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State v. Crossan

United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

February 24, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
RICHARD WILLIAM CROSSAN CRIMINAL No. 00-153

John R. Padova, J.

Before the Court is Richard William Crossan’s pro se Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. For the following reasons, the Motion is denied.

I.BACKGROUND

On August 14, 2000, pursuant to a Guilty Plea Agreement with the Government, Crossan pled guilty to Counts One and Three of Indictment No. 00-153, which charged him with armed bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(d) (Count One) and using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1) (Count Three).[1] During his Change of Plea Hearing, we explained to Crossan that Count Three had the following elements:

That you brandished the firearm, meaning that you displayed all or part of the firearm, or made the presence of the firearm known to another person to intimidate that person; secondly, that you did so during and in relation to a crime of violence for which you may be prosecuted in [a] Court of the United States, and bank robbery is a crime of violence; and finally, that you did so knowingly.

(8/14/00 Hr’g Tr. at 14.) Crossan stated that he understood the elements of Count III. (Id.) Crossan also admitted the following facts regarding the bank robbery during the Hearing:

on November 4, 1999[, ] at approximately 9:50 a.m. [Crossan] entered the PNC Bank located at 38 N. Lansdowne Avenue in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. . . . [T]he defendant approached a teller, passed a note to the teller informing her that it was a holdup and to give him the money. The defendant then pulled his jacket up slightly to reveal the butt of the handgun, at which time the teller handed Mr. Crossan over $11, 000 in United States currency. . . . Mr. Crossan then fled the bank.

(Id.. at 15, 17.) Crossan further admitted during the Hearing that, after he was arrested, he waived his Miranda rights and told FBI agents that “the morning of the robbery he had borrowed a car, entered the bank, provided the note to the teller, conversed with some acquaintances in the bank, handed the teller the demand note, showed her the gun and then fled.” (Id. at 16-17.) We also explained to Crossan, during the Hearing, that he faced a statutory mandatory minimum of 84 months of imprisonment for Count Three and Crossan indicated that he understood that he would have to serve this mandatory minimum term of imprisonment with respect to Count Three (Id. at 17.)

On March 26, 2001, we sentenced Crossan to a period of imprisonment of 188 months on Count One and a consecutive period of imprisonment of 84 months on Count Three. We also sentenced Crossan to five years of supervised release, restitution in the amount of $11, 213, and a special assessment of $200. Crossan did not appeal his conviction or sentence and has not filed any other motions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 in connection with his judgment of conviction and sentence in this case.

Crossan filed the instant § 2255 Motion on September 12, 2013. He raises one ground for relief, namely, that we improperly sentenced him based on elements that increased the mandatory minimum sentence for his violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1), even though those elements were not “presented to a jury.” (Mot. ¶ 12(A).) Crossan relies on Alleyne v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013), in which the Supreme Court held that any fact that increases the mandatory minimum sentence for a crime, “is an ‘element’ that must be submitted to the jury.” Id. at 2155.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Crossan has moved for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which provides as follows:

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).[2] “‘Section 2255 does not provide habeas petitioners with a panacea for all alleged trial or sentencing errors.’” United States v. Perkins, Crim. A. No. 03-303, Civ. A. No. 07-3371, 2008 WL 399336, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 14, 2008) (quoting United States v. Rishell, Crim. A. No. 97-294-1, Civ. A. No. 01-486, 2002 WL 4638, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 21, 2001)). In order to prevail on a Section 2255 motion, the movant’s claimed errors of law must be constitutional, jurisdictional, “a fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of ...


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