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Guzman v. United States

United States District Court, S.D. New York

March 12, 2015

STEVEN GUZMAN, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

OPINION

MIRIAM GOLDMAN CEDARBAUM, District Judge.

Petitioner Steven Guzman moves pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to correct, vacate, or set aside his conviction for heroin conspiracy under 21 U.S.C. §§ 841, 846. Guzman pled guilty to that crime and was sentenced to 120 months' imprisonment. Guzman argues that his guilty plea should be undone either because he was incompetent at the time of his plea, or because his counsel was ineffective. He gives two reasons why his counsel was ineffective: (1) failure to investigate Guzman's mental health and to request a competency hearing and (2) failure to object to the drug quantity at sentencing. Based largely on Guzman's own statements at his plea proceedings, the motion is denied without a hearing.

BACKGROUND

Guzman pled guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement, to participating in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin in May 2012.

At the beginning of Guzman's guilty plea hearing before me, the following colloquy took place:

COURT: Within the last 48 hours, have you had any substance or drug or medication that might affect the clarity of your mind?
DEFENDANT: No, your Honor.
COURT: Nothing at all, not even an aspirin?
DEFENDANT: Well, I drink medication but -
COURT: What is the medication that you use?
DEFENDANT: Like ten different steroids.
COURT: Do any of them -
DEFENDANT: No.
COURT: - affect the clarity of ...

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