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United States v. Wright

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Tyler Division

December 7, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
THEODORE ROBERT WRIGHT, III (1)

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

          K. NICOLE MITCHELL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         By order of the District Court, this matter is referred to the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for administration of the guilty plea under Rule 11. 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).

         On December 7, 2017, this case came before the undersigned magistrate judge for entry of a guilty plea by the Defendant, Theodore Robert Wright, III, to Counts One and Five of the Indictment. Count One alleges that from in or about March 2012, and continuing through in or about March 2017, the exact dates being unknown to the grand jury, in the Eastern District of Texas, and elsewhere, the defendants, T.R. Wright, Shane Gordon, Raymond Fosdick, and Edward Delima, along with others both known and unknown to the grand jury, did knowingly and willfully combine, conspire, confederate, and agree to violate 18 U.S.C. § 1343, wire fraud, that is to transmit and cause to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate commerce any writings, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds for the purpose of executing a scheme and artifice to defraud and for obtaining money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, all in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349-Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. Count Five alleges that from on or about April 29, 2014, and continuing through on or about September 13, 2014, the exact dates being unknown to the grand jury, in the Eastern District of Texas, and elsewhere, the defendants, T.R. Wright, Shane Gordon and Raymond Fosdick, along with others known and unknown to the grand jury, did knowingly and willfully combine, conspire, confederate, and agree to violate 18 U.S.C. § 844(i), arson of property used in interstate and foreign commerce, that is to maliciously damage and destroy by means of fire, a vehicle, that is a 1971 Cessna 500, United States Aircraft Registration Number N18FM, used in interstate and foreign commerce and in an activity affecting interstate and foreign commerce, all in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 844(n)-Conspiracy to Violate 18 U.S.C. § 844(i).

         The Defendant entered a plea of guilty to Counts One and Five of the Indictment into the record at the hearing. After conducting the proceeding in the form and manner prescribed by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11, the undersigned finds:

a. That the Defendant, after consultation with his attorney, has knowingly, freely and voluntarily consented to the administration of the guilty plea in this case 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 the 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. The Defendant verified that he understood the terms of the plea agreement, and he acknowledged that it was his signature on the plea agreement. To the extent the plea agreement contains recommendations and requests pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 11 (c)(1)(B), the court advised the Defendant that he has no right to withdraw the plea if the court does not follow the particular recommendations or requests. To the extent that any or all of the terms of the plea agreement are pursuant to Rule 11(c)(1)(A) or (C), the undersigned advised the Defendant that he will have the opportunity to withdraw his plea of guilty should the court not follow those particular terms of the plea agreement.[1]
c. That the Defendant is fully competent and capable of entering an informed plea, that the Defendant is aware of the nature of the charges and the consequences of the plea, and that the plea of guilty is made freely, knowingly, and voluntarily. Upon addressing the Defendant personally in open court, the undersigned determines that the Defendant's plea is knowing and voluntary and did not result from force, threats or promises (other than the promises set forth in the plea agreement). See Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(b)(2).
d. That the Defendant's knowing and voluntary plea is supported by an independent factual basis establishing each of the essential elements of the offense and the Defendant realizes that his conduct falls within the definition of the crimes charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1349- Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and 18 U.S.C. § 844(n)-Conspiracy to Violate 18 U.S.C. § 844(i).

         STATEMENT OF REASONS

         As factual support for the Defendant's guilty plea, the Government presented a factual basis. See Factual Basis. In support, the Government would prove that the Defendant is the same person charged in the Indictment, and that the events described in the Indictment occurred in the Eastern District of Texas. The Government would also have proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, each and every essential element of the offenses as alleged in Count One and Count Five of the Indictment through the testimony of witnesses, including expert witnesses, and admissible exhibits. In support of the Defendant's plea, the undersigned incorporates the proffer of evidence described in detail in the factual basis filed in support of the plea agreement, and the Defendant's admissions made in open court in response to the undersigned's further inquiry into the factual basis.

         The Defendant agreed with and stipulated to the evidence presented in the factual basis. Counsel for the Defendant and the Government attested to the 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 the guilty plea knowingly, freely and voluntarily.

         RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

          IT IS THEREFORE the recommendation of the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge that the District Judge accept the Guilty Plea of the 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 and Count Five of the Indictment. Accordingly, it is further recommended that the District Judge finally adjudge the Defendant, Theodore Robert Wright, III, guilty of the charged offenses under 18 U.S.C. § 1349-Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and 18 U.S.C. § 844(n)-Conspiracy to Violate 18 U.S.C. § 844(i).

         The District Judge should defer his decision to accept or reject the plea agreement until there has been an opportunity to review the presentence report. If the plea agreement is rejected and the Defendant still persists in his guilty plea, the disposition of the case may be less favorable to the Defendant than that contemplated by the plea agreement. The Defendant is ordered to report to the United States Probation Department for the ...


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