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United States v. Holmes

United States District Court, S.D. New York

April 30, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
CURTIS HOLMES, Defendant

Decided April 29, 2013.

Page 413

For USA, Plaintiff: Jillian Blythe Berman, Nola Breglio Heller, Parvin Daphne Moyne, LEAD ATTORNEYS, U.S. Attorney's Office, SDNY (St Andw's), New York, NY.

OPINION

Page 414

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

John G. Koeltl, United States District Judge.

Curtis Holmes, proceeding pro se, brings two motions purportedly pursuant to Rule 52(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, seeking to vacate or set aside his conviction and sentencing. For the reasons explained below, the motions are denied.

I.

On April 26, 2010, Holmes pleaded guilty pursuant to a Plea Agreement (the " Plea Agr." ) to Counts One and Five of a ten-count Superseding Indictment. (Plea Tr. 27, Apr. 26, 2010). Count One charged Holmes with participating in a conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951, and alleged as overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy the robbery of six businesses in Manhattan and Westchester County, New York. (Plea Tr. 10-11; Plea Agr. at 1-2.) The lesser included offense in Count Five to which Holmes pleaded guilty charged him with brandishing a firearm during one of the robberies alleged in Count One, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 924(c)(1)(A) and 2, which carries a mandatory minimum consecutive sentence of seven years imprisonment. (Plea Tr. 12-13; Plea Agr. at 1.)[1]

As part of the Plea Agreement, the parties agreed that under the United States Sentencing Guidelines the stipulated Guidelines Range for Holmes, as a career offender, was 262 to 327 months. (Plea Agr. at 8.) The Agreement included a waiver provision by which Holmes agreed not to appeal or otherwise litigate under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 and/or § 2241 any sentence within or below this stipulated range. (Plea Agr. at 9.)

Before accepting the plea, this Court conducted a thorough allocution, advising Holmes of each of the constitutional rights he would be waiving by pleading guilty. (Plea Tr. 3-9.) Holmes indicated his understanding and his desire to plead guilty. (Plea Tr. 9-12.) He further indicated that

Page 415

he was satisfied with his attorney, and that he had discussed the indictment and his guilty plea with her. (Plea Tr. 6.) This Court questioned Holmes specifically about his waiver of his right to appeal. (Plea Tr. 20-21.) This Court also advised Holmes of the substance of the charges in Counts One and Five of the Superseding Indictment. (Plea Tr. 10-13.) Holmes then admitted his guilt, and explained the factual basis for the plea. (Plea Tr. 22-25.)

After considering the various sentencing factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), this Court sentenced Holmes on September 2, 2010 principally to a term of 181 months imprisonment, to be followed by a five year term of supervised release. (Sentencing Tr. (" Sent'g Tr." ) 16-21, Sept. 2, 2010.) The term of imprisonment was to be imposed as follows: 97 months on Count One to be followed by a consecutive term of 84 months on Count Five. (Sent'g Tr. 16.) Judgment was entered on September 15, 2010, and Holmes filed no direct appeal.

Holmes now brings two motions collaterally attacking his conviction and sentencing. One motion is purportedly filed pursuant to Rule 52(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Holmes argues that under United States v. Whitley, 529 F.3d 150 (2d Cir. 2008), it was plain error to impose the mandatory minimum sentence of seven years imprisonment on Count Five when a longer sentence was imposed on Count One. Holmes filed his second motion pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651.[2] In that motion, Holmes argues that the jurisdictional nexus of Hobbs Act robbery was not met because the facilities that he and his co-conspirators robbed were not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (" FDIC" ) and there is no evidence that ...


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