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United States of America v. George Wilson Washington

November 23, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
GEORGE WILSON WASHINGTON,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Claudia Wilken United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO VACATE GUILTY PLEA AND SENTENCE

INTRODUCTION

Movant, a federal prisoner currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc, California, has filed 14 this motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence. Respondent opposes the motion. For the following 16 reasons, the motion is DENIED. 17

BACKGROUND

On December 18, 2008, Movant was charged in a criminal

19 complaint with one count of distribution of crack cocaine in 20 violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A)(iii). Movant faced 21 a mandatory minimum prison sentence of ten years and a mandatory 22 minimum five-year term of supervised release. 23

On September 23, 2009, after plea negotiations with Movant's

24 defense counsel, the government filed a superseding information 25 charging Movant with using a telecommunications facility in 26 facilitating or committing a felony under 21 U.S.C. § 843(b). The 27 government also alleged a prior felony narcotics conviction 28 pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851. On this charge, Movant faced a statutory maximum sentence of eight years in prison and a three-2 year term of supervised release. Movant plead guilty to the sole 3 count of the superseding information and admitted the facts of his 4 conduct in the plea agreement, which provided for a sentence of 5 ninety-six months' imprisonment and three years' supervised 6 release. At the change of plea hearing, the Court questioned 7

Movant to ensure that he understood the nature and consequences of 8 his plea. Movant answered that he understood the agreement, and 9 the Court made a finding that the plea was knowing and voluntary. 10

Ex. A at 12-19.

On December 9, 2009, the Court sentenced Movant according to

the terms of the plea agreement: ninety-six months' imprisonment, 13 three years' supervised release, a $100 special assessment, and 14 forfeiture of a motor vehicle used in facilitating the offense. 15

On July 23, 2010, Movant filed this motion. Movant claims

16 that he did not receive effective assistance of counsel, arguing 17 that defense counsel failed to object during the sentencing 18 proceeding. He also claims that he did not understand the 19 sentencing ...


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