United States District Court, D. Maryland
Lipton Hollander United States District Judge.
23, 2013, Petitioner Darrell Johnson, a/k/a/ Richard Morris,
III, was indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute and
possess with the intent to distribute five hundred grams or
more of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 (Count
One), and possession with intent to distribute five hundred
grams or more of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §
841(a)(1) (Count Two). See ECF 1. Petitioner entered
a plea of guilty on September 25, 2013, to Count One of the
Indictment (ECF 38), pursuant to a Plea Agreement.
See ECF 39; see also ECF 88. Sentencing was
held on February 12, 2015. ECF 64. Judge William D. Quarles,
Jr., to whom the case was then assigned, sentenced Johnson to
a term of 48 months imprisonment. Id. Judgment was
entered on February 18, 2015. ECF 65. Petitioner did not note an
6, 2016, Johnson filed a Motion to Vacate, Set aside, or
Correct his sentence (“Petition”), pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2255. ECF 71. The government opposes the
Petition (ECF 86) and has submitted exhibits. See
ECF 88; ECF 89; ECF 90. No reply has been docketed.
28 U.S.C. § 2255(b), a hearing is required
“[u]nless the motion and the files and the records of
the case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to
no relief....” This is such a case; no hearing is
necessary. For the reasons that follow, I shall deny the
Plea Agreement contains a Statement of Facts (ECF 39, ¶
6(a); ECF 88 ¶ 6(a)), to which Petitioner agreed.
See ECF 39 at 8; ECF 88 at 8. The facts were also
set forth on the record at Petitioner's Rule 11 guilty
plea proceeding. See ECF 89 at 12-13. And, while
under oath, Johnson agreed to these facts. Id. at
14. They are as follows:
Beginning sometime in 2012 and continuing through January 14,
2013 and after, the Defendant, Richard Morris [a/k/a Darrell
Johnson], conspired with others, including, but not limited
to William Barnett and Jermel Davis, to obtain quantities of
heroin and cocaine from sources in North Carolina. These
sources were related to Jermel Davis and provided wholesale
quantities of cocaine and heroin to Davis, Barnett, and the
Defendant. Davis, Barnett, and the Defendant would travel to
North Carolina and return with the wholesale quantities of
heroin and cocaine, which would be converted by them
(Barnett, Davis or the Defendant) into cocaine base, for
street level distribution in Baltimore, Maryland. During the
period of the conspiracy, the Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA) utilized wire and electronic interception of William
Barnett's cellular phone. During intercepted conversation
[sic], the Defendant was intercepted speaking with Barnett
and discussing the quality of the drugs provided and the
distribution of both wholesale and street level quantities of
the drugs. On January 14, 2013, based on conversations
intercepted, pursuant to those wires, the DEA believed that
Davis, Barnett, and the Defendant would be returning from
North Carolina with a fresh supply of drugs. The DEA notified
the Maryland State Police, who executed a traffic stop of a
vehicle driven by Barnett and occupied by Davis and the
Defendant. A canine gave a positive alert from the presence
of drugs in the vehicle. The vehicle was searched and found
to contain at least 500 grams of cocaine.
The Government's evidence consists of, among other
things, the testimony of cooperating witnesses, seizures of
narcotics, narcotics paraphernalia and other evidence
pursuant to search warrants and electronic surveillance,
including the monitoring of telephone conversations occurring
over the Defendant's and others' cellular telephones.
following colloquy at Petitioner's guilty plea proceeding
is also relevant, ECF 89 at 6:
THE COURT: At the time of this offense that you're
pleading guilty to, were you on parole or probation?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: Which was it: Parole, or probation?
THE DEFENDANT: Both.
THE COURT: You should realize, by pleading guilty this
afternoon, you may be admitting a violation of parole. You
also may be admitting a violation of probation. This
proceeding is not going to fix those problems if, in fact,
they are problems. You're going to have to take that
matter up with the Parole Commission or with the Judge who
has you on probation. Do you understand that, sir?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
Additional facts are included in the Discussion.