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United States v. Ingram

August 15, 2008

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
MARK V. INGRAM, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hurley, Senior District Judge.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

On November 30, 2005, Mark V. Ingram ("defendant" or "Ingram") waived indictment in the Eastern District of New York and pleaded guilty before Magistrate Judge Lindsay to a one count information under docket 05-CR-832 charging him with laundering funds represented to be narcotics proceeds in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(3)(B). On the same date, he also entered guilty pleas before Judge Lindsay to Counts 4 and 16 of the Superseding Indictment returned in the Southern District of Florida charging him with bank fraud and money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1344 and 1957.*fn1 The Florida accusatory instrument bears the docket number 05-CR-834.

Following his guilty pleas, defendant, although represented by counsel,*fn2 filed the following pro se submissions:

(1) "Notice of Expressed Administrator Hearing," "Expressed Administrative Hearing," and "Affidavit of Fact in Support of Petition in the Nature of an Expressed Administrative Hearing," all dated in early May 2007, (2) "Notice of Political Default" dated May 28, 2007, and (3) "Affidavit of Negative Averment on Lack of Territorial Jurisdiction" dated October 24, 2007. None of those pro se motions was addressed on the merits by the Court given Ingram's then represented status and the absence of any claim that such representation was inadequate.

During a status conference on May 2, 2008, Mr. Ryan's application to be relieved as counsel was granted with the consent of Ingram. During that same Court appearance, Ingram indicated that he would like to proceed pro se with respect to his earlier filed motions but would accept an assignment of counsel should those motions be denied and he be required to proceed to sentence. After a fairly lengthy discussion, the Court granted defendant's application to proceed pro se, and a briefing schedule was established. The government's letter brief in opposition was timely filed on May 6, 2008, but defendant failed to submit a Reply by the date designated.

On May 28, 2008, defendant explained that he still wanted to submit a Reply and asked for additional time to do so. However, given, inter alia, that over two years had passed since the defendant had entered his guilty pleas and the seemingly spurious nature of his pro se submissions, his request was granted, but subject to the following conditions intended to prevent further delay, which conditions were fully explained to the defendant at that time:

1. Immediately following the Court's receipt of defendant's Reply, I would peruse all the submissions and decide the applications;

2. Upon doing so, the parties would be notified forthwith as to whether the defendant's motions were granted or denied, with the Court's reasons for that determination to be given via a bench decision on July 18, 2008; and

3. If defendant's motion was denied, both sides should be prepared to proceed to sentence on the July 18th date.

Defendant's Reply, entitled "Affidavit in the Nature of a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction or, in the Alternative, to Allow Accused Discovery F. R. Cr. P 12(b)(3) pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 556(d)," was filed on June 11, 2008. On June 16, 2008, consistent with the procedure discussed on May 28, 2008, a Memorandum and Order was filed indicating that the Court rejected defendant's applications as devoid of merit, and reiterating that the reasons for that decision would be furnished on July 18, 2008 to be immediately followed by imposition of sentence. Again, consistent with the discussions on May 2 and May 28, 2008 an attorney, Ray L. Colon, Esq., was appointed to represent Ingram for purposes of sentence.

The July 18, 2008 date, however, as well as the adjourned date of August 8, 2008 have now passed without the Court having had the opportunity to provide the rationale for its June 16, 2008 decision denying the relief requested by defendant, and without the Court imposing sentencing. The first adjournment was necessitated by defense counsel being engaged in another trial, and the second because the defendant went to a hospital emergency room on the eve of his scheduled court appearance complaining of chest pains. Therefore, rather than delay matters further and while the reasons for my June 16, 2008 decision are fresh in my mind, those reasons will be provided in this opinion rather than orally immediately prior to the imposition of sentence.

DISCUSSION

Defendant's submissions are not a model of clarity. However, it is clear that defendant implicitly seeks the vacatur of his previously entered guilty pleas, coupled with an order dismissing the concomitant counts, as well as the other counts in the pending Florida indictment. In urging that result, he maintains that this Court lacks ...


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