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Hanson v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division

January 11, 2017

RACHEL LYNN HANSON, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          OPINION

          HON. ROBERT HOLMES BELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Movant's motion to vacate, set aside or correct sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (ECF No. 1.) On October 7, 2016, the Government filed a response in opposition. (ECF No. 15.) For the reasons that follow, Movant's § 2255 motion is denied.

         I.

         On June 10, 2014, a grand jury returned an indictment charging Movant with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C). (United States v. Hanson, No. 2:14-cr-24, Indictment, ECF No. 11, PageID.20.) Movant signed a plea agreement, but it was not filed with the Court. (Id. at ECF No. 10-8, PageID.71.) On September 9, 2014, a grand jury returned a superseding indictment that added a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C), as well as a charge of distribution of heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C). (Id. at ECF No. 23, PageID.38.)

         On October 24, 2014, Movant pleaded guilty to count 3 of the superseding indictment, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. (Id. at ECF No. 30.) As part of her revised plea agreement, Movant agreed to fully cooperate with law enforcement. (Id. at PageID.50.) In return, the Government agreed (1) to dismiss the other counts against her, (2) not to oppose a request for acceptance of responsibility, (3) not to prosecute her for other drug trafficking activities that she had previously disclosed to the government, (4) to forego filing a Supplemental Information under 21 U.S.C. § 851, and (5) to consider filing motions to reduce her sentence to reflect her cooperation. (Id.) The plea agreement also included a limited waiver of appellate rights. (Id. at PageID.56-57.) Movant signed the plea agreement immediately after the following paragraph:

I have read this agreement and carefully discussed every part of it with my attorney. I understand the terms of this agreement, and I voluntarily agree to those terms. My attorney has advised me of my rights, of possible defenses, of the sentencing provisions, and of the consequences of entering into this agreement. No promises or inducements have been made to me other than those contained in the agreement. No one has threatened or forced me in any way to enter into this agreement. Finally, I am satisfied with the representation of my attorney in this matter.

(Id. at PageID.59-60.) Movant also initialed each page of the plea agreement. (Id.)

         In addition, Movant's trial counsel mailed her a letter that summarized the plea agreement and told her what to expect at the plea hearing. (ECF No. 10-7, PageID.67-70.) Movant signed the letter in acknowledgment of the consequences of the plea agreement, stating:

I, Rachel Hanson, have read and understand this letter concerning the procedures I can expect at the plea hearing. My attorney has advised me of the consequences of entering a guilty plea, has reviewed with me to my satisfaction the written plea agreement, has discussed with me the application of the United States sentencing guidelines, and has discussed with me any questions I may have about this matter.

(Id. at PageID.70.) On October 27, 2014, Movant entered her guilty plea. (Id. at ECF No. 37.) During the hearing, United States Magistrate Judge Timothy Greeley asked Movant several questions about counsel's representation:

THE COURT: Have you had an adequate opportunity to read and review the entire plea agreement with your attorney?
DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: Have you had an adequate opportunity to ask him questions?
DEFENDANT: Yes.
THE COURT: Has he answered all your questions for you?
DEFENDANT: Yes.
THE COURT: Are you satisfied with the representation he's provided for you?
DEFENDANT: Yes.
THE COURT: You've got to speak up just a ...

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