, which was based on the amount of commerce affected by the charged conspiracy, and which Peake contends the court incorrectly computed. Finding no errors and concluding that the district court marshaled this trial in a commendable manner, we affirm. After a brief overview of the factual background, we will take each of the issues one by one.
We recount the facts in the light most favorable to the jury verdict, as supported by the record. See United States v. Andrade, 94 F.3d 9, 10 (1st Cir. 1996). Since 2002, waterborne cabotage between Puerto Rico and the mainland has been dominated by four freight carriers: Horizon Lines, Sea Star, Crowley, and Trailer Bridge. See In re Puerto Rican Cabotage Antitrust Litig., 815 F.Supp.2d 448, 454 n.3 (D.P.R. 2011). And, because of Puerto Rico's geographical situation, Puerto [*85] Rico's consumers rely on these carriers to transport most goods imported to the island. See Merchant Marine Act of 1920, Pub. L. No. 66-261, 41 Stat. 988, 999 (1920) (codified as amended at 46 U.S.C. §§ 55101, et seq.). Seeking to maximize revenues, Horizon Lines and Sea Star agreed [**3] not to undercut each other in price and allocated precise market share quotas through an extensive conspiracy that included bid rigging and careful planning, coordination, and the kinds of day-to-day self-enforcement common of illegal agreements.
This behavior constituted an agreement in restraint of trade forbidden by Section 1. Peake, the former President and Chief Operating Officer ("COO") of Sea Star, played a managing role in the conspiracy, coordinating with competitors through meetings, phone calls, and emails, and attending to pricing or consumer-allocation disputes that his subordinates could not resolve on their own.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
804 F.3d 81 *; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17868 **; 2015-2 Trade Cas. (CCH) P79,339
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee, v. FRANK PEAKE, Defendant, Appellant.
Subsequent History: US Supreme Court certiorari denied by Peake v. United States, 2016 U.S. LEXIS 4978 (U.S., Oct. 3, 2016)
Prior History: [**1] APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO. Hon. Daniel R. Domínguez, U.S. District Judge.
United States v. Peake, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189764 (D.P.R., June 5, 2012)
conspiracy, district court, commerce, consumers, deliberations, electronic, seized, sentence, volume, argues, magistrate judge, searched, freight, email, mistrial, shipping, prices, curative instruction, documents, suppress, search warrant, witnesses, contends, remarks, seizure, interstate commerce, district judge, new trial, Transportation, instructions
Criminal Law & Procedure, Standards of Review, Clearly Erroneous Review, Motions to Suppress, De Novo Review, Search & Seizure, Search Warrants, Particularity Requirement, General Overview, Jurisdiction & Venue, Venue, Abuse of Discretion, Harmless & Invited Error, Prosecutorial Misconduct, Juries & Jurors, Jury Deliberations, Ability to Follow Instructions, Trials, Jury Instructions, Curative Instructions, Evidence, Evidence, Relevance, Exclusion of Relevant Evidence, Confusion, Prejudice & Waste of Time, Jury Instructions, Particular Instructions, Theory of Defense, Allen Charges, Mistrial, Appeals, Clear Error Review, De Novo Review, Antitrust & Trade Law, Sherman Act, Penalties, Sentencing Guidelines, Adjustments & Enhancements