United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. HOLLANDER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
October 4, 2012, Rico Bias and others were indicted on
multiple charges relating to twenty-two robberies. ECF 22. In
particular, Bias was charged in Count One with Hobbs Act
conspiracy, under 18 U.S.C. § 1951, pertaining to the
period between January 22, 2012 and June 11, 2012. In Count
Two, he was charged with the robbery of a Wendy's
restaurant and two customers on June 11, 2012, at 3620
Washington Boulevard in Baltimore, under 18 U.S.C.
§§ 1951, 2. In Count Three, Bias was charged with
conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of crimes of
violence, i.e., robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 924(o), also between January 22, 2012 and June
11, 2012. Count Four charged Bias with brandishing and
discharging a firearm on June 11, 2012, in furtherance of a
crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
924(c), 2. And, in Count Six, Bias was charged with unlawful
possession of a firearm (a Smith & Wesson revolver) by a
convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
Memorandum resolves two motions filed by Bias for a reduction
of sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). See
ECF 165; ECF 193. It also addresses Bias's request for
appointment counsel. ECF 206. The government opposes the
motions to reduce. ECF 202. Bias has replied. ECF 204. The
government also responded to Bias's request for counsel.
hearing is necessary to resolve the motions. For the reasons
that follow, I shall deny the motions.
February 25, 2013, Bias entered a plea of guilty to Counts
One and Four of the Indictment (ECF 63), pursuant to a Plea
Agreement. ECF 67. In the Statement of Facts included with
the Plea Agreement, Bias admitted to the commission of
multiple armed robberies with one or two codefendants. In
sum, Bias admitted to participating in 22 robberies.
See ECF 67 at 10-20. Moreover, a firearm was used in
the commission of the robberies and, on two occasions, the
weapon was discharged. ECF 67 at 10. During the robbery of a
Royal Farms Store on February 21 2012, a customer was shot in
the abdomen by Bias's codefendant, Hatrico Smith.
Id. at 13-14. On that occasion, and others, Bias
primarily drove the getaway car. Id. at 14.
Presentence Report (ECF 78) found that, under the United
States Sentencing Guidelines (“U.S.S.G.” or
“Guidelines”), Bias's Guidelines for Count
One called for a sentence ranging between 188 and 235 months
of imprisonment, plus 84 months, consecutive, for Count Four.
Id. ¶ 234. The combined total called for a
sentence of imprisonment ranging between 272 and 319 months.
Id. At sentencing on November 26, 2013 (ECF 105),
the Court sentenced Bias to a term of 101 months'
incarceration for Count One and to the congressionally
mandated minimum sentence of 84 months, consecutive, for
Count Four. Thus, Bias received a total term of 185
months' incarceration. ECF 106 (Judgment).
19, 2016, through the office of the Federal Public Defender,
Bias filed a motion to vacate his conviction under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255. ECF 186. He argues, inter alia, that
the offense of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery
categorically fails to qualify as a “crime of
violence.” Therefore, he contends that he is
“innocent of the § 924(c) offense, and his
conviction is invalid.” Id. at 1. The §
2255 petition (ECF 186) has been stayed. See ECF
194; ECF 200; ECF 201. Accordingly, this Memorandum does not
address the § 2255 petition.
addition to the § 2255 petition, Bias has filed two
motions, without the assistance of counsel, seeking a
reduction of his sentence, in accordance with 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582(c)(2). See ECF 165; ECF 193. As to ECF
165, Bias seeks a reduction under U.S.S.G. Amendment 599,
claiming that the sentencing Guidelines were misapplied
“by applying specific offense characteristics for
possession, brandishing, and discharging a firearm, when Bias
was also convicted for the same conduct, under 18 U.S.C.
924(c).” ECF 165 at 1. As to ECF 193, Bias seeks a
reduction in his sentence under U.S.S.G. Amendment 794,
concerning “§ 3B1.2 (mitigating role in the
Offense).” Id. at 1.
noted, the government opposes both motions to reduce. ECF
202. Bias has replied. ECF 204. He argues, inter
alia, that he pleaded guilty to the single offense of
conspiracy to commit robbery, and not to the commission of 22
separate robberies. Id. at 2. Bias adds that
“he would be guilty of ‘Maybe' several
or/even Half but Not all of the robberies committed.”
Id. at 3. Moreover, given Bias's role as the
getaway driver, he claims that he should have received a
minor role adjustment under Amendment 794. Id. at
206, Petitioner seeks the appointment of counsel. He claims
that he has “very little to no access to the legal
library” and therefore he requests “the aid of
counsel . . . .” ECF 206. The government responded at
Court is unaware of any statutory or constitutional
requirement for the appointment of counsel in regard to the
motions for reduction of sentence. See 18 U.S.C.
§ 3006A (listing cases in which counsel must be
appointed). Nor is there a Sixth Amendment right to counsel