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Moultrie v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 26, 2017

CORTEZ DEONTE MOULTRIE, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          OPINION & ORDER DENYING PETITIONER'S § 2255 MOTION TO VACATE SENTENCE AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

          HON. SEAN F. COX JUDGE

         In Criminal Case No. 15-20262, Petitioner Cortez Deonte Moultrie (“Petitioner”) pleaded guilty, pursuant to a Rule 11 Plea Agreement, to three counts of bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a); and two counts of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). (Doc. # 52, Rule 11 Plea Agreement). This Court sentenced Petitioner to a total term of 471 months' imprisonment. (Doc. # 65).

         The matter is now before the Court on Petitioner's pro se Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence. (Doc. # 73, Pet.'s Mo.). Petitioner asserts several grounds in support of his motion, all of which challenge his conviction or sentence. The Government has filed a response opposing Petitioner's motion, (Doc. # 78, Gov't Resp.), and Petitioner has filed a reply (Doc. # 80). In his reply, Petitioner raises an ineffective assistance of counsel claim in addition to the claims raised in his initial petition.

         Because the files and records of the case conclusively establish that Petitioner is not entitled to relief as to any of the claims set forth in this § 2255 motion, an evidentiary hearing is not necessary and the decision is therefore ready for a decision by this Court. For the reasons set forth below, Petitioner's motion to vacate will be DENIED. Moreover, the Court declines to issue a certificate of appealability.

         BACKGROUND

         Plea Agreement

         On February 24, 2016, Petitioner pleaded “guilty to Counts 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the First Superseding Indictment, which charges three counts of bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a); and two counts of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). The Rule 11 Plea Agreement provided the following factual basis for Petitioner's guilty plea:

Count 1
On or about January 20, 2015, in the Eastern District of Michigan, the defendants, CHARLES ALBERT WALKER and CORTEZ DEONTE MOULTRIE, while aiding and abetting each other, by force, violence and intimidation did take from the person or presence of another, money, namely $42, 947.96, belonging to and in the care, custody, control, management, and possession of the Key Bank, 23116 Telegraph Road, Brownstown, Michigan, a bank whose deposits were then insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Defendants came into the bank brandishing their handguns. They ordered everyone to the floor. They located the bank manager and demanded that he open the vault. After stealing cash, the defendants ordered everyone into the vault, and shut the door behind them.
Counts 3 and 4
On or about March 25, 2015, in the Eastern District of Michigan, the defendants CHARLES ALBERT WALKER and CORTEZ DEONTE MOULTRIE, while aiding and abetting each other, by force, violence, and intimidation did take from the person or presence of another, money, namely $17, 443.00, belonging to and in the care, custody, control, management, and possession of the Huntington National Bank, 1821 North Perry, Pontiac, Michigan, a bank whose deposits were then insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Defendants came into the bank brandishing their handguns. They took cash out of a drawer, then racked their guns, ordering the bank employees to go into the vault area. They stole cash from the safe, ordered everyone to the floor, and shut them in the vault, taking the employee's keys.
Counts 5 and 6
On or about April 20, 2015, in the Eastern District of Michigan, the defendants CHARLES ALBERT WALKER and CORTEZ DEONTE MOULTRIE, while aiding and abetting each other, by force, violence, and intimidation did take from the person or presence of another, money, namely $132, 449.00, belonging to and in the care, custody, control, management, and possession of the Comerica Bank, 35320 Jefferson Avenue, Harrison Township, Michigan, a bank whose deposits were then insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Defendants, wearing security guard jackets, entered the bank, brandishing their handguns at employees and visitors. They ordered everyone to the ground and demanded that someone open the vault and warned them not to pull any alarms. Walker threatened to kill the manager.

(Rule 11 Plea Agreement at pgs. 3-5) (emphasis in original). The Plea Agreement further provided that there were no sentencing disputes[1] and that Petitioner's guideline range was 121 - 151 months' imprisonment 505 - 535 months' imprisonment. Petitioner also agreed to waive any right he may have to appeal his conviction and sentence (if the sentence imposed did not ...


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