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UNITED STATES v. ROWE

December 11, 1987

United States of America
v.
Gregory A. Rowe, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CONABOY

 Richard P. Conaboy, United States

 Gregory Rowe has petitioned this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to withdraw his guilty plea entered on January 8, 1986, and to vacate his 1986 conviction for violating 18 U.S.C. § 1716(a) and § 844(b). His motion alleges that his trial attorney had failed to render effective legal assistance. For the reasons set forth below, we conclude that Defendant has failed to establish a meritorious claim for relief.

 PROCEDURAL HISTORY

 On November 12, 1985, Gregory A. Rowe was indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1716(a), that is, mailing explosives with intent to injure or kill and damage property, and also 18 U.S.C. § 844(b), transporting explosives. On November 20, 1985, the Defendant entered a plea of not guilty to the indictment and trial was scheduled for December 19, 1985. After having granted a motion to reschedule the trial date, this Court received and accepted a change of plea by the Defendant on January 8, 1986. On February 5, 1986, this Court sentenced the Defendant to incarceration for a period of two years to be followed by probation for a period of five years. The Defendant was also sentenced under 18 U.S.C. § 4205(b)(2) making him immediately eligible for parole.

 On April 15, 1986, Petitioner filed a motion to reduce his sentence pursuant to Rule 35(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. This Court denied that motion on June 3, 1986.

 Finally, on March 16, 1987, the Defendant filed this instant motion to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Defendant Rowe filed a supporting brief on May 11, 1987 and the United States Attorney's Office filed their response on September 24, 1987. Defendant's motion is ripe for our review.

 FACTUAL BACKGROUND

 On October 25, 1985, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Mr. Rowe placed in the United States mail a package containing explosive materials and a triggering device that was set to detonate when opened. According to the presentence report, federal officials determined that the amount of explosives in the package would have been sufficient to cause extensive damage and perhaps even death to the recipient. Fortunately, the package was returned unopened to postal inspectors after the receiving party, a former business associate of the Defendant, became suspicious of its contents.

 Based on an investigation by federal officials, Defendant was indicted and charged with the above stated offenses. It is now Defendant's contention that the guilty plea he entered in this case was not knowingly and voluntarily made because of omissions on the part of his counsel.

 Specifically, Rowe claims that his attorney, James McGraw, failed to familiarize himself with the facts of the case and did not investigate possible defenses to the criminal charges involved here. As a result of this alleged inadequate representation, Rowe claims he unwittingly pleaded guilty and has suffered unanticipated consequences.

 A review of the record before us, however, shows a significantly different picture than what the Defendant is currently presenting to this Court. On January 8, 1986, the day the Defendant entered a plea of guilty, this Court questioned Mr. Rowe extensively as to the validity and consequences of his actions. Following the requirements of Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, this Court addressed the Defendant before all parties present and informed him of the charges involved and determined that his act of pleading guilty was knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently submitted.

 In particular, this Court addressed the issue raised in this petition by specifically advising the Defendant as follows:

 
The Court: Did you know that the penalty for each of these counts is as Mr. ...

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