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Ahmed v. United States

United States District Court, Fifth Circuit

September 9, 2013

HAMZAH ALI AHMED, Movant,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GLEN H. DAVIDSON, Senior District Judge.

This matter comes before the court on the motion, through counsel, by Hamzah Ali Ahmed to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The Government has responded to the motion, and Ahmed has replied. The matter is ripe for resolution. For the reasons set forth below, Ahmed's motion under § 2255 will be dismissed as untimely filed.

Facts and Procedural Posture

On August 24, 2006 Hamzah Ali Ahmed was named in twelve counts of a thirty-nine count indictment for various offenses related to distributing pseudoephedrine to manufacture methamphetamine. On June 20, 2007, a plea agreement signed by Mr. Ahmed and his counsel was filed with the court. The agreement provided that the defendant would plead guilty to count one that charged conspiracy to aid and abet in the distribution of methamphetamine, which "carries maximum possible penalties of not more than 20 years imprisonment." The Government agreed to dismiss the remaining counts of the indictment pertaining to Ahmed.

The plea agreement provided that "there is no agreement as to the sentence to be imposed, which will be in the sole discretion of the Court subject to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which have been explained to defendant by his attorney." The agreement also provided that "[a]part from being advised of the applicability of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, no promise or representation whatsoever has been made to defendant as to what punishment the Court might impose if it accepts the plea(s) of guilty." The plea agreement also included a waiver of all appeals and collateral attacks. Ahmed appeared before the court with counsel on June 25, 2007, to tender a guilty plea to count one. The court advised and questioned him regarding the essentials of a valid guilty plea, and Ahmed affirmed under oath that he knew and understood the following:

▸ His untruthful answers were subject to the penalties of perjury; (Plea Tr. 5).
▸ He had the right to a trial at which the Government would be required to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before he could be found guilty; (Plea. Tr. 8).
▸ If he pled guilty there would be no trial and the court would sentence him on his guilty plea after considering a presentence report; (Plea Tr. 10).
▸ He was charged with conspiracy to aid and abet in the distribution of methamphetamine, and before he could be convicted the Government would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt key elements, which were read to Ahmed on the record during the change of plea proceeding; (Plea Tr. 11-12).
▸ The maximum possible punishment he faced as a result of his guilty plea was imprisonment for not more than 20 years; (Plea Tr. 12).
▸ The Sentencing Commission Guidelines would apply to his case and he had discussed with his attorney how they might apply; (Plea Tr. 13).
▸ The court would not be able to determine his guideline sentence until a presentence report had been completed and once the guideline sentence was established, the Court had authority in some circumstances to impose a sentence more severe or less severe than called for by the guidelines; (Plea Tr. 13-14).
▸ If the sentence were more severe than he expected, he would still be bound by his plea and would have no right to withdraw it; (Plea Tr. 14).
▸ No one had made any promise or promises to him other than contained in the plea agreement that induced him ...

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