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United States v. Campbell

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

July 10, 2017

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Garnett Radcliff Campbell, Jr., also known as Yeshuah B Al Nina El, Defendant.

          ORDER AND OPINION

          J. Michelle Childs United States District Judge

         This matter is before the court on Pro se Defendant Garnett Radcliff Campbell, Jr., also known as Yeshuah B Al Nina El's (“Defendant”) Notice of Dismissal (hereinafter “Motion”), which the court construes as a Motion to Dismiss Reinstated Indictment.[1] (ECF No. 155.) In this Motion, Defendant also seeks damages resulting from alleged violations of his liberty. After careful consideration, the court DENIES Defendant's Motion.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On January 14, 2014, a Federal Grand Jury returned a three (3) count Indictment against Defendant for passing “false and fictitious instruments” in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 514 (a)(2). (ECF No. 1.) On February 7, 2014, Defendant was arrested in Southern New York. (ECF No. 9.) On March 4, 2014, Defendant entered a plea of not guilty. (ECF No. 12.) On June 19, 2014, the court issued an Emergency Order requesting that Defendant undergo a mental health evaluation to determine if he suffered from mental incompetency and appreciated the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of his acts. (ECF No. 31 at 2 (citing 18 U.S.C. §§ 4241, 4242, and 4247).) On October 2, 2014, the Federal Bureau of Prisons issued a report advising the court that Defendant does not suffer from a severe mental disease or defect and possesses the ability to understand the nature of his criminal proceedings. (ECF No. 35 at 1.)

         On December 23, 2014, Defendant entered a Nolo Contendere plea to count one of the Indictment. (ECF No. 64.) On January 26, 2015, Defendant filed a Motion to Withdraw his Guilty Plea because he allegedly entered a Nolo Contendere plea under threat, duress, and coercion. (ECF No. 73 at 1.) On January 30, 2015, the U.S. Government (“Government”) filed a response explaining that Defendant failed to demonstrate a fair and just reason for withdrawing his plea. (ECF No. 78.) On February 6, 2015, Defendant filed an “Affidavit (Writ Ordering Protection)” requesting “a Federal Order of Protection against” certain persons employed by the District Court of South Carolina, United States Department of Justice, and Federal Public Defender's Office. (ECF No. 82.) Defendant alleges that these persons engaged in vindictive prosecution and attempted to “denationalize” him. (ECF No. 82-1.) The court denied Defendant's Motion for Protective Order because he failed to provide any factual or legal basis. (ECF No. 84.) On February, 12, 2015, the court denied Defendant's Motion to Withdraw his Plea of Guilty, ruling that he did not provide any legitimate reason to withdraw his plea. (ECF No. 86 at 5.)

         On March 2, 2015, the court sentenced Defendant to time served with no period of supervision, a payment of $16, 335.77 in restitution, and a $100.00 special assessment (ECF No. 94), with the amended judgment (ECF No. 98) being entered on March 4, 2015. On March 10, 2015, Defendant filed a motion with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (“Fourth Circuit”) to withdraw his Nolo Contendere plea. (ECF No. 99.) On appeal, the Government requested that Defendant's conviction be vacated because the court failed to comply with Fed. R. Crim. P. 11. (ECF No. 121.) On March 17, 2016, the Fourth Circuit granted the motion to vacate, ruling that Defendant's guilty plea was not entered into freely, knowingly and voluntary. (ECF Nos. 121, 122.) The Fourth Circuit vacated Defendant's conviction and sentence, and remanded Defendant's proceedings to this court. (Id.)

         Because the case was remanded to the district court for further proceedings, on May, 2, 2016, the court ordered the issuance of a warrant for Defendant pursuant to the reinstated Indictment. (ECF Nos. 129, 130.) On February 28, 2017, Defendant was arrested by Anderson County Sheriff's Office of Anderson, South Carolina (“Anderson County”). (ECF No. 134.)

         On May 2, 2017, Defendant filed this Motion to Dismiss Reinstated Indictment. On May 11, 2017, the Government filed a response stating that Defendant's Motion should be denied because he failed to demonstrate any prosecutorial or government misconduct. (ECF No. 157.)

         On May 15, 2017, a hearing was held on Defendant's Motion. (ECF No. 158.) During this hearing, the court inquired whether Defendant would like to present any oral argument in support of his Motion. However, Defendant declined to do so, preferring to stand on his Motion. (ECF No. 166 at 2-3.) The Government argued that Defendant did not show its prosecution was vindictive and/or selective. (Id. at 5-6.) After this hearing, the court informed the parties it will issue a written Order on Defendant's Motion. (ECF No. 158.)

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A dismissal of an indictment is an extraordinary remedy, which the U.S. Supreme Court has characterized as “drastic.” United States v. Morrison, 449 U.S. 361, 367 (1981). A “presumption of regularity” is attached to all grand jury proceedings. United States v. Alvarado, 840 F.3d 184, 189 (4th Cir. 2016) (brackets omitted) (quoting United States v. Bros. Constr. Co. of Ohio, 219 F.3d 300, 314 (4th Cir. 2000)).

         To ensure grand jury independence, federal courts have very limited supervisory authority over grand jury proceedings. The court may exercise its supervisory authority to dismiss a grand jury indictment based upon prosecutorial misconduct where the misconduct “amounts to a violation of one of those few, clear rules which were carefully drafted and approved by [the United States Supreme Court] and by Congress to ensure the integrity of the grand jury's functions.” United States v. Williams, 504 U.S. 36, 46 (1992) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). Such clear rules include, inter alia, behavioral standards for prosecutors regarding procedures for granting witness immunity, criminalization of subornation of perjury, and the use of unlawful intercepted communications. See Id. at n.6 (citing 18 U.S.C. §§ 6002, 6003, 1622, 2515 and describing other Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and statutes set forth in the United States Code governing grand jury activities and the boundaries of prosecutorial conduct related thereto). Indeed, the court should approach any request to dismiss an indictment with caution and with a balanced view of the many interests involved. See United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727, 737 (1980).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Defendant asserts that the court should dismiss the reinstated Indictment based on allegations that (1) he was vindictively prosecuted after his guilty plea withdrawal (2) he was kidnapped by Anderson County officials, resulting in selective prosecution, and (3) he was subjected to extreme threats, duress, threat of unlawful imprisonment, coercion, and “legal violence” made by the State of South Carolina ...


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