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United States v. Wilson

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

August 9, 2017

United States of America,
v.
Rodeques Lamont Wilson, Defendant/Movant. Civil No. 4:16cv1181 BHH

          Honorable Bruce Howe Hendricks United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court upon Rodeques Lamont Wilson's (“Movant” or “Wilson”) pro se motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. In his motion, Wilson raises various claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, and he asserts that the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to sentence him. The government filed a response in opposition and a motion for summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, the Court denies Wilson's § 2255 motion and grants the government's motion for summary judgment.

         BACKGROUND

         Wilson was charged in counts one and 14 of a 14-count, multi-defendant indictment on February 26, 2015. Specifically, count one charged Wilson with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 280 grams of cocaine base and five kilograms of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. Count 14 charged Wilson with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of a quantity of cocaine base and a quantity of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C).

         Wilson faced a penalty of ten years to life on count one, and because he had a prior felony drug conviction, the government could have filed an information pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851, which would have raised Wilson's mandatory minimum jail sentence to 20 years.

         On July 14, 2015, Wilson pleaded guilty to count one pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C) for a determinate sentence of 144 months' imprisonment. The presentence report determined Wilson's Guidelines range to be 168 to 210 months' imprisonment based on a total offense level of 31 and a criminal history category of V. At a sentencing hearing on October 20, 2015, the Court accepted Wilson's Rule 11(c)(1)(C) plea and sentenced Wilson to 144 months' imprisonment. Wilson did not file a direct appeal.

         On April 15, 2016, Wilson filed the instant § 2255 motion raising the following issues, taken verbatim from his memorandum:

         ISSUE ONE: The conviction and sentence are unconstitutional because Movant did not receive effective assistance of counsel as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

(A) Counsel's performance fell below reasonable objective standard, when he failed to object to the PSR improperly increasing his criminal history points by two (2) under § 4D1.1(d) of the United States Guidelines.
(B) Counsel's performance fell below reasonable objective standard when he neglected to object[ ] to the PSR improperly increasing Mr. Wilson's offense level by two under 2D1.1(b)(1) of the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
(C) Counsel's performance fell below reasonable standard when he neglected to object to PSR's 3 point increase of his criminal history for a non violent prior offense failure to stop for a blue light.
(D) Counsel's performance fell below reasonable objective standard when he neglected to object to the three (3) point increase to Mr. Wilson's criminal history for a prior charge of distribution.
(E) Counsel's performance fell below reasonable objective standard when he neglected to submit a motion to quash the defective indictment.
(F) Counsel's performance fell below reasonable objective standard, when he failed to object to Mr. Wilson's offense level being increased in light of stale conduct; false and untrue facts, given in a[n] after arrest statement by Demaize Benjamin.
(G) Counsel's performance fell below reasonable objective standard, when he failed to consult with Mr. Wilson about the PSR, and provide a copy of the ...

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