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.

United States v. Guerrero-Gaviria

July 27, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
LUIS GUERRERO-GAVIRIA



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Baylson, J.

MEMORANDUM RE: PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS RELIEF

Defendant and Petitioner Luis Guerrero-Gaviria ("Gaviria") pleaded guilty before this Court to one count of illegal re-entry after deportation. After the Third Circuit affirmed his sentence on appeal, Gaviria filed the current Motion to Vacate/Set Aside/Correct Sentence Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, asserting several grounds of error. For the following reasons, Gaviria's Motion will be denied.

I. Background and Procedural History

On June 7, 2006, Gaviria pleaded guilty to one count of illegal re-entry after deportation, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a), as enhanced for deportation as a result of an aggravated felony under § 1326(b)(2). (Doc. 18, 22). At the change of plea hearing, the Government summarized the evidence against Gaviria as, and Gaviria stipulated to the truth of, the following facts. (C.O.P. Hr'g 13:9-14:12).

Gaviria is a citizen of Panama and is not a citizen of the United States. Among a long history of criminal arrests and convictions, Gaviria pleaded guilty in Pennsylvania state court to having engaged in a conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver heroin, cocaine, and marijuana in 1996. The state court sentenced Gaviria to prison for five months to one day short of five years for the offense.*fn1 After serving his time in prison, Gaviria was deported to Panama on July 3, 2003. Despite the fact that he never requested nor received authorization to return, Special Agent Stephanie Fritzges learned that Gaviria had been arrested in Allentown, Pennsylvania on November 6, 2005 under an assumed name. A fingerprint analysis confirmed that the detained individual was Gaviria.

On March 16, 2006, the grand jury returned an indictment against Gaviria, charging him with one count of illegal re-entry after deportation, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a). (Doc. 1). After Gaviria pleaded guilty on June 7, 2006 (Doc. 18, 22), this Court held a sentencing hearing on October 4, 2006 (Doc. 27, 36). At that time, Gaviria had no objections to the Pre-Sentence Report from the Probation Office. (Sent. Hr'g 3:23-4:1). This Court ultimately sentenced Gaviria to a term of 90 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. (Sent. Hr'g 19:12-17); (Doc. 30).

Gaviria then appealed his sentence to the Third Circuit, arguing that the sentence imposed was unreasonable and that it was imposed purely for purposes of rehabilitation. The Third Circuit rendered its decision on January 16, 2008, rejecting Gaviria's argument and affirming the sentence this Court imposed. See United States v. Guerrero-Gaviria, 261 Fed. Appx. 438 (3d Cir. 2008); (Doc. 37).

Gaviria then filed a "Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody" on December 24, 2008. (Doc. 38). However, this Court rejected Gaviria's filing and directed him to utilize the Court's current standardized form for § 2255 motions. (Doc. 39). Gaviria responded by providing the correct § 2255 form on January 28, 2009, (Doc. 40), which is the operative Motion for purposes of this Court's decision. The Government filed its response to the Motion on May 27, 2009. (Doc. 42). After Gaviria submitted a reply to the Government's Response on June 11, 2009, (Doc. 43), the Government filed a sur-reply on June 12, 2009, (Doc. 44).

II. Standard for § 2255 Petitions

Gaviria brings this Motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which provides that:

A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or is otherwise subject to collateral attack, may move the court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence.

28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). A district court may grant relief under this statute if the court finds that "the judgment was rendered without jurisdiction, or that the sentence imposed was not authorized by law or otherwise open to collateral attack, or that there has been such a denial or infringement of the constitutional rights of the prisoner as to render the judgment vulnerable to collateral attack." 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b).

III. Points of Alleged Error

In his Motion, Gaviria raises the following points of alleged error:

(1) Gaviria's counsel was ineffective for not sufficiently arguing that there was a geographic sentencing disparity between the sentence that Gaviria received and the sentence that similarly charged defendants receive pursuant to the Justice Department's "Fast Track" Program in other judicial districts;

(2) this Court erred when it did not offer Gaviria the option of entering into the "Fast Track" Program, due to the same alleged geographic sentencing disparity that resulted from the sentence this Court imposed;

(3) Gaviria's indictment failed to properly notify him of the charge entered against him and the facts alleged to support the charge, in ...


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.