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United States v. Brown

United States District Court, D. Maryland

April 25, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
ELLIOTT BROWN

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Marvin J. Garbis United States District Judge.

         The Court has before it Petitioner's pro se Motion for Relief of Judgment [ECF No. 434] as clarified by the Clarification of Motion [ECF No. 436] and the materials submitted relating thereto. The Court finds that a hearing is unnecessary.

         On June 1, 2009, Petitioner Elliott Brown (“Petitioner” or “Brown”) was convicted by Judge Quarles on a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. ECF No. 170.

         On July 29, 2010, Judge Quarles sentenced Brown. ECF No. 263. Judge Quarles determined that Brown's Offense Level was 36 and that his Criminal History Category was VI, yielding a Guidelines Sentencing Range of 324 to 405 months. ECF No. 286. Judge Quarles, stating that “a sentence in the middle of the Guidelines is sufficient but not greater than necessary, ” imposed a sentence of 360 months. Sentencing Tr. 27:18-20 (July 29, 2010), ECF No. 277. Judgment was entered on July 30, 2010. ECF No. 267. Petitioner Brown appealed and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the judgment on June 16, 2011. ECF No. 289; United States v. Brown, 435 Fed.Appx. 182 (4th Cir. 2011).

         On September 14, 2012, Brown filed a motion to vacate the sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 [ECF Nos. 300 & 304]. He asserted that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel due to counsel's failure to:

1. Communicate to him an offer of a plea agreement calling for a 188 month sentence.
2. Adequately represent him in regard to his guilty plea, rendering the plea involuntary.
3. Adequately represent him in regard to the district court's finding that he was a career offender.
4. Adequately represent him in regard to the district court's finding of responsibility for 30 kilograms of heroin.

         Memorandum and Order at 3, ECF No. 406. On January 18, 2017, the motion was denied. Id.

         On March 10, 2017, the Federal Public Defender, as counsel for Brown, filed an “Amended Motion for Reduced Sentence Under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) Based on Retroactive Application of U.S.S.G. Amendment 782.” ECF No. 418. On June 16, 2017, the Court granted the motion and resentenced Brown to 292 months. ECF No. 429.

         On October 16, 2017, Petitioner Brown, proceeding pro se, filed the instant motion entitled “Motion for Relief of Judgment” [ECF No. 434], and then on November 16, 2017, filed pro se the “Clarification of Motion” [ECF No. 436] regarding the grounds on which the motion was based. The “clarification” seeks reduction of his sentence based upon the decision in Lee v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 1958 (2017); stating that

if Lee, were applied, Petitioner would be able to demonstrate that his counsel improperly advised him to plead guilty instead of going to trial in his criminal proceedings as a result of a variety of ...

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