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Edwin Jonathan Jones v. United States of America

March 15, 2013

EDWIN JONATHAN JONES
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Deborah K. Chasanow United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Presently pending and ready for resolution is the pro se motion by Petitioner Edwin Jonathan Jones to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (ECF No. 96). The issues are briefed, and the court now rules, no hearing being deemed necessary. Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow, the motion will be denied.

I.Background

On November 17, 2008, Petitioner -- along with several others -- was charged a multi-count indictment with being an accessory after the fact to an armed bank robbery. Pursuant to a written plea agreement dated December 15, 2008, Petitioner waived indictment and pled guilty to a two-count information charging him with being an accessory after the fact to armed bank robbery and conspiracy to commit money laundering. On June 1, 2009, the court sentenced Petitioner to 96 months' imprisonment, followed by three years' supervised release.

Petitioner did not appeal. Instead, on September 4, 2009, Petitioner filed a "motion to dismiss with prejudice for Fourth Amendment and Fifth Amendment violation" (ECF No. 93), which was denied as untimely on September 21, 2009 (ECF No. 94).

Petitioner filed the instant § 2255 motion on November 4, 2009, which he supplemented on November 30, 2009. (ECF Nos. 96 & 100). The government opposed the motion on March 12, 2010. (ECF No. 111). Although Petitioner sought and received an extension of time to respond to the government's opposition (ECF Nos. 112 & 113), he never filed a reply.

II.Standard of Review

Title 28 U.S.C. § 2255 requires a petitioner to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that "the sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law." A pro se movant is, of course, entitled to have his arguments reviewed with appropriate consideration. See Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151-53 (4th Cir. 1978). But if the Section 2255 motion, along with the files and records of the case, conclusively shows that he is not entitled to relief, a hearing on the motion is unnecessary and the claims raised in the motion may be dismissed summarily. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b).

III.Analysis

Petitioner seeks relief on the following four grounds:

(1) inadequate representation by counsel due to insufficient lawyer/client contact and failure to appoint an investigator;

(2) violation of his Fourth Amendment rights based on purportedly unreasonable searches and seizure of his person, home, and personal items; (3) violation of his Fifth Amendment rights based on lack of probable cause supporting his seizure and compelled self-incrimination; and (4) lack of jurisdiction by the district court. (ECF No. 96, at 5-6). As set forth below, none of Petitioner's challenges have merit.

A.Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Petitioner's ineffective assistance of counsel claim is governed by the two-step standard adopted by the Supreme Court in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). The ...


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