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Cuevas v. United States

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division

August 23, 2017

WILTON JOSEPH CUEVAS
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Criminal No. 1:12cr33-HSO-RHW-3

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING MOTION TO VACATE, SET ASIDE, OR CORRECT SENTENCE BY A PERSON IN FEDERAL CUSTODY PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 2255

          HALIL SULEYMAN OZERDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         BEFORE THE COURT is the second Motion [558] of Wilton Joseph Cuevas (“Cuevas”) to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. After due consideration of the Motion, related pleadings, the record, and relevant legal authority, the Court is of the opinion that Cuevas is not entitled to relief and that his § 2255 Motion should be denied in accordance with Rule 4(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings for the United States District Courts (the “Section 2255 Rules”) without the requirement of an answer by the United States Attorney and without an evidentiary hearing.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On April 17, 2012, a Grand Jury returned a 30-count Indictment [3] against Cuevas and 14 co-Defendants. Count 1 of the Indictment [3] charged Cuevas and his co-Defendants with conspiring to commit the following offenses against the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371:

Willful engagement in a firearms business without a license in violation of Section 922(a)(1), Title 18, United States Code.
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in violation of Section 922(g)(1), Title 18, United States Code.
Possession of stolen firearms in violation of Section 922(j), Title 18, United States Code.
Possession of a firearm with an altered or obliterated serial number in violation of Section 922(k), Title 18, United States Code.
Willful transfer, sale, or transport of a weapon by an unlicensed person to another unlicensed, out-of-state person in violation of Section 922(a)(5), Title 18, United States Code.
Receipt or possession of an unregistered firearm in violation of Section 5861(d), Title 26, United States Code.
Transfer of an unregistered firearm in violation of Section 5861(f), Title 26, United States Code.
Manufacture of an unregistered firearm in violation of Section 5861(e), Title 26, United States Code.

Indictment [3] at 2. Count 30 charged Cuevas and his co-Defendants with knowingly and willfully engaging in a business of selling firearms without a license issued under federal law by selling 85 firearms in violation of Section 922(a)(1)(A), Title 18, United States Code. Id. at 17.

         Cuevas elected to enter into a Plea Agreement [336] with the Government, and on August 8, 2012, pleaded guilty to Counts 1 and 30 of the Indictment. See Aug. 8, 2012, Minute Entry. The Plea Agreement [336] provided in relevant part that Cuevas

         expressly waives the following rights:

a. the right to appeal the conviction and sentence imposed in this case, or the manner in which that sentence was imposed, on the grounds set forth in Title 18, United States Code, Section 3742, or on any ground whatsoever, and
b. the right to contest the conviction and sentence or the manner in which the sentence was imposed in any post-conviction proceeding, including but not limited to a motion brought under Title ...

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