United States

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Criminal Action 2:17-cr-261(2) (S.D. Ohio Sep. 12, 2018)

Criminal Action 2:17-cr-261(2)





Defendant previously pleaded not guilty to a Superseding Indictment charging him with one (1) count of robbery by threat or violence in violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951 (Count 11), and one (1) count of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (Count 12). Superseding Indictment, ECF No. 46. The United States of America and defendant thereafter entered into a plea agreement, executed pursuant to the provisions of Rule 11(c)(1)(A) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, whereby defendant agreed to enter a plea of guilty to Counts 11 and 12 of the Superseding Indictment. On September 12, 2018, defendant, accompanied by his counsel, appeared for a change of plea proceeding. Defendant consented, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(3), to enter a guilty plea before a Magistrate Judge. See United States v. Cukaj, 2001 WL 1587410 at *1 (6th Cir. 2001)(Magistrate Judge may accept a guilty plea with the express consent of the defendant and where no objection to the report and recommendation is filed).

The Plea Agreement, ECF No. 47, includes an appellate waiver provision which preserves only certain claims for appeal.

During the plea proceeding, the undersigned observed the appearance and responsiveness of defendant in answering questions. Based on that observation, the undersigned is satisfied that, at the time he entered his guilty pleas, defendant was in full possession of his faculties, was not suffering from any apparent physical or mental illness, and was not under the influence of narcotics or alcohol.

Prior to accepting defendant's pleas, the undersigned addressed defendant personally and in open court and determined his competence to plead. Based on the observations of the undersigned, defendant understands the nature and meaning of the charges in the Superseding Indictment and the consequences of plea of guilty to those charges. Defendant was also addressed personally and in open court and advised of each of the rights referred to in Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Having engaged in the colloquy required by Rule 11, the Court concludes that defendant's pleas are voluntary. Defendant acknowledged that the plea agreement signed by him, his attorney and the attorney for the United States and filed on May 25, 2018, represents the only promises made by anyone regarding the charges against him in the Superseding Indictment. Defendant was advised that the District Judge may accept or reject the plea agreement and that, even if the Court refuses to accept any provision of the plea agreement not binding on the Court, defendant may nevertheless not withdraw his guilty plea.

Defendant confirmed the accuracy of the statement of facts supporting the charge, which is attached to the Plea Agreement and which was orally supplemented at the change of plea proceeding. He confirmed that he is pleading guilty to Counts 11 and 12 of the Superseding Indictment because he is in fact guilty of those offenses. The Court concludes that there is a factual basis for the pleas.

The written statement of facts attached to the Plea Agreement does not address the interstate commerce component of the offenses. At the change of plea proceeding, the attorney for the United States proffered facts in support of that element, with which defendant and his attorney agreed. --------

The Court concludes that defendant's pleas of guilty to Counts 11 and 12 of the Superseding Indictment are knowingly and voluntarily made with understanding of the nature and meaning of the charges and of the consequences of the pleas.

It is therefore RECOMMENDED that defendant's guilty pleas to Counts 11 and 12 of the Superseding Indictment be accepted. Decision on acceptance or rejection of the plea agreement was deferred for consideration by the District Judge after the preparation of a presentence investigation report.

In accordance with S.D. Ohio Crim. R. 32.1, and as expressly agreed to by defendant through counsel, a written presentence investigation report will be prepared by the United States Probation Office. Defendant will be asked to provide information; defendant's attorney may be present if defendant so wishes. Objections to the presentence report must be made in accordance with the rules of this Court.

If any party seeks review by the District Judge of this Report and Recommendation, that party may, within fourteen (14) days, file and serve on all parties objections to the Report and Recommendation, specifically designating this Report and Recommendation, and the part thereof in question, as well as the basis for objection thereto. 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1); F.R. Civ. P. 72(b). Response to objections must be filed within fourteen (14) days after being served with a copy thereof. F.R. Civ. P. 72(b).

The parties are specifically advised that failure to object to the Report and Recommendation will result in a waiver of the right to de novo review by the District Judge and of the right to appeal the decision of the District Court adopting the Report and Recommendation. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985); Smith v. Detroit Federation of Teachers, Local 231 etc., 829 F.2d 1370 (6th Cir. 1987); United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947 (6th Cir. 1981). September 12, 2018

s/ Norah McCann King

Norah McCann King

United States Magistrate Judge