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Hudson v. United States

United States District Court, D. Maryland

May 31, 2017

BRIAN HUDSON Petitioner
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Respondent Criminal No. 12-00397

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          PETER J. MESSITTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Brian Hudson, pro se, has filed a Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. ECF No. 38. The Court has considered the Motion and the Government's Opposition. For the reasons described below, the Court DENIES the Motion.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Between June 2010 and August 2011, Hudson was part of a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing cocaine. Criminal No. PJM 12-397, ECF No. 14-1 at 1. During his arrest, he rammed several police vehicles with his car, then tried to flee on foot before finally being subdued. Id. at 2.

         On July 20, 2012, Hudson pled guilty to a one-count Information, charging him with the conspiracy. ECF Nos. 14, 15. Allen Orenberg, Esquire, represented him during the course of plea negotiations and at the plea hearing. ECF No. 38 at 11. On January 3, 2014, Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. of this Court[1] sentenced Hudson to a term of 120 months' imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release. ECF No. 34. Gary Proctor, Esquire, represented Hudson at sentencing. ECF No. 54 at 2:9. Hudson's prison sentence was subsequently reduced to 96 months pursuant to an 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) motion. ECF No. 59.

         On January 5, 2015, Hudson filed the current 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion. ECF No. 38. He raises six grounds in support of this Motion:

(1) Orenberg, he says, provided ineffective assistance by poorly advising Hudson as to the impact of the charged drug quantity on his potential sentence and by failing to file appropriate pre-trial motions;
(2) Orenberg also provided ineffective assistance by failing to investigate critical evidence and failing to argue that Hudson was only responsible for a lesser drug amount than the full amount attributed to the conspiracy;
(3) Judge Williams imposed an illegal sentence when he held Hudson responsible for all the foreseeable drug sales of his co-conspirators;
(4) Hudson's plea was not entered into freely and voluntarily because he was misled by Orenberg and acted under duress;
(5) Hudson is actually innocent because the drug amount for which he was held liable was never appropriately established; and
(6) Hudson should not have been sentenced above the mandatory minimum pursuant to United States v. Alleyne, 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013) because a jury did not find him guilty of the drug quantity that enhanced his sentence.[2]

         These claims can be grouped into several categories: two relate to ineffective assistance of counsel (Grounds 1 and 2), one alleges that Hudson's guilty plea was unknowing and involuntary (Ground 4), two allege that his sentencing was erroneous because it took into account for drugs sold by his co-conspirators (Grounds 3 and 5), and one claim is that the sentencing court did not abide by United States v. Alleyne (Ground 6).

         II. ...


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