The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hurley, Senior District Judge
Petitioner Gaetano Bruno ("Petitioner") moves pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence arising from 2003 conviction in this Court. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is DENIED.
Petitioner seeks to challenge a judgment, which followed a plea of guilty pursuant to a written plea agreement (the "Plea Agreement"), convicting Petitioner of one count of extortion in violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951.
Petitioner was indicted on July 2, 2002 and charged in a two count indictment with the crimes of extortion (18 U.S.C. § 1951) and collection of extension of credit by extortionate means (18 U.S.C. §§ 894, 3551). On November 8, 2002, Petitioner pled guilty to the crime of extortion.
In paragraph 4 of the Plea Agreement, Petitioner agreed not to "file an appeal or otherwise challenge the conviction or sentence in the event the Court imposes a sentence within or below the range of imprisonment" of 41 to 51 months. Paragraph 4 also provided that Petitioner "waives any right to additional disclosure from the government in connection with the guilty plea."
At his plea on November 8, 2002, Bruno filled out and signed a guilty plea questionnaire. During the proceedings, the Court had the following discussion regarding the terms of the Plea Agreement:
In the plea agreement there is a provision which indicates that if on sentencing day you receive a sentence which includes a period of incarceration of 51 months or less, then you would have no right to appeal or otherwise challenge your conviction in this court or any court at any time. Now the reason that's important is again, the triggering event would be whereby you would give up your right to appeal or otherwise challenge the conviction or sentence. The triggering event would be if you received 51 months or less of incarceration. If you receive over 51 months of incarceration, then you would have a right to appeal with respect to the taking of this plea and the sentence. I don't know if that's clear to you and if it isn't let's make sure it is. . . . [D]o you understand what I am saying?
Bruno, who was under oath, answered "Yes, sir."
In addition, Bruno acknowledged under oath that (1) he understood the charge to which he was pleading; (2) he read "each and every word"; (3) he had reviewed the plea agreement with his attorney; (4) he understood the agreement and each of its provisions; (5) he understood that he would not be able to challenge the conviction or sentence by appeal or otherwise if he were sentenced to 51 months or less; (6) his plea was voluntary; and (7) he was satisfied with the representation that his attorneys had provided.
Finally, Bruno stated during his allocution:
The threatening comments I made that Louis Ramore reported on tape were made with the intention that they would be communicated by him to Anthony Ramore with the purpose of causing Anthony Ramore to pay me money. I did so knowing that Anthony Ramore was the president of Teamster Local 812.
Further, it was my belief that if Anthony Ramore paid me money, it would come from teamster union funds and that this would have some effect on interstate commerce.
On May 9, 2003, this Court imposed the following sentence on Petitioner: 41 months imprisonment, 3 years ...