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Rangel v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division

May 29, 2019

RAUL RANGEL, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AMD ORDER

          JOHN McBRYDE JUDGE.

         Came on for consideration the motion of Raul Rangel ("movant") under 2 8 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct sentence. After having considered the motion, its supporting memorandum, the government's response, the reply, [1] and pertinent parts of the record in No. 4:16-CR-132-A, styled "United States of America v. Charles Ben Bounds, et al.," the court has concluded that the motion should be denied.

         I. Background

         Information contained in the record of the underlying criminal case discloses the following:

         On May 18, 2016, movant was named in a superseding indictment charging him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. CR Doc.[2] 215. On June 22, 2016, movant appeared before the court with the intent to enter a plea of guilty to the offense charged without benefit of a plea agreement. CR Doc. 312. Movant and his attorney signed a factual resume setting forth the elements of the offense, the maximum penalty movant faced, and the stipulated facts supporting movant's guilt. CR Doc. 313. Under oath, movant stated that no one had made any promise or assurance of any kind to induce him to plead guilty. Further, movant stated his understanding that the guideline range was advisory and was one of many sentencing factors the court could consider; that the guideline range could not be calculated until the presentence report ("PSR") was prepared; the court could impose a sentence more severe than the sentence recommended by the advisory guidelines and movant would be bound by his guilty plea; movant was satisfied with his counsel and had no complaints regarding his representation; and, movant and counsel had reviewed the factual resume and movant understood the meaning of everything in it and the stipulated facts were true. CR Doc. 1282.

         The probation officer prepared the PSR, which reflected that movant's base offense level was 38. CR Doc. 70 9, ¶2 8. Movant received two-level increases for possession of a firearm, id. ¶ 29, and for maintaining a premises for manufacturing or distributing a controlled substance, id. ¶ 30. He received a two-level and a one-level decrease for acceptance of responsibility. Id., ¶¶ 36, 37. Based on a total offense level of 39 and a criminal history category of VI, movant's guideline imprisonment range was 3 60 months to life. Id. ¶ 118. However, the statutory maximum sentence was 40 years, so the applicable guideline range became 3 60 to 480 months. Id.

         Movant filed objections to the PSR. CR Doc. 718. The probation officer prepared an addendum to the PSR, which accepted in part and rejected in part movant's objections. CR Doc. 8 02. On November 23, 2016, movant appeared for sentencing. CR Doc. 843. Movant persisted in his objections to the PSR that the 150 kilograms of methamphetamine attributed to him was not reasonable. CR Doc. 1283 at 4-5. He presented testimony in support of the objections and the court determined that movant should only be held accountable for one 5-gallon bucket full of methamphetamine instead of 3 0 buckets, i.e., 5 kilograms instead of 150 kilograms of methamphetamine. Id. at 17-18. As a result, movant's base offense level became 34 and his guideline range was 2 92 to 3 65 months. Id. 18-19. The court sentenced movant to a term of imprisonment of 365 months. CR Doc. 846. Movant appealed, CR Doc. 8 50, and his sentence was affirmed. United States v. Range1, 705 Fed.Appx. 277 (5th Cir. 2017). His petition for writ of certiorari was denied. Rangel v. United States, 138 S.Ct. 1338 (2018).

         II. Grounds of the Motion

         Movant asserts two grounds in support of his motion, worded as follows:

GROUND ONE: Movant received ineffective assistance of counsel when his attorney failed to adequately challenge Michael Hoffman's credibility regarding his statement to federal authorities about 5-gallon buckets of methamphetamine allegedly shown to Hoffman by movant.

Doc.[3] 1 at 4.

GROUND TWO: Movant received ineffective assistance of counsel when his attorney failed to object to a sentencing guidelines 2-point enhancement (§ 2Dl.l(b) (12)) for maintaining a premises for distributing drugs.

Id. at 5.

         III. Stand ...


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