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.

Maya v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division

March 9, 2018

ANTONIO GONZALEZ MAYA, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          KARON OWEN BOWDRE CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the court on Antonio Gonzalez Maya's motion to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence, 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Doc. 1). The court finds that the motion is due to be DENIED.

         In his timely-filed motion to vacate, Mr. Maya raises four grounds for why this court should vacate his sentence. (Doc. 1). Mr. Maya asserts that (1) counsel represented to him that he would receive a sentence no longer than five years and counsel instructed him to respond, “yes, ” to the court's questions at the plea colloquy, even if that response was untruthful; (2) the court improperly enhanced his sentence based on personal opinions and facts not included in the indictment or admitted as part of his plea agreement; (3) counsel failed to object to the court's unreasonable sentence, which Mr. Maya states was based on an incorrect calculation of his supervised release guideline range and an improper enhancement for possession of firearms; and (4) his supervised release sentence is unconstitutional because he was sentenced above the guideline range. Grounds 2 and 4 fail because of the collateral-attack bar in Mr. Maya's plea agreement. Grounds 1 and 3 fail because Mr. Maya has failed to establish under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984), that counsel was ineffective or that he was prejudiced by any ineffective assistance.

         BACKGROUND

         Pursuant to a plea agreement, Mr. Maya pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute, 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). (Case no. 2:15-cr-323 (“Crim. Doc.”), docs. 13, 22). Attorney Samuel Holmes represented Mr. Maya during the proceedings.

         The written plea agreement, which Mr. Maya initialed on each page and signed at the end, noted that he faced a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence. (Crim. Doc. 13 at 2, 14). Mr. Maya's plea agreement also included an appeal and collateral-attack waiver. That provision stated:

I, Antonio Gonzalez Maya, hereby waive and give up my right to appeal my conviction in this case, as well as any fines, restitution, and/or sentence the court might impose upon me. Further, I waive and give up the right to challenge my conviction and/or sentence, any fines, restitution, forfeiture orders imposed or the manner in which my conviction and/or sentence, any fines, restitution, and forfeiture orders were determined in any post-conviction proceeding, including, but not limited to, a motion brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.

(Crim. Doc. 13 at 7-8). The appellate and collateral-attack waiver contained exceptions, preserving Mr. Maya's right to appeal and collaterally attack his sentence on three grounds: (1) a sentence imposed above the applicable statutory maximum; (2) a sentence imposed above the advisory guidelines range found by the court; or (3) ineffective assistance of counsel. (Id. at 8).

         During the plea colloquy, this court told Mr. Maya that it would ask him “questions about the offense with which you are charged or other questions relating to your plea of guilty or to matters pertaining to sentencing.” (Crim. Doc. 33 at 3). This court added that “[a]ny answers to my questions must be full, complete and true because a false answer or a false statement made under oath could be the basis for prosecuting you for perjury.” (Id. 33 at 3). Mr. Maya stated that he understood. The court then placed Mr. Maya under oath.

         The court confirmed with Mr. Maya that he understood the meaning of the collateral-attack waiver in the plea agreement, including the meaning of a collateral challenge. (Crim. Doc. 33 at 9).

         The court noted the possible statutory penalties that Mr. Maya could receive, including the 10-year mandatory minimum sentence and that it lacked the ability to impose less than the mandatory minimum on its own. (Crim. Doc. 33 at 14). The court also told Mr. Maya that any sentence he might receive could be different from any estimate or prediction made by his counsel or anyone else. (Id. at 15). Mr. Maya stated that he was satisfied with his counsel. (Id. at 18). The court asked Mr. Maya at the end of the hearing whether he, for any reason, did not want to plead guilty, observing that this would be Mr. Maya's last opportunity to withdraw from that guilty plea. (Id. at 22). Mr. Maya confirmed that he wanted to plead guilty, and this court adjudicated him as such. (Id.).

         Prior to sentencing, the probation office prepared a presentence investigation report (“PSR”). The PSR included an enhancement to Mr. Maya's offense level for the possession of firearms, U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(b)(1). Mr. Maya's custodial guideline range in the PSR was 151 to 188 months' imprisonment; his supervised-release guideline range in the PSR was 5 years to life.

         This court sentenced Mr. Maya on June 20, 2016. Mr. Maya did not file any objections to the findings made in the PSR. (Crim. Doc. 34 at 3). This court also asked Mr. Maya directly whether he had read and discussed the PSR with counsel and whether he had any objections to the content of the report. (Id. at 3). Mr. Maya confirmed that he had read and discussed the report and that he had no objections to its content. (Id.).

         Adopting the PSR's findings, the court found that the advisory guideline range was 151 to 188 months' imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum of 120 months' imprisonment. This court stated that Mr. Maya's “supervised release period” was between five years and life. (Doc. 34 at 4). The court offered Mr. Maya an opportunity to speak on his own behalf before ...


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.