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Woodson v. United States

August 2, 2007

MAURICE WOODSON, PETITIONER,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joe Billy McDADE United States District Judge

ORDER

Before the Court is the Motion to Vacate, Set Aside or Correct Sentence filed by Petitioner, Maurice Woodson, on May 8, 2006. For the reasons that follow, the Motion is DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND

On August 19, 2004, the Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Petitioner, Maurice Woodson, with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine base (crack) in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B) and felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). Petitioner was represented by attorney Robert Andre Alvarado during the criminal proceedings against him. On March 15, 2005, Petitioner entered a blind plea of guilty and was sentenced on June 30, 2005. Petitioner was sentenced to 120 months' incarceration on each count to be served concurrently and 4 years' supervised release on the drug count and 3 years' supervised release on the gun count to be served concurrently. Judgment was accordingly entered on July 1, 2005.

During the change of plea hearing, Petitioner responded to various questions posed by the Court.*fn1 Petitioner indicated that he was aware of the charges against him and that he had discussed possible defenses with attorney Alvarado. (COP 5-6.) He stated that no one was forcing him to plead guilty or unduly pressured him to plead guilty. (COP 6.) He further indicated that he was satisfied with attorney Alvarado's advice and counsel. (COP 6.) Petitioner stated that he understood the charges against him and the elements of each charge. (COP 7-8.) With respect to the drug count, the following exchange occurred:

Q: I have to satisfy myself that there is a factual basis for your pleas of guilty so I need you to tell me, Mr. Woodson, what you did on July 28th of last year that cause you to be pleading guilty to Count I and II of the indictment. Let's take Count I. What did you do that cause you to believe that you are guilty of that offense in Count 1?

A: Well, Your Honor, I made a mistake. I thought I threw the pipe and the rocks in between the couch and later on in the evening, I guess I only took the pipe out of my pocket.

Q: And what was found in your pocket?

A: Crack cocaine, crack base, cocaine base, Your Honor.

Q: Now, you used two words, crack and cocaine base. Are they the same thing in your mind?

A: Yes, sir. (COP. 20.)

The government further stated that evidence at trial would reveal that police officers found approximately ten grams of crack cocaine upon a search of Petitioner after his arrest. (COP 23.)

With respect to the gun charge, the following exchange occurred:

Q: And Count II, what are the facts that cause you to believe that you're guilty of Count II, that is the possession of the pistol?

A: Buying a weapon and having a weapon in ...


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