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United States v. Rambo

July 27, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
J. RAMBO, DYCKMAN MARTINEZ



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sylvia H. Rambo United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM

Before the court is Defendant Dyckman Martinez's motion to withdraw his guilty plea. (Doc. 194.) For the reasons that follow, the motion will be denied.

I. Background*fn1

A. Facts

In September of 2008, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local York County, Pennsylvania law enforcement, began a drug trafficking investigation. During the investigation, Defendant was identified as an individual engaged in a network which was selling crack-cocaine and powder cocaine.

On September 15, 2009, York County law enforcement received a tip from a reliable confidential informant that they had seen an individual who they believed was wanted for possession of crack cocaine. Law enforcement responded and arrested Defendant. After his arrest, it was discovered he had an outstanding warrant. He was taken to the local York County booking station where he was strip searched. During the search officers found 8.6 grams of crack cocaine hidden in his underwear.

B. Procedural History

On December 2, 2009, a grand jury handed down a two count indictment against the Defendant and eight other individuals, charging them with possession and distribution of 50 grams or more of cocaine base and cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a), and conspiracy to do the same in violation of 21 U.S.C. 846.

On February 2, 2010, Defendant was arraigned on the indictment and entered a plea of not guilty. On April 27, 2010, he filed a motion to sever the case from his co-defendants and a motion to suppress. A suppression hearing was set for June 14, 2010. In the meantime however, on June 10, 2010, Defendant appeared before the court and entered a plea of guilty.

On July 8, 2010, Defendant filed the instant motion to withdraw his plea. The Government filed their brief in opposition on July 15, 2010. No reply brief was filed and the motion is now ripe for disposition.

II. Discussion

Defendant claims that on the day he entered his plea of guilty he was confused, under duress, and "not thinking clearly." He further argues that there would be no prejudice to the Government to let him withdraw his plea and proceed to trial. The Government responds that Defendant has failed to meet the standard required for a plea withdrawal, and that he has no absolute right to withdraw his plea.

For the reasons that follow, the court agrees with the Government that Defendant has failed to establish that he is entitled to a change of plea.

Under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(d)(2)(B), "[a] defendant may withdraw a plea of guilty . . . after the court accepts the plea, but before it imposes sentence if . . . the defendant can show a fair and just reason for requesting the withdrawal." Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(d)(2)(B). A defendant does not have an absolute right to withdraw their plea. United States v. Wilson, 429 F.3d 455, 458 (3d Cir. 2005). Furthermore, the burden on a defendant to show a fair and just reason is substantial and a defendant may not withdraw his plea on a whim or for fear of punishment. United States v. Carroll, 179 Fed. App'x 128, 133 (3d Cir. 2006) (citing United States v. Jones, 336 F.3d 245 (3d Cir. 2003)). When deciding a motion to withdraw a guilty plea the district court must consider the following factors: "(1) ...


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