Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Kasp v. United States

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

July 19, 2018

George Kasp, Petitioner,
v.
United States of America, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          HONORABLE THOMAS M. DURKIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         George Kasp filed a petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. R. 1. He has also filed motions for an evidentiary hearing and subpoena duces tecum arguing that the government withheld exculpatory documents. R. 3. For the following reasons, Kasp's petition and motions are denied.

         Background

         A confidential source informed Chicago Police that Kasp was the source's heroin dealer. R. 1 at 66. The source was directed to record a phone conversation with Kasp. Id. at 66-67. During this conversation, Kasp agreed to meet the source to sell drugs to the source. Id. When he arrived to meet the source, Kasp was arrested by Chicago Police officers. Id. at 67. The officers searched him and discovered heroin in his pocket. Id. After Kasp was arrested, police searched his home and discovered a gun, five pounds of marijuana, cash hidden behind a refrigerator, and drug trafficking paraphernalia, including a vacuum sealer, money counter, and three digital scales. See 11 CR 920, R. 30 at 5-6.

         A grand jury subsequently indicted Kasp on charges of possession with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana and being a felon in possession of a gun. See 11 CR 920, R. 9. Kasp filed a motion to suppress as evidence the heroin found in his pocket, arguing the officers did not have probable cause to search him. See 11 CR 920, R. 25. Kasp also filed a supplemental affidavit in support of this motion. See 11 CR 920, R. 39. In his supplemental affidavit, Kasp denied he had agreed to conduct a drug transaction with the source, claiming that he agreed to meet the source to discuss a future transaction. Id. at 3. Judge Grady (previously assigned to the case) denied the motion. See 11 CR 920, R. 42.

         Kasp eventually pled guilty to possession with intent to sell heroin and being a felon in possession of a gun. See 11 CR 920, R. 84. The plea agreement included an affirmation that Kasp had agreed to meet the source to sell drugs when he was arrested. Id. at 3.

         At sentencing, the Court imposed an obstruction of justice enhancement based on the supplemental affidavit Kasp submitted in support of his motion to suppress. Kasp's counsel objected to the enhancement arguing that Kasp's statement in the affidavit “makes no sense” and is immaterial because even if Kasp was only meeting the source to plan a future drug deal, the police officers still had justification to search him. See 11 CR 920, R. 88 at 3-4. The Court rejected this argument, and sentenced Kasp to 97 months in prison and four years of supervised release. See 11 CR 920, R. 94.

         Kasp appealed his sentence reiterating the argument that the statements in his supplemental affidavit were immaterial and did not justify an obstruction enhancement. See 11 CR 920, R. 118. The Seventh Circuit affirmed Kasp's sentence. Id. at 6. Kasp subsequently petitioned this Court for a reduction of his sentence, and his period of incarceration was reduced to 78 months. See 11 CR 920, R. 135. Kasp was released from prison on November 9, 2017. See Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate finder website, https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/ (last visited July 9 2018). Kasp filed this petition on November 2, 2015. See 15 C 9884, R. 1.[1]

         Analysis

          Kasp's primary concern is that the investigation during which he was arrested was not a joint federal investigation, such that the Chicago Police officers who participated in the investigation and arrest were bound by Illinois's requirement for two-party consent to record a phone, see 720 ILCS 5/14-2, making the recording and subsequent arrest illegal. See R. 1 at 59. Kasp seeks an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the investigation was a joint city and federal investigation such that the Illinois statute would not apply, as the government argues. Id. at 26; R. 3. Kasp also argues (1) “that his constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel was violated, ” R. 1 at 3; (2) “that the federal courts did not have the requisite jurisdiction to hear this matter, ” id.; (3) his indictment was defective because it was not signed and he was not given the chance to appear before the grand jury, id. at 33; and (4) that his plea is invalid because it contains a waiver of the right to challenge effective assistance of counsel, id. at 6.

         I. Frivolous Arguments

         As an initial matter, Kasp's arguments that the Court lacks jurisdiction, that his indictment is defective, and that his plea agreement is invalid, are all frivolous. As the government noted in its brief, the Seventh Circuit has “repeatedly rejected” arguments challenging the jurisdiction of federal district courts to adjudicate crimes. See United States v. Benabe, 654 F.3d 753, 767 (7th Cir. 2011) (citing United States v. Phillips, 326 Fed. App'x 400, at *1 (7th Cir. 2009) (describing as frivolous the argument that the court lacked jurisdiction in a criminal case, because “a district court has personal jurisdiction over any defendant brought before it on a federal indictment charging a violation of federal law”)). Kasp's challenge to the Court's jurisdiction is frivolous.

         As to Kasp's claim that his indictment was defective, the Seventh Circuit has held that such arguments are not a basis to challenge a guilty plea. See United States v. Aguirre, 697 Fed. App'x 870, 871 (7th Cir. 2017); see also United States v. Sanchez, 533 Fed. App'x 663, 665 (7th Cir. 2013) (“[An] unconditional guilty plea waived any claim about defects in the indictment.”). Additionally, Kasp does not have a right to appear before the grand jury. See United States v. Gardner, 516 F.2d 334, 339 (7th Cir. 1975). Thus, these arguments are frivolous.

         Kasp also argues that his plea agreement is invalid because it included a waiver of ineffective assistance of counsel claims. See R. 1 at 6. In addition to waiver of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.