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Salvi v. United States

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

October 4, 2019

GREGORY SALVI, Petitioner,


          Sharon Johnson Coleman United States District Judge

         On July 24, 2018, pro se petitioner Gregory Salvi filed the present motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.[1] For the reasons stated below, the Court denies Salvi's § 2255 motion and declines to certify any issues for appeal. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). Civil case terminated.


         On April 24, 2017, Salvi was charged in a superseding information with possessing with intent to distribute five hundred grams or more of cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 (Count 1), and using a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A) (Count 2). The next day, Salvi waived indictment by grand jury and entered a guilty plea pursuant to a written agreement to both counts of the superseding information.

         In his plea agreement, Salvi admitted that while employed as a police detective for the Melrose Park, Illinois Police Department in the spring and summer of 2014, he obtained a kilogram of cocaine that was stolen from the department's evidence room, showed the stolen kilogram of cocaine to an individual and a confidential informant (“CI”), and offered to sell the cocaine to the CI. Salvi then sold it to another individual for cash. He further admitted that in November and December of 2014, he stole narcotics from the police department's evidence room and sold it to two CIs.

         In spring of 2015, Salvi offered to transport kilogram quantities of cocaine using his position as a law enforcement officer to disguise the transportation of the narcotics. On April 9, 2015, while on duty, armed with a handgun, and driving his police car, Salvi went to a storage locker facility in Hanover Park, Illinois, where he planned to obtain cocaine for transportation. At the storage locker, Salvi met with one of the CIs and an undercover officer (“UC”) posing as a narcotics courier. At that time, the UC and Salvi removed five brick-shaped packages from a concealed compartment inside the UC's vehicle and placed them into a bag, which Salvi took to his police car. Salvi stated that he intended to distribute the five brick-shaped objects, which he believed to be five kilograms of cocaine.

         As part of his written plea agreement, Salvi waived his right to challenge his conviction and sentence on direct appeal and under 28 U.S.C. § 2255:

[D]efendant also waives his right to challenge his conviction and sentence, and the manner in which the sentence was determined, in any collateral attack or future challenge, including but not limited to a motion brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The waiver in this paragraph does not apply to a claim of involuntariness or ineffective assistance of counsel, nor does it prohibit defendant from seeking a reduction of sentence based directly on a change in law[.]

(15-cr-0189, R. 65, 4/25/17 Written Plea Agreement, ¶ 24(c).) At his change of plea hearing, the Court reaffirmed that Salvi read and understood that he had waive his right to appeal his constitutional, statutory, and equitable challenges on direct appeal or in a § 2255 motion. (Id. ¶ 21; R. 95, 4/25/17 Plea Tr., at 26-27.)

         During his plea colloquy, Salvi informed the Court that he had enough time to talk to his attorney and was satisfied with his attorney's advice and efforts on his behalf. He confirmed that he had read the plea agreement, had discussed it with his attorney, his attorney had answered his questions about the plea to his satisfaction, and he had no questions about the plea agreement. Salvi further stated on the record that he understood that the maximum term of imprisonment the sentencing court could impose was up to life in prison, and that he was subject to five-year mandatory minimum sentences on both Counts 1 and Count 2 for a total ten-year mandatory minimum sentence. He explained that he had not been forced or threatened into pleading guilty and no promises had been made to induce him to plead guilty. He understood that the sentencing court would have the final say regarding his sentence.

         The Court conducted Salvi's sentencing hearing on July 26, 2017. Salvi stated that he had no comments, corrections, or objections to any of the information in the Presentence Investigation Report. He further stated:

I first want to apologize to you, apologize to the government for things that I did during this case. Mostly I want to apologize to my family, my kids and my wife. I don't really know what happened. I don't know how I lost my way. I know I never meant to hurt anybody. I've tried for the two-and-a-half years I‘ve been out to show everybody who I was and who I am. I tried to show Pretrial by being at home every time and never having a problem with them.
I hope that your sentence will be [the] minimums. I don't know. I tell you, though, I'll go in there and do what I got to do and get back into society, and you will never hear from me again. It's not who I want to be. I just want to live out the ...

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