Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Bias

United States District Court, D. Maryland

April 25, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
RICO LAMONT BIAS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM

          ELLEN L. HOLLANDER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On 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. §§ 922(g), 2.

         This 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. ECF 208.

         No hearing is necessary to resolve the motions. For the reasons that follow, I shall deny the motions.

         I. Background

         On 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.

         The 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).

         On May 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.[1]

         In 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.

         As 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 2-3.

         In ECF 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 ECF 208.

         II. Discussion

         A.

         The 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. ยง 3006A (listing cases in which counsel must be appointed). Nor is there a Sixth Amendment right to counsel ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.