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United States v. Sonier

United States District Court, Fifth Circuit

December 23, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
ANTONIO DEMOND SONIER

FINDINGS OF FACT AND RECOMMENDATION ON GUILTY PLEA BEFORE THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

KEITH F. GIBLIN, Magistrate Judge.

By order of the District Court, this matter was referred to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for administration of a guilty plea and allocution under Rules 11 and 32 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Magistrate judges have the statutory authority to conduct a felony guilty plea proceeding as an "additional duty" pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(3). United States v. Bolivar-Munoz, 313 F.3d 253, 255 (5th Cir. 2002), cert. denied, 123 S.Ct. 1642 (2003).

On December 23, 2013, this cause came before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for entry of a guilty plea by the defendant, Antonio Demond Sonier, on Count One of the charging Indictment filed in this cause. Count One alleges that from on or about June 5, 2009, until on or about June 19, 2009, in Nacogdoches County, in the Eastern District of Texas, Antonio Demond Sonier, a/k/a "Hobo, " and three other named co-defendants, engaged in a Hobbs Act Conspiracy to effectuate the robbery of a Loomis armored truck in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951. The Indictment also specifically sets forth facts; the purpose, manner and means; and overt acts which the Government alleges comprises the charged Hobbs Act conspiracy.

After conducting the proceeding in the form and manner prescribed by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11 the Court finds:

a. That Defendant, Antonio Demond Sonier, after consultation with counsel of record, has knowingly, freely and voluntarily consented to the administration of the guilty plea in this cause by a United States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Texas subject to a final approval and imposition of sentence by the District Court.

b. That Defendant and the Government have entered into a plea agreement which was disclosed and addressed in open court, entered into the record, and placed under seal.

c. That Defendant is fully competent and capable of entering an informed plea, that Defendant is aware of the nature of the charges and the consequences of the plea, and that the plea of guilty is a knowing, voluntary and freely made plea. Upon addressing the Defendant personally in open court, the Court determines that Defendant's plea is voluntary and did not result from force, threats or promises. See FED. R. CRIM. P. 11(b)(2).

d. That Defendant's knowing, voluntary and freely made plea is supported by an independent factual basis establishing each of the essential elements of the offense and Defendant realizes that his conduct falls within the definition of the crimes charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1951.

STATEMENT OF REASONS

As factual support for Defendant's guilty plea, the Government presented a factual basis. See Factual Basis and Stipulation. In support, the Government and Defendant stipulated that if this case were to proceed to trial the Government would prove beyond a reasonable doubt, through the sworn testimony of witnesses, including expert witnesses, and through admissible exhibits, each and every essential element of the crimes charged in Count One of the Indictment. The parties also stipulated that the Government would also prove that the defendant is one and the same person charged in Count One of the Indictment and that the events described in the Indictment occurred in the Eastern District of Texas. The Court incorporates the proffer of evidence described in detail in the factual basis in support of the guilty plea.

Defendant, Antonio Demond Sonier, agreed with and stipulated to the evidence presented in the factual basis. Counsel for Defendant and the Government attested to Defendant's competency and capability to enter an informed plea of guilty. The Defendant agreed with the evidence presented by the Government and personally testified that he was entering his guilty plea knowingly, freely and voluntarily.

RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

IT IS THEREFORE the recommendation of the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge that the District Court accept the Guilty Plea of Defendant which the undersigned determines to be supported by an independent factual basis establishing each of the essential elements of the offenses charged in Count One of the charging Indictment on file in this criminal proceeding. The Court also recommends that the District Court accept the plea agreement in accordance with Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c). Accordingly, it is further recommended that, Defendant, Antonio Demond Sonier, be finally adjudged as guilty of the charged offense under Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951.

Defendant is ordered to report to the United States Probation Department for the preparation of a presentence report. At the plea hearing, the Court admonished the Defendant that the District Court may reject the plea and that the District Court can decline to sentence Defendant in accordance with the plea agreement, the federal sentencing guidelines and/or the presentence report because the sentencing guidelines are advisory in nature. The District Court may defer its decision to accept or reject the plea agreement until there has been an opportunity to consider the presentence report. See FED. R. CRIM. P. 11(c)(3). If the Court rejects the plea agreement, the Court will advise Defendant in open court that it is not bound by the plea agreement and Defendant may have the opportunity to withdraw the guilty plea, dependent upon the type of the plea agreement. See FED. R. CRIM. P. 11(c)(3)(B). If the plea agreement is rejected and ...


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