Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Castillo v. United States

United States District Court, S.D. New York

January 13, 2020

REMY CASTILLO, LAZARO TAJMAN, and ALDO SALAZAR, Petitioners,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          DECISION & ORDER

          RICHARD M. BERMAN, U.S.D.J.

         Before the Court are five 28 U.S.C. § 2255 applications filed pro se by Remy Castillo (16 Cv 5231), Lazaro Tajman (16 Cv 5034), and Aldo Salazar (20 Cv 268) (“Petitioners”) to vacate their respective convictions by guilty plea for aiding and abetting the use or carrying of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime under 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i) and 2.[1] As set forth below, each of the applications is respectfully denied.[2][3]

         Castillo

         With respect to Remy Castillo (“Castillo”), the Court has carefully reviewed the record in these proceedings, including: (i) Castillo's pro se motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, filed on June 29, 2016, to vacate his September 18, 2014 § 924(c) conviction based on United States v. Johnson, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015); (ii) Castillo's pro se motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, filed on April 30, 2018, to vacate his September 18, 2014 § 924(c) conviction based on Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S.Ct. 1204 (2018); (iii) the Government's opposition letter; (iv) the Indictment, dated July 18, 2013, charging Castillo with the following three counts: (1) conspiracy to distribute narcotics, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 846; (2) conspiracy to commit robbery that would obstruct, delay and affect commerce (also known as a Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy) pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1951; and (3) aiding and abetting the use, carrying, or possession of a firearm during the drug trafficking crime charged in Count One and the crime of violence charged in Count Two, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i) and 2; (v) Castillo's Plea Agreement, dated February 6, 2014 (“Castillo Plea Agreement”), in which Castillo agreed to plead guilty to Count Two, namely, conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, and Count Three, namely, possession of a firearm during and in relation to the drug trafficking conspiracy charged in Count One of the Indictment and the Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy charged in Count Two of the Indictment; (vi) Castillo's plea allocution, dated February 11, 2014 (“Castillo Plea Allocution”); and (vii) Castillo's Judgment of Conviction, dated September 18, 2014, sentencing him to 25 months of incarceration on Count Two followed consecutively by 60 months incarceration on Count Three.[4]

         Tajman

         With respect to Lazaro Tajman (“Tajman”), the Court has carefully reviewed the record in these proceedings, including: (i) Tajman's pro se motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, filed on June 23, 2016, to vacate his June 23, 2015 § 924(c) conviction based on United States v. Johnson, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015); (ii) Tajman's pro se motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, filed on April 24, 2018, to vacate his June 23, 2015 § 924(c) conviction based on Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S.Ct. 1204 (2018); (iii) the Government's opposition letter; (iv) the Indictment, dated July 18, 2013, charging Tajman with the following three counts: (1) conspiracy to distribute narcotics, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 846; (2) conspiracy to commit robbery that would obstruct, delay and affect commerce (also known as a Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy) pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1951; and (3) aiding and abetting the use, carrying, or possession of a firearm during the drug trafficking crime charged in Count One and the crime of violence charged in Count Two, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i) and 2; (v) Tajman's Plea Agreement, dated December 26, 2013 (“Tajman Plea Agreement”), in which Tajman agreed to plead guilty to Count Two, namely, conspiring to commit Hobbs Act robbery, and Count Three, namely, possession of a firearm during and in relation to the drug trafficking conspiracy charged in Count One of the Indictment and the Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy charged in Count Two of the Indictment; (vi) Tajman's plea allocution, dated February 24, 2014 (“Tajman Plea Allocution”); and (vii) Tajman's Judgment of Conviction, dated June 23, 2015, sentencing him to 30 months incarceration on Count Two followed consecutively by 60 months incarceration on Count Three.[5]

         Salazar

         With respect to Aldo Salazar (“Salazar”), the Court has carefully reviewed the record in these proceedings, including: (i) Salazar's pro se motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, filed on April 30, 2018, to vacate his September 11, 2014 § 924(c) conviction based on Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S.Ct. 1204 (2018); (ii) the Government's opposition letter; (iii) the Indictment, dated July 18, 2013, charging Salazar with the following three counts: (1) conspiracy to distribute narcotics, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 846; (2) conspiracy to commit robbery that would obstruct, delay and affect commerce (also known as a Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy) pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1951; and (3) aiding and abetting the use, carrying, or possession of a firearm during the drug trafficking crime charged in Count One and the crime of violence charged in Count Two, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i) and 2; (iv) Salazar's Plea Agreement, dated November 26, 2013 (“Salazar Plea Agreement”), in which Salazar agreed to plead guilty to Count Three, namely, possession of a firearm during and in relation to the drug trafficking conspiracy charged in Count One of the Indictment and the Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy charged in Count Two of the Indictment; (v) Salazar's plea allocution, dated December 26, 2013 (“Salazar Plea Allocution”); and (vi) Salazar's Judgment of Conviction, dated September 11, 2014, sentencing him to 60 months incarceration on Count Three.[6]

         Legal Standard

         “A defendant's knowing and voluntary waiver of the right to appeal or collaterally attack his conviction and/or sentence is enforceable.” Sanford v. United States, 841 F.3d 578, 580 (2d Cir. 2016). “[I]n some circumstances that implicate a defendant's constitutional rights, a waiver of the right to appeal [or collaterally attack a conviction] may be invalid and should not be enforced.” United States v. Gomez-Perez, 215 F.3d 315, 318 (2d Cir. 2000).

         The submissions of a pro se litigant are to be construed liberally and interpreted to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest. See Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006) (per curiam).

         Collateral relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is available “only for a constitutional error, a lack of jurisdiction in the sentencing court, or an error of law or fact that constitutes ‘a fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice.'” United States v. Bokun, 73 F.3d 8, 12 (2d Cir. 1995) (quoting Hill v. United States, 368 U.S. 424, 428 (1962)).

         After United States v. Davis, conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery is no longer considered to be a crime of violence or a valid “predicate” for a 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) conviction. See United States v. Barrett, 937 F.3d 126, 127 (2d Cir. 2019). At the same time, “[w]hen a § 924(c) conviction rests upon both a conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and a separate valid § 924(c) predicate offense, the conviction remains valid, even after Davis and Barrett.”Simmons v. United States, No. 08-cr-1133 (AKH), 2019 WL 6051443, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 15, 2019) (emphasis added); see also United States v. Walker, No. 18-2064-cr, 2019 WL 4896839, at *2 (2d Cir. Oct. 4, 2019) (rejecting a challenge to a § 924(c) conviction predicated on Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy because the § 924(c) conviction was also predicated on another predicate offense); Harris v. United States, No. 15 CR. 445 (PAE), 2019 WL 5887386, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 12, 2019) (“§ 924(c) applies to firearms ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.