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United States v. Daghlawi

April 17, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT,
v.
EID ABED DAGHLAWI, DEFENDANT/PETITIONER.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Napoleon A. Jones, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

Petitioner Eid Abed Daghlawi, a federal prisoner appearing pro se, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus ("Petition") challenging his conviction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. [Doc. No. 749.] Respondent United States of America timely filed a Response and Opposition to the Petition. [Doc. No. 751.] Having considered these documents, this Court DENIES the Petition for the reasons stated below.

Factual and Procedural Background

I. The Underlying Offense

In February 2001, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") agents received information from a confidential source that Petitioner was distributing large quantities of pseudoephedrine in Escondido, California. In addition to conventional investigative techniques, from May 24, 2001 to September 10, 2001, the DEA sought and received court authorization to conduct wire interceptions on three different telephone facilities used by Petitioner. The investigation culminated in the arrest of the defendants on January 10, 2002.

The investigation revealed a conspiracy to possess and distribute large quantities of pseudoephedrine knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine. Petitioner was the leader of the pseudoephedrine distribution organization. He purchased bulk quantities of pseudoephedrine and supervised several couriers, who would pick up and deliver multi-kilogram quantities of pseudoephedrine.

Petitioner supervised and directed at least ten pseudoephedrine transactions, totaling approximately 132 kilograms of pseudoephedrine. [Doc. No. 751, Ex. A 3-8.] Petitioner also admitted to receiving proceeds in the amount of approximately $100,000 from the sale of pseudoephedrine. These proceeds were used to purchase a residence located at 2644 Val Dale Place in Escondido, California. Id. at 8.

II. Indictment

On January 4, 2002, a federal grand jury for the Southern District of California returned an Indictment charging Petitioner and twelve other co-defendants with various controlled substances offenses. On April 11, 2003, a Superseding Indictment was returned charging Petitioner and the other remaining defendants with the same controlled substances offenses. A criminal forfeiture allegation was added against Petitioner. The forfeiture allegation included real property located at 2644 Val Dale Place, Escondido, California, and $361,750 in United States currency.

III. The Plea Agreement

On May 19, 2003, Petitioner, represented by attorney Knut Johnson, signed a Plea Agreement and pled guilty to Count One of the Superseding Indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute a List I chemical in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846, and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2. As part of the Plea Agreement, Petitioner also agreed to the criminal forfeiture allegation set forth in the Superseding Indictment and agreed to the forfeiture of $100,000 in proceeds he received from the criminal violation, pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(a)(1). Specifically, paragraph XI.B.7 states that the Government will not recommend Acceptance of Responsibility if Petitioner "[f]ails to pay the $100,000 criminal forfeiture prior to the date scheduled for sentencing." [Doc. No. 751, Ex. A 13.] Furthermore, section XI.I of the Plea Agreement, titled "FORFEITURE," states the following:

Defendant agrees to the criminal forfeiture allegation set forth in the indictment to the extent of forfeiture of $100,000 in proceeds he received from the violation, pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(a)(1). Defendant agrees to pay the entire $100,000 on or before the date first scheduled for the sentencing of the Defendant. The Defendant admits that he owns the real property located at 2644 Vale Dale Place, Escondido, California, as set forth in the superseding indictment. The Defendant has represented that he will refinance the existing promissory note and trust deed securing the note and pay the United States the $100,000 from the refinancing of the note and trust deed prior to the date scheduled for sentencing. The United States agrees that it will provide a release of its lis pendens recorded against the real property, upon written request from an escrow company and upon receipt of written proof from a lender of its intent to loan money to DAGHLAWI sufficient to pay the existing first trust deed and the United States.

If the Defendant fails to timely pay the United States the $100,000 as set forth in this plea agreement, the Defendant consents to the immediate entry of an amended order of criminal forfeiture as to the entirety of the forfeitures set forth in the superseding indictment. The Defendant understands that if he fails to timely pay the criminal forfeiture of $100,000, the Court will enter an order forfeiting the entirety of 2644 Val Dale Place, Escondido, California, to the United States, and in addition will order the forfeiture of $361,750 in United States currency, all pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Section 853(a)(1).

Doc. No. 751, Ex. A 14-15 (emphasis in original).

In the factual basis of the Plea Agreement, Petitioner admitted that he supervised and directed at least ten pseudoephedrine transactions, totaling approximately 132 kilograms of pseudoephedrine. He also admitted to receiving proceeds in the amount of approximately $100,000 from the sale of pseudoephedrine. These proceeds were used to purchase a residence located at 2644 Val Dale Place in Escondido, California. [Doc. No. 751, Ex. A 8.]

In the Plea Agreement, Petitioner expressly certified that he had read the Plea Agreement, that he had discussed its terms with his attorney Knut Johnson, that he was satisfied with his attorney's representation, and that he fully understood its meaning and effect. [Doc. No. 751, Ex. A 16-17.] Petitioner initialed each page of the Plea Agreement and signed the last page of the agreement. See generally doc. no. 751, ex. A.

The Plea Agreement also advised Petitioner that his sentence was within the sole discretion of the Court and that the Plea Agreement was not binding on the court. [Doc. No. 751, Ex. A 11.] Finally, the Plea Agreement included an express waiver of Petitioner's right to appeal or to collaterally ...


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