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Susinka v. United States

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

May 14, 2014


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For United States of America, Plaintiff: Patrick C. Pope, United States Attorney's Office (NDIL), Chicago, IL.

Stephen Susinka, Defendant, Pro se, Jonesville, VA.

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Rubé n Castillo, Chief United States District Judge.

Presently before the Court is Petitioner Stephen Susinka's pro se motion to reconsider this Court's order denying his petition to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (R. 10, Pet'r's Mot.) For the reasons set forth below, Petitioner's motion is denied, and this case is dismissed with prejudice.


The relevant facts relating to Petitioner's criminal conviction are set forth in a pair of opinions by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, see United States v. Benabe, 654 F.3d 753, 757 (7th Cir. 2011); United States v. Morales, 655 F.3d 608 (7th Cir. 2011), and several by this Court, see, e.g., United States v. Delatorre, 572 F.Supp.2d 967 (N.D. Ill. 2008); United States v. Delatorre, 522 F.Supp.2d 1034 (N.D. Ill. 2007); United States v. Delatorre, 508 F.Supp.2d 648 (N.D. Ill. 2007); United States v. Delatorre, 438 F.Supp.2d 892 (N.D. Ill. 2006). The Court repeats the facts here only as they pertain to the Petition and the instant motion to reconsider.

Petitioner was one of sixteen individuals indicted by a federal grand jury on various racketeering-related charges in 2006. Petitioner and his codefendants were members of the Aurora Deuces, the Aurora, Illinois chapter of the Insane Deuce Nation street gang. Petitioner was responsible for carrying guns and going on missions for the Insane Deuces. On more than one occasion, he served as a driver for other Insane Deuces who murdered or attempted to murder members of rival gangs. Petitioner was charged with racketeering conspiracy (Count One) and narcotics conspiracy (Count Nine).

In an effort not to overwhelm the jury, and due to the logistical challenge of trying so many defendants in a single courtroom, this Court severed the case into two trials. Petitioner was tried with the alleged leaders of the gang. On April 21, 2008, after a two-month trial and more than two weeks of deliberation, a jury convicted Petitioner of participating in a racketeering conspiracy (Count One) and was unable to reach a verdict on the narcotics conspiracy charge in Count Nine. The Court declared a mistrial on Count Nine. On January 20, 2009, this Court sentenced Petitioner to twenty years of incarceration on Count One to run concurrently with his pending state sentence, followed by five years of supervised release, and imposed a $2,500.00 fine.

On January 22, 2009, Petitioner filed his notice of appeal, challenging both his conviction and his sentence. The Seventh Circuit affirmed his conviction on August 18, 2011, and modified his sentence to impose a term of three years of supervision upon his release from prison rather than five. United States v. Benabe, 436 F.App'x 639, 660-62 (7th Cir. 2011).

Petitioner filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court on January 26, 2012.[1] (R. 10, Pet'r's Mot. at 1;

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R. 24, Pet'r's Decl. ¶ 5.) He states that his original deadline for filing was January 26, 2012, but his petition was returned for corrections twice, and the Supreme Court extended his deadline for filing his certiorari petition until July 14, 2012. (R. 10, Pet'r's Mot. at 1-2.) Petitioner does not contend that he filed his corrected petition, nor was this Court able to locate a grant or denial of certiorari from the Supreme Court.

Petitioner filed the instant habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on March 5, 2013. (R. 1, Pet'n.) On March 18, 2013, he filed an amended petition (the " Petition" ), (R. 6, Am. Pet'n), and moved to toll the deadline for filing his petition, (R. 5, Mot. Toll Deadline). The Court denied Petitioner's motion to toll the deadline and his amended petition on March 21, 2013. (R. 7, Min. Entry.) In its order, the Court stated:

After a careful review of Petitioner's untimely motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 2255, said motion is denied with prejudice for the following reasons. The trial record and direct appeal opinion, U.S. v. Benabe, 654 F.3d 753 (7th Cir. 2011)[,] confirm that said untimely petition fails to assert any valid, non-waived constitutional error. The ...

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