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United States v. Crockett

United States District Court, Tenth Circuit

December 31, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
BREVELLE CROCKETT, Defendant/Movant. Criminal Action No. 07-cr-00172-CMA-6

ORDER DENYING § 2255 HABEAS PETITION

CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Petitioner Brevelle Crockett's pro se Motion to Vacate His Sentence pursuant to § 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (Doc. # 1636). For the reasons stated below, this Court denies the motion.

I. BACKGROUND

In April of 2007, a 102-count indictment was returned against Mr. Crockett and 23 co-defendants, detailing all of the defendants' participation in a wide-ranging conspiracy to distribute mainly crack and powder cocaine. Thereafter, in July of 2007, a 113-count superseding indictment was returned, which comprised many of the same allegations. (Doc. ## 1; 372)

In January 2008, two separate motions to suppress electronic surveillance evidence were filed by co-defendants of Mr. Crockett. Mr. Crockett joined in those motions but both were denied by the Court. (Doc. ## 486, 614, 819, 864, 866).

On June 7, 2008, Crockett filed another Motion to Suppress. His motion was denied as moot, however, at a motion hearing held on June 18, 2008, after he filed a Notice of Disposition and a Statement in Advance of Plea of Guilty. (Doc. ## 1111; 1156; 1157; 1160.)

Thereafter, on June 25, 2008, Crockett pled guilty to Count 100 of the Superseding Indictment by admitting that he knowingly possessed with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of a substance and mixture containing a detectable amount of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B) and 18 U.S.C. § 2. He also confessed to the forfeiture allegation contained in Count 102 of the Superseding Indictment. (Doc. ## 1175; 1180; 1181). In exchange for his guilty plea, the government dismissed all remaining charges against him. (Doc. # 1363; 1367.)

This Court conducted a change of plea hearing to determine whether Mr. Crockett was entering his plea in accord with protections afforded criminal defendants under the Constitution. At the hearing, Mr. Crockett stated he was "satisfied with the counsel, representation, and advice" of his counsel and had no "complaints about his [counsel's] work for [him]." (Doc. # 1647, at 21). Crockett further notified the Court that he had discussed with his counsel: (1) whether or not he should enter a guilty plea; (2) his right to go to trial as well as other constitutional rights; (3) his plea bargain; and the nature and elements of the crime. ( Id. at 21-22.)

The Court then explained to Mr. Crockett that he could be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of up to 40 years but no less than 5 years, and that at sentencing it would consider the Pre-Sentence Investigation Report ("PSR") and the sentencing guidelines in order to determine an appropriate sentence. The Court noted that Mr. Crockett's guideline range "could be as high as 210 to 262 months" and as low as "37 to 46 months, " but that, regardless of the final determination, the guideline range was not "binding on the Court, " and the Court could impose any sentence it found to be reasonable as long as it was within the "statutory maximum" sentence of 40 years. ( Id. at 24-28.) Mr. Crockett acknowledged that this sentencing regime would apply to his case. ( Id. at 24-25).

Next, the Court asked the government to summarize what its evidence would be if Crockett were to proceed to trial. The government responded as follows:

[T]he defendant engaged in a pattern of acquiring kilogram quantities of cocaine, converting kilogram quantities into crack cocaine, and then distributing those quantities of crack cocaine over a period of time.
[T]he defendant conspired with Courtney McCoy, Rusty Martinez, and other persons both known and unknown to the Government to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine. And specifically, the Government contends that the evidence would show that during this conspiracy, that [Mr. Crockett] was a member and involved with the possession and distribution of more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and more than 4.5 kilograms of crack cocaine.
In furtherance of the conspiracy, the evidence would show that [Mr. Crockett] purchased cocaine from Courtney McCoy, the transactions starting with 4 ½ ounces of crack cocaine in 2004, and moving eventually up to kilos of powder cocaine.
The evidence would also show that [Mr. Crockett] purchased an average of 1 to 2 kilos of cocaine per week from Rusty Martinez in 2006. The evidence also showed that in furtherance of the conspiracy, that [Mr. Crockett] directed a taxi driver to take him to deliveries on several occasions, and this was observed by [police] surveillance.
[I]ntercepted communications [between the co-conspirators] showed that [Mr. Crockett] depended on the taxi driver, identified as Weldon Pleas[, ] to take him to these transactions. When [Mr. Crockett] was arrested, investigators also found 11 ounces of crack cocaine at the residence where he was arrested.
There were communications that were intercepted in conjunction with the wiretap investigation in which Mr. Crockett... spoke with Courtney McCoy. On one such occasion, on May 25[, ] 2006, agents intercepted Courtney McCoy and [Mr. Crockett] discussing the cooking of crack cocaine, the problems that Mr. Crockett was having cooking up that crack cocaine, and following that Mr. McCoy would come over and assist him in basically fixing this problem.
The defendant also obtained his cocaine supplies from Rusty Martinez. And as to the specific count to which he's pleaded guilty in this case, [on] January 29, 2007, agents intercepted a telephone call between Rusty Martinez, one of his sources, who agreed to sell [Mr. Crockett] 1 kilogram of cocaine for $16, 000. Then agents intercepted a call in which Rusty Martinez directed an unknown male to sell to [Mr. Crockett] his kilo and collect the money from him. Following that phone call, surveillance observed [Mr. Crockett] arrive at the arranged address discussed on the phone to complete the transaction. He arrived at the meeting in a taxicab. After the meeting [Mr. Crockett] returned to the cab and went into the trunk. Shortly thereafter, surveillance conducted a traffic stop of the taxicab and discovered approximately 1 kilogram of cocaine in the car. They also found a handgun in the cab. The gun was under the front seat of the cab, and [Mr. Crockett] was sitting in the back seat of the cab. The cocaine was located inside a coat that was found in the trunk.
And the driver of the cab stated at the time that the handgun belonged to him. The cocaine was sent to a lab for a number of tests. Authorized lab found that in fact the substance that was seized from the cab was cocaine and was in excess of 500 grams. And in addition, the forensic investigator acquired a latent print from the gray duct tape in which the kilogram of cocaine ...

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