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United States v. Robinson

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

September 16, 2019

UNITED STATES,
v.
CARLOS DEMOND ROBINSON, Defendant.

          ORDER AND OPINION

         Defendant Carlos Demond Robinson is a prisoner currently serving a sentence of nine hundred sixty (960) months in the Bureau of Prisons. See United States v. Robinson, Crim. No. 6:03-cr-00616-HMH-1, ECF No. 123 (D.S.C. Dec. 17, 2004).

         This matter is before the court on Robinson's “Motion for a Writ of Error Corram [sic] Nobis or ‘All Great Writ Act' U.S.C. § 1651(a)” to “Attack [] a Prior Sentence Where an Illegal Prior was Used to Enhance Petitioner's Current Sentence Pursuant to ‘Audita Querela' or a ‘Writ of Error Coram Nobis § 1651(a).” (ECF No. 56.) Citing to Bailey v. United States, 516 U.S. 137 (1995), Robinson “seeks to set-aside his sentence on the grounds ‘that the sentence was imposed in violation of the [C]onstitution or the laws of the United States and that the court imposed a sentence that was in excess of the maximum authorized by law and is subject to change under collateral attack as provided in this motion.[']” (ECF No. 56 at 10 (quoting Davis v. United States, 417 U.S. 333 (1974)).) For the reasons set forth below, the court DENIES Robinson's Motion.

         I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND TO PENDING MOTION

         On September 21, 1993, the Grand Jury named Robinson in a Superseding Indictment for one (1) count of crack distribution in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and one (1) count of knowingly using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1). (ECF No. 13.) On December 20, 1993, Robinson signed a written plea agreement (ECF No. 15 at 6) agreeing to plead guilty to the § 924(c)(1) firearm offense of the Superseding Indictment (the “1993 conviction”). On May 4, 1994, the court sentenced Robinson to imprisonment for a term of sixty (60) months. (ECF No. 21.) The court entered the Judgment on May 9, 1994. (Id.) Robinson did not file an appeal.

         In 2002 and 2003, Robinson allegedly distributed a large amount of crack while possessing numerous weapons. (See, e.g., Crim. No. 6:03-cr-00616-HMH, ECF No. 159 at 4-5 ¶¶ 1-7.) Thereafter, on February 10, 2004, the Grand Jury named Robinson in a Superseding Indictment containing the following seven (7) counts:

(1) That beginning at a date unknown to the Grand Jury, but from at least early 2002, and continuing thereafter up to and including the date of this indictment, in the District of South Carolina, the Defendants, CARLOS DEMOND ROBINSON and WISTER PATRICK GATES did knowingly and intentionally conspire, confederate, agree together and have tacit understanding with each other and with various other persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury, knowingly, intentionally, and unlawfully to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base, commonly known as "crack" cocaine, and a quantity of cocaine, both Schedule II controlled substances, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A) and 841(b)(1)(C); All in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846.
(2) That on or about February 2, 2003, in the District of South Carolina, the Defendant, CARLOS DEMOND ROBINSON knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully did possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base, commonly known as "crack" cocaine, and a quantity of cocaine, both Schedule II controlled substances and did aid and abet another person in the commission of the aforesaid offense; In violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 84l(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and 84l(b)(1)(C) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.
(3) That on or about February 2, 2003, in the District of South Carolina, the Defendant, CARLOS DEMOND ROBINSON knowingly did use and carry firearms during and in relation to, and did possess the firearms in furtherance of, a drug trafficking crime for which he may be prosecuted in a court of the United States, and did aid and abet another person in the commission of the aforesaid offense; In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c)(1) and 2.
(4) That on or about February 2, 2003, in the District of South Carolina, the defendant, CARLOS DEMOND ROBINSON, having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, did knowingly possess in and affecting commerce, firearms, that is, two SKS rifles, a Lorcin 9mm pistol, a Cobray M-11 9mm pistol, a Phoenix Arms .25 caliber pistol, a Llama .45 caliber pistol and assorted ammunition, all of which had been shipped and transported in interstate commerce; In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2).
(5) That on or about October 30, 2002, in the District of South Carolina, the Defendants, CARLOS DEMOND ROBINSON and WISTER PATRICK GATES, knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully did possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base, commonly known as "crack" cocaine, and a quantity of cocaine, both Schedule II controlled substances, and did aid and abet each other in the commission of the aforesaid offense. In violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), 841(b)(1)(C) and Title 18, United States Code, Section 2.
(6) That on or about October 30, 2002, in the District of South Carolina, the Defendants, CARLOS DEMOND ROBINSON and WISTER PATRICK GATES, knowingly did use and carry firearms during and in relation to, and did possess the firearms in furtherance of, a drug trafficking crime for which they may be prosecuted in a court of the United States, and did aid and abet each other in the commission of the aforesaid offense; In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c)(1) and 2.
(7) That on or about October 30, 2002, in the District of South Carolina, the Defendants, CARLOS DEMOND ROBINSON and WISTER PATRICK GATES, having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, did knowingly possess in and affecting commerce, firearms, that is, a Taurus 9mm pistol, a Glock Model-21 .45 caliber pistol and assorted ammunition, all of which had been shipped and transported in interstate commerce, and did aid and abet each other in the commission of the aforesaid offense; In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2) and 2.

(Crim. No. 6:03-cr-00616-HMH, ECF No. 49 at 1-4.) On May 26, 2004, following a jury trial, Robinson was found guilty on all seven (7) counts of the Superseding Indictment (the “2004 conviction”), two (2) of those counts being in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A), the amended version of the § 924(c)(1) gun violation Robinson pleaded guilty to in the 1993 conviction. (Crim. No. 6:03-cr-00616-HMH, ECF No. 84.) On December 17, 2004, the court sentenced Robinson to nine hundred sixty (960) months of imprisonment. (Crim. No. 6:03-cr-00616-HMH, ECF No. 123.) “The 1993 conviction caused the two § 924(c)(1) convictions in the 200[][4] [][conviction] to be subsequent offenses and they therefore carried heavier statutory penalties.” (ECF No. 73 at 2.) The court entered the Judgment on December 17, 2004. (Crim. No. 6:03-cr-00616-HMH, ECF No. 123.)

         On December 28, 2004, Robinson appealed his sentence (in the 2004 conviction) to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which affirmed Robinson's convictions on March 22, 2007, but vacated his sentence for further consideration on remand.[1] (Crim. No. 6:03-cr-00616-HMH, ECF No. 166.) Thereafter, on June 18, 2007, the court re-sentenced Robinson to nine hundred sixty (960) months of imprisonment. (Crim. No. 6:03-cr-00616-HMH, ECF Nos. 188, 189.) The court entered the Judgment on June 22, 2007. (Crim. No. 6:03-cr-00616-HMH, ECF No. 189.) ...


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