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United States v. Penney

October 6, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
DANA LAMAUR PENNEY



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Terrence F. McVerry United States District Court

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Presently before the Court is a MOTION UNDER 28 U.S.C. § 2255 TO VACATE, SET ASIDE, OR CORRECT SENTENCE BY A PERSON IN FEDERAL CUSTODY (Document No. 67) and an APPLICATION TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF FEES AND AFFIDAVIT (Document No. 68), filed pro se by Petitioner / Defendant, Dana Lamaur Penney.

Background

On August 27, 2004, Dana Lamaur Penney pled guilty to Count One of a two-count Indictment which charged him with Possession With Intent to Distribute Fifty (50) Grams or More of a Mixture and Substance Containing a Detectable Amount of Cocaine Base, In The Form Commonly Known as Crack, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A)(iii). Defendant was informed by the Court at the Change of Plea hearing that the penalties for this crime included a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment of ten (10) years to a maximum term of life.

The Presentence Investigation Report prepared by the Probation Office reflected that Defendant's Total Offense Level was 29 with a Criminal History Category of V, which resulted under the advisory guidelines in a range of imprisonment of 140 to 175 months, a sentence higher than the required statutory mandatory minimum of ten (10) years.

On February 11, 2005, the Court sentenced Defendant below the advisory guidelines, but within the statutory framework, to 124 months of imprisonment, to be served concurrently with the undischarged terms of imprisonment imposed by the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas at Criminal Nos. 471 of 2002, 112 of 2002, and 2367 of 2005, to be followed by five years supervised release. Count Two of the Indictment was dismissed on the motion of the United States.

On September 16, 2008, the Defendant, through counsel, filed a Motion for Reduction of Sentence Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) (Document No. 45). On October 15, 2008, the Court resentenced Defendant to 120 months of imprisonment, the statutory mandatory minimum sentence, to be served concurrently with the undischarged terms of imprisonment imposed by the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas at Criminal Nos. 471 of 2002, 112 of 2002, and 2367 of 2005, to be followed by five years supervised release. An Amended Judgment was filed that same day.

On January 9, 2009, Defendant, pro se, filed a Notice of Appeal of the Amended Judgment with the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

On March 23, 2009, Defendant, pro se, filed a Motion for Mistake, Inadvertence, or Excusable Neglect; Newly Discovered Evidence Under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6) (sic). By Order of Court entered April 6, 2006, the Court denied the Motion.

On April 24, 2009, the Defendant, pro se, filed a Motion to Alter or Amend a Judgment Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Rule 59(e). By Order of Court entered August 18, 2009, the Court denied the Motion.

On June 9, 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit dismissed Defendant's Notice of Appeal as untimely.

On July 31, 2009, Defendant, pro se, filed a handwritten Motion for Remedies on Motion Attacking Sentence Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2255 (Document No. 61). In accordance with the directives of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in United States v. Miller, on August 4, 2009, the Court issued an Order in which it notified Petitioner that he had until September 18, 2009, which was forty-five (45) days from the date of the Order, within which to advise the Court as to his choice from the following three options:

(1) have his motion ruled upon as filed;

(2) if his motion is not styled as a § 2255 motion, have his motion recharacterized as a § 2255 motion and heard as such, but lose his ability to file successive petitions ...


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