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Dyson v. United States

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Northern Division

March 24, 2015

KEILI DYSON, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent. Criminal No. WDQ-08-0086

MEMORANDUM OPINION

WILLIAM D. QUARLES, Jr., District Judge.

Keili Dyson pled guilty to conspiracy to conduct and participate in the activities of a racketeering enterprise in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(2). Pending is Dyson's pro se motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. No hearing is necessary. See Rule 8 of the Rules Governing § 2255 Proceedings. For the following reasons, Dyson's motion will be denied.

I. Background[1]

On February 21, 2008, Dyson was charged with conspiracy to conduct and participate in the activities of a racketeering enterprise in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d), conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, possession with intent to distribute cocaine base in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B), and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). ECF No. 1. Dyson entered into a plea agreement with the Government under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C). ECF No. 1125. On November 30, 2010, Dyson pled guilty to the first count of the indictment. Id. at 1.

In the plea agreement's stipulation of facts, Dyson confirmed that he was a member of the Tree Top Pirus ("TTP") subset of the Los Angeles Bloods. ECF No. 1125 at 9, 12. In 2000, the gang "spread throughout Maryland mostly as a result of recruitment from inside Maryland prisons[, and] [d]uring this time, Steve Willock assumed a leadership role over [TTP] and direct operations from prison." Id. at 9. "TTP, including its leadership, members and associates, constituted an "enterprise" as defined in Section 1961(4) of Title 18, United States Code, that is, a group of individuals associated in fact that engaged in, and the activities of which affected, interstate and foreign commerce. The enterprise constituted an ongoing organization whose members functioned as a continuing unit for the common purpose of achieving the objectives of the enterprise." Id. at 11. The enterprise's objectives included:

Preserving and protecting the power, territory and profits of the enterprise through the use of intimidation, armed robberies, violence, including assaults and murder, and threats of violence, and narcotics trafficking;
Promoting and enhancing the enterprise and its members' and associates' activities, both in and out of prison through the use of intimidation, violence, including assaults and murder, and threats of violence, and narcotics trafficking;
Keeping victims and potential victims in fear of the enterprise and in fear of its members and associates, through violence and threats of violence;
Providing financial support and information to gang members, including those who were incarcerated for committing acts of violence or other offenses; and
Providing assistance to other gang members who committed crimes for and on behalf of the gang in order to hinder, obstruct and prevent law enforcement officers from identifying the offender, apprehending the offender and trying and punishing the offender.

Id. at 12. Dyson "agreed that a conspirator [in the enterprise] would [have] commit[ted] at least two acts of racketeering activity in the conduct of the affairs of the enterprise." Id.

Dyson also stipulated to facts about his personal involvement in TTP. On March 23, 2007, Dyson "wrote to [] Willock [in prison] and gave him his new mailing address in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center." ECF No. 1125 at 13. Dyson also sent Willock money. Id. "In a letter dated July 13, 2007, Willock wrote to Anthony Bell and told Bell, "I've put the [Original Young Gangster][2] S.K. (a reference to [] Dyson) in charge of things on that side and I look to hear positive things from here on out.'" Id. In other letters to Dyson, Willock asked for information and gave Dyson instructions. Id.

On October 18, 2007, detectives went to 4215 Audrey Avenue to execute a search and seizure warrant. ECF No. 1125 at 14. "Prior to the execution of this warrant, Dyson was observed wearing a black hooded sweatshirt." Id. at 15. Detectives also observed Dyson "remove a handgun from his right side, wipe it off with his sweatshirt, and hand it to another individual." Id. That person placed the sweatshirt and the gun "just inside the common door to the apartment." Id.

When the detectives executed the warrant, Dyson "was located sitting at a table in the living room with numerous empty ziplock bags used for packaging controlled substances for street level distribution in front of him on the table." ECF No. 1125 at 14. When Dyson was searched, detectives recovered a plastic bag containing approximately seven grams of cocaine base, a Newport cigarette pack containing empty green ziplocks used for packaging controlled substances for street level distribution as well as 13 orange ziplocks containing cocaine base, a razor blade and digital scale with cocaine residue, and a cell phone from his pockets. Id. at 14-15. Detectives also recovered the sweatshirt and gun that had been placed by the front door. Id. "Inside the pocket of the sweatshirt was a plastic bag with an apple logo. That plastic bag contained 38 green ziplock bags each of which contained cocaine base." Id. at 15. "After being Mirandized, Dyson stated, Man, that gun ain't mine. Print it and see.'" Id. Dyson agreed that "[d]uring the period charged in the Indictment, [he] and other TTP ...


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