Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wiggins v. United States

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Aiken Division

December 16, 2016

Terrance Lamar Wiggins a/k/a T-Wig a/k/a Barnwell, Movant,
v.
United States of America, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Margaret B. Seymour, Senior United States District Court Judge

         Movant Terrance Lamar Wiggins (“Movant”), a federal inmate proceeding pro se, filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence on September 28, 2015. ECF No. 178. The government filed a response in opposition to Movant's motion (ECF No. 197) and a motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 198) on March 16, 2016. On March 25, 2016, the court issued an order, pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), advising Movant of the summary judgment procedure and the possible consequences if he failed to respond adequately. ECF No. 199. Movant filed a response in opposition to the government's motion on April 26, 2016. ECF No. 202.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         From 2005 through 2012, Movant was involved in a drug conspiracy to distribute kilogram quantities of cocaine in Barnwell County, South Carolina, and surrounding areas of South Carolina. Record of Transcript, ECF Nos. 167 at 53:15-20; 152 at 41:8-12. In 2005, Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) agents began investigating drug and weapons violations in the Barnwell County area, and several cooperating witnesses detailed participating in drug trafficking activities with Movant. ECF No. 127. During a companion investigation into cocaine trafficking in counties of Barnwell, Allendale, and Hampton, South Carolina, several cooperating witnesses described their direct involvement with Movant in the distribution of cocaine. Id. Based on the cooperating witnesses' information, federal investigators obtained a search warrant for Movant's residence in Barnwell, South Carolina. ECF No. 167 at 30:8-11. On March 28, 2012, federal agents executed a search warrant at Movant's residence and found more than $458, 802.00 in cash, quantities of marijuana and cocaine, scales, six firearms, kilogram packaging materials, and other paraphernalia often used in the distribution of cocaine in kilogram quantities. ECF Nos. 127-2, 129-2. Agents also searched Movant's mother's home, to which she consented. ECF No. 127-2 at 2. In Movant's mother's home agents discovered an additional $175, 455.00 in cash that Movant had hidden and stored mostly throughout Movant's brother's bedroom, master bathroom tub, and mother's closet. ECF Nos. 127, 127-2. After the discovery of the money and safe in Movant's mother's residence, Movant asserted that his mother and brother did not have knowledge of the money being stashed in their home. ECF No. 127. Movant claims that he “sneaked” the cash and the safe into his mother's home; however, agents noted that the safe was inside a closet surrounded by women's clothing and was bolted to the floor. Id.

         On April 17, 2012, the grand jury charged Movant as the sole individual named in a four-count indictment charging that Movant knowingly and intentionally did combine, conspire and agree with others, both known and unknown to the grand jury, to knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully possess with intent to distribute and distribute cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance, said conspiracy involving 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), 846 (Count One); knowingly, intentionally, and unlawfully did possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(C) (Count Two); knowingly did possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1) (Count Three); and, as a felon, did knowingly did possess firearms and ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2), 924(e) (Count Four). ECF No. 20 at 1-3. On April 18, 2012, the government filed a notice of enhanced penalty informing Movant that, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851, he was subject to increased penalties based on a previous felony drug conviction. ECF No. 26. On May 2, 2012, Movant entered a plea of not guilty to the charges in the indictment. ECF No. 46.

         On April 23, 2012, Movant represented by his attorney's law partner, George C. Johnson, met with DEA Agent Barry Wilson regarding a proffer agreement. ECF No. 197-1 at 1. Movant's attorney, Bryon E. Gipson (“Counsel”), was not able to attend this first proffer session due to a family emergency. Id. At the meeting, Agent Wilson told Movant that if he was not truthful, “all bets were off” and he would be in breach of his proffer agreement. Id. Movant stated that he understood and that he was ready to begin the interview. Id. During the interview, Movant became hesitant when he was asked about his mother's involvement in his drug trafficking activities. Id. Consequently, Agent Wilson and Mr. Johnson agreed to postpone the interview until Counsel could meet with Movant. Id.

         On May 15, 2012, Movant, Counsel and federal agents met again regarding a proffer. Id. at 2. Movant signed the proffer agreement, and proceeded to provide information about his role and knowledge of others included in the indictment. Id. Once again, Movant became hesitant when he was asked questions about his family and their knowledge of his illegal activities. Id.

         Subsequently, at one of Counsel's visit to the Lexington County Detention Center, Movant informed Counsel that he no longer wished to cooperate with the government. Id. Movant explained that his family's minister prophesied that he would be coming home and the prophecy should supersede cooperation with the government. Id. Movant stated that he would no longer speak or cooperate with the government or federal agents; he wanted to go to trial. Id. Counsel advised Movant that this was a “poor decision” and that his obligation to remain truthful would still remain in effect. Id.

         On May 2, 2012, Movant rejected a plea agreement. ECF No. 46. The government advised Movant that the government wanted to complete its debriefing. ECF No. 197-1 at 2. On October, 28, 2012, the proffer/debriefing continued. Id. After the proffer, the government informed Counsel and Movant that they believed Movant had provided false material statements related to the case. Id. A polygraph test was scheduled for November 28, 2012. Id.

         Prior to the polygraph exam, the polygraph administer asked Movant to confirm his previous statements about his family not being involved in his drug trafficking activities and not having knowledge about the money found in his mother's home. Id. Movant altered his statement and informed the polygraph administer that his family was in fact aware of the activities and money. Id. at 3. Consequently, the government determined that the polygraph was not necessary since Movant admitted that he provided false information during the proffer sessions. Id.

         On December 4, 2012, a pre-trial conference was held before the Honorable Margaret B. Seymour. ECF No. 146. The court granted the government's motion to hold Movant in breach of his proffer agreement. ECF No. 146 at 62:21-24. Therefore, the information Movant provided investigators detailing his knowledge of participation in drug trafficking activities with cocaine suppliers Christopher Davis and Manuel Soto-Gonzalez was later included in the presentence report.

         From December 10-12, 2012, a jury heard Movant's case. ECF No. 166. On December 12, 2012, the jury found Movant guilty as to Count One, Count Three, and Count Four. ECF No. 168 at 19-20; ECF No. 106. The jury found Movant not guilty as to Count Two. Id.

         On May 7, 2013, a presentence investigation report was filed with the court. ECF No. 127. The presentence report included a revised addendum that stated any objections made by the government and Movant. The government had no objections to the presentence report. ECF No. 127-1. Movant made the following objections: (1) to Paragraph 87, which stated that he directed his brother or his brother assisted him in selling illegal drugs; (2) to Paragraph 88, which provided an enhancement for obstruction of justice because Movant eventually divulged the location of his assets; (3) to not receiving credit for acceptance of responsibility nor for providing information to the government; (4) to being held responsible for 200 kilograms of cocaine; and (5) to Paragraph 86, which provided a four level enhancement based on level of participation. ECF Nos. 127-1 at 1-4; 127-3.

         On May 8, 2013, the court held a sentencing hearing. The court denied Movant's motion for a variance below Movant's calculated advisory guideline sentence. ECF No. 152 at 45:13-14. The court overruled Movant's objections to the presentence report. ECF No. 130. Movant was sentenced to imprisonment for life as to Count One, one hundred twenty months as to Count Four, and sixty months as to Count Three, said terms to run concurrently. Id. at 42:12-16. On May 23, 2013, Movant filed a timely notice of appeal from the judgment and sentence entered. ECF No. 135. Movant did not retain ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.